Legislation Concerning Va Health Care Programs: Hearing Before the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Third Congress, First Session, June 23, 1993 (Classic Reprint)
The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m. in room SR-418, Russell Senate Office Building. Hon. John D. Rockefeller IV (Chairman of the Committee) presiding.
Present: Senators Rockefeller and Murkowski.
Also present (staff): Jim Gottlieb, chief counsel/staff director, and John Moseman, minority staff director/chief counsel.
Senator Murkowski. Good morning. Chairman Rockefeller is delayed at another Committee meeting, but he is going to be here just as soon as he possibly can. He requested that I go ahead and open up the meeting. We have a rather lengthy and ambitious agenda today-seven health care bills to be considered. These seven bills cover a broad range of activities and we're going to give them our close attention.
I want to welcome the fellow Senator from Maryland, Senator Barbara Mikulski. another Irish person like myself with an 'S-K-I.' She is going to testify in support of a measure dealing with health professional education loan repayment. We look forward to your statement this morning We are going to be blessed with Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota who is testifying in support of his proposal to expand rural VA clinics. I think it is appropriate that we thank Senator Mikulski particularly in her capacity as chairperson of the VA-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee. She has expressed to both the Chairman and myself restoring the proposed $26 million which was a reduction in the VA's research funding in fiscal year 1994.
In terms of these bills before us, many of these same proposals were supported last year and passed the Senate, but, unfortunately, did not survive the conference with the House. We are concerned by the reality that this kind of steadfast support avoids: We feel that VA expansions mean higher financial commitments to the Department of Veterans Affairs and its many programs in veterans' health care at a time when we do face serious budget cuts. For that reason, we are concerned about the bills before us as they relate to national health care reform and everything is kind of coming together at one time.
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