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Opening Statement of Hon. Ginny Brown-Waite, a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida

I want to thank Chairman Filner for holding this hearing today.

Everyone on this Committee is aware of the restriction imposed in 2003 upon the enrollment of new Category 8 veterans into the VA health care system.  While these individuals might be fortunate enough to have access to health care from other sources, there are instances where this policy is unfair and arbitrary.  In my district, I hear from countless veterans who want to know when this prohibition will end.  Some have been waiting for over four years for an opportunity to access VA care.  Unfortunately, we do not always have a clear answer for them. 

While I was not in Congress when the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Health Care Program Enhancement Act passed, I do recall the legislation was popular.  I look forward to hearing from the VA about its plans to address the needs of Category 8 veterans. 

Thank you.