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AMVETS URGES SWIFT PASSAGE OF VETERANS' HEALTH CARE BILLS

 AMVETS URGES SWIFT PASSAGE OF VETERANS' HEALTH CARE BILLS
 WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- AMVETS National Commander James L. Singler today expressed support for S. 2183 introduced by U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (D-Ala.) and S. 2188 introduced by U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) -- two bills halting veterans hospitals from serving non-veterans.
 Calling on Congress to approve either of the bills, Singler announced, "Implementation of the rural health care initiative, advanced by Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Louis Sullivan and Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Edward Derwinski, is not only a step toward reorienting the mission of the VA medical system, but also a way of withholding the entitlements promised to America's veterans.
 "Both of these initiatives, if passed, will stop that pilot program. AMVETS has consistently said that as long as one honorably separated service-connected veteran is prohibited from obtaining health care in the VA system, the doors to that system should not be opened to non-vets."
 Citing shortages in staff, supplies and equipment as well as delays in prosthetic services and outpatient clinic appointments, Singler stated that these shortcomings must be addressed before the VA considers opening its doors to non-veterans.
 Singler went on to say, "Sens. Shelby and Specter have put themselves on the front line to defend veterans health care. I commend their courage and foresight, and I assure them of AMVETS' full support of their efforts. Now Congress must act quickly to halt the creeping destruction of an already over-stressed VA health care system."
 -0- 2/6/92
 /CONTACT: Anita DiGregory or Dick Flanagan of AMVETS, 301-459-9600/ CO: AMVETS ST: IN: HEA SU:


DM -- DC042 -- 7922 02/06/92 16:53 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 6, 1992
Words:284
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