Military Health Bill To Improve Care For Troops

Armen Hareyan's picture
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The Senate on Wednesday by voice vote approved a bill (HR 1538) that seeks to improve health care for troops who return from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, CQ Today reports. Prior to passage, the Senate substituted the text of the legislation, which the House approved on March 28, with language from a bill (S 1606) approved on June 14 by the Senate Armed Services Committeeand added a 3.5% increase in pay for troops that would take effect in2008, both provisions in the fiscal year 2008 defense authorizationbill (HR 1585).

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Prospects for the bill remain uncertain. According to CQ Today,the Senate and House could form a conference committee to resolvedifferences in their versions of the bill, or the House could "stripout the Senate's pay raise provision and send the bill back -- leavingit up to the Senate to take or leave a stand-alone health caremeasure." A Democratic aide said that House members likely will notremove the provision to increase pay for troops from the defenseauthorization bill (Donnelly/Hunter, CQ Today, 7/25).

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