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HEARINGS ON REVIEW OF THE HEALTH BENEFITS PROGRAM

OF THE ARMED FORCES

House of REPRESENTATIVES,

COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON SUPPLEMENTAL SERVICE BENEFITS,

Washington, D.C., Wednesday, December 3, 1969. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:12 a.m., in room 2212, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. James A. Byrne (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Mr. BYRNE. The committee will now come to order.

The Chair, on behalf of the committee, wishes to thank each and every one of you for coming here to help us solve some of these problems. With your help I believe we can do it.

I am going to ask Mr. Ford to read my statement because of my bad throat.

OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES A. BYRNE, CHAIRMAN OF

THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON SUPPLEMENTAL SERVICE BENEFITS

Mr. BYRNE. This committee was appointed by Chairman Rivers to review the supplemental benefits available to members of the uniformed services.

Today, the subcommittee begins its first hearings, a review of the health benefits program of the Armed Forces. In this hearing we shall review the overall health benefits programs of the Department of Defense, including care in uniformed service facilities and care provided by the private sector for servicemen and their dependents, retirees and their dependents, and dependents of deceased personnel.

DEPENDENT MEDICAL CARE

The Dependents Medical Care Act of 1956, drafted in this committee, established the legal basis for providing care for dependents of military personnel in civilian hospitals. In 1966, in Public Law 89–614, the Congress expanded the medical care benefits significantly. It increased the types of care available, principally by providing outpatient care from civilian doctors, and extended coverage by civilian sources to retirees and their dependents and dependents of deceased personnel. It is estimated that the amendments made by Public Law 89–614 increased the potential beneficiaries in the dependent medical care program from 3.9 million to 6.2 million people.

The expanded benefits for dependents of active duty personnel went into effect on October 1, 1966. Essentially the same benefits were extended to retirees and their dependents and dependents of deceased personnel on January 1, 1967.

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