H.R.3279 - Persian Gulf Veterans Act of 1998105th Congress (1997-1998)
Summary: H.R.3279 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)
Introduced in House (02/26/1998)
Persian Gulf Veterans Act of 1998 - Presumes to be service-connected (and therefore compensable or treatable under Federal veterans' benefits provisions) a disease or disability occurring in a Persian Gulf War veteran that: (1) the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines to have a positive association with exposure to a biological, chemical, or other toxic agent or environmental or wartime hazard (agent or hazard) associated with service in the southwest Asia theater of operations during the Persian Gulf War; and (2) becomes manifest in a Gulf War veteran within a period to be prescribed by the Secretary. Requires such presumption even though there is no record of evidence of such disease or disability in the veteran during the period of service. Provides the same presumption for diseases and disabilities determined to be positively associated with such service by reason of having a prevalence among Persian Gulf veterans greater than such prevalence among matched peers who are veterans or active duty servicemembers of the same era who were neither deployed nor vaccinated for deployment (and which becomes manifest within the prescribed period).
Requires the Secretary to make the above determinations based on sound medical and scientific evidence and within 60 days after receipt of reports submitted by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) as required under this Act.
(Sec. 3) Directs the Secretary to enter into an agreement under which NAS shall: (1) identify the agents or hazards to which Gulf War veterans may have been exposed; (2) identify the diseases that are manifest in such members; and (3) determine whether a disease occurs in a Persian Gulf veteran with a greater prevalence than in matched peers who were neither deployed nor vaccinated for deployment. Directs NAS to determine whether a statistical association exists between exposure to such agent or hazard and the disease, separately review potential treatment models and evolving technologies to identify such diseases, make recommendations for additional studies, perform subsequent reviews of available evidence and data, and report to the Secretary, the Secretary of Defense, and the veterans and defense committees (designated committees) concerning NAS activities under this Act.
Terminates requirements and activities under this Act ten years after NAS submits its first report.
Requires the Secretary to enter into an agreement with an alternative scientific organization if agreement cannot be reached with NAS.
(Sec. 4) Directs the Secretary to develop and implement a plan for the establishment and operation of a single computerized information database for the collection, storage, and analysis of information on diseases of, and treatment provided to, Gulf War veterans. Requires such plan to be submitted to the Secretary of Defense, NAS, and the designated committees. Directs NAS to evaluate and report on such plan. Requires the Secretary to: (1) continually compile and analyze all appropriate clinical data contained in the database; and (2) report annually, along with the Secretary of Defense, to the designated committees with respect to such data analysis.
(Sec. 5) Directs the Secretary to carry out a research program of the evolving technologies available to measure the exposure to certain agents or hazards associated with Gulf War service, as well as the diagnosis of diseases resulting from such exposure. Directs the Secretary and the Secretaries of Defense and Health and Human Services to jointly report to the designated committees on research results.
(Sec. 6) Directs the Secretary and the Secretary of Defense to carry out an ongoing program to provide Gulf War veterans with information relating to: (1) any health risks determined to be associated with Persian Gulf service; and (2) any services or benefits available with respect to such health risks.