VA and the Health Security Act

Gao ID: HEHS-94-159R May 9, 1994

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the proposed Health Security Act, focusing on: (1) the provisions that pertain directly to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); (2) other provisions of the Health Security Act that pertain to veterans health care; and (3) a comparison of the health care services that would be covered under the Health Security Act with the health care services currently available to veterans. GAO noted that: (1) the comprehensive benefits package under the proposed Health Security Act and the scope of care currently available to veterans are very extensive; (2) current VA benefits for mental health care, substance abuse treatment, dental treatment for children, and optometric treatment for children are more generous than those benefits proposed under the comprehensive benefits package; (3) VA currently provides for respite care and domiciliary care while the proposed Health Security Act does not; (4) the broad array of VA benefits is affected by complicated VA eligibility criteria; and (5) the proposed Health Security Act is more generous in regard to the broad category of outpatient services, since it includes no limitations on outpatient care.

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