HOUSE COMMITTEE ON

VETERANS' AFFAIRS

 

 

April 28. 2005 Hearing Room C

8:30 A.M.  Tapes 83 - 85

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Donna Nelson, Chair

Rep. Phil Barnhart, Vice-Chair

Rep. Brian Boquist

Rep. Scott Bruun

Rep. Dave Hunt

Rep. Betty Komp

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:            Rep. Debi Farr, Vice-Chair

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Jim Stembridge, Committee Administrator

Erin Seiler, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

Health Care Benefits for National Guard & Reserve Members & Their Families – Informational Meeting

HB 2737 – Work Session

HB 2847 – Work Session

HB 2862 – Work Session

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 83, A

001

Chair Nelson

Opens the meeting at 8:38 a.m. Open the informational meeting on Health Care Benefits for National Guard & Reserve Members & Their Families.

HEALTH CARE BENEFITS FOR NATIONAL GUARD &  RESERVE MEMBERS & THEIR FAMILIES – INFORMATIONAL MEETING

055

Rear Admiral  James Johnson

Regional Director, TRICARE Regional Office West. Submits and summarizes written testimony on health care benefits for National Guard and Reserve Members (EXHIBIT A).

151

Johnson

Submits TRICARE Regional Office West PowerPoint presentation (EXHIBIT B)

155

Johnson

Explains TRICARE Health Care programs (EXHIBIT B, Pages 3 -5).

197

Rep. Nelson

Asks how the TRICARE health care program “meshes” with Oregon Veterans’ Administration Medical facilities.

205

Johnson

Explains TRICARE Northwest Hub support services in Oregon (EXHIBIT B, Page 6).

270

Rep. Nelson

Addresses the need to increase advertising and marketing of veterans’ health care services and benefits.

275

Johnson

Speaks to efforts of TRICARE to provide information to veterans’ about available health care benefits.

292

Rep. Nelson

Asks if TRICARE has a public relations budget to market program in Oregon.

317

Johnson

Identifies where the Prime Service Areas are in Oregon and the areas in Oregon where provider availability is inadequate (EXHIBIT B, Pages 7 -9).

361

Rep. Boquist

Asks why it is a challenge to get providers in the Pendleton Area.

370

Johnson

Addresses why the Pendleton and Bend area have challenges with getting TRICARE network providers.

TAPE 84, A

037

Rep. Barnhart

Points out that Medicare reimbursement rates are “incredibly inadequate” and suggests that TRICARE attempt to differentiate their reimbursement rates from Medicare rates in order to improve provider retention.

059

Johnson

Comments on the difficulty of recruiting and retaining network providers because of low reimbursement rates.

083

Chair Nelson

Explains why veterans have limited access to medical treatment in Oregon.

115

Johnson

Speaks to Congressional oversight of military medical facility and Veterans’ Administration medical facilities.

170

Johnson

Explains CHAMPUS Maximum Allowable Charge rates (EXHIBIT B, Page 10).

205

Johnson

Speaks to TRICARE mental health parity (EXHIBIT B, Page 11).

239

Johnson

Explains TRICARE Prime Benefit Program (EXHIBIT B, Page 12).

325

Johnson

Addresses Congressional efforts to increase Reserve Component Health Care Benefits (EXHIBIT B, Pages 13- 14).

TAPE 83, B

001

Johnson

Explains the Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP) (EXHIBIT B, Page 15).

015

Johnson

Explains the TRICARE Reserve Select Benefit (EXHIBIT B, Pages 16 – 18).

046

Rep. Boquist

Asks what the purpose is of TRICARE Reserve Select Benefit and if there are alternative health care benefit options.

060

Johnson

Explains why Congress developed the TRICARE Reserve Select Benefit Program.

108

Rep. Hunt

Inquires as to who has the authority to amend eligibility requirements for TRICARE Prime Benefits.

120

Johnson

States that eligibility is Congressionally mandated.

124

Rep. Boquist

Asks how to ensure that Reservists are all registered and eligible for health care benefits before leaving active duty.

130

Johnson

Explains TAMP coverage and TRICARE Outreach Programs (EXHIBIT B, Pages 19 - 20).

161

Johnson

Addresses how health care benefits for Reservists used to be administered.

209

Chair Nelson

Closes the informational meeting on Health Care Benefits for National Guard & Reserve Members & Their Families.

220

Chair Nelson

Recesses meeting at 9:50 a.m.

221

Chair Nelson

Reconvenes the meeting at 10:00 a.m.

223

Chair Nelson

Opens the work session on HB 2737.

HB 2737 – WORK SESSION

225

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Explains HB 2737, which creates Oregon Military Family Relief Program in Oregon Military Department. Submits -1 amendments (EXHIBIT C).

245

Rep. Barnhart

Explains the changes made by –1 amendments.

289

Colonel Mike Caldwell

Deputy Director, Oregon Military Department. Confirms that the language in –1 amendments is accurate.

311

Chair Nelson

Questions whether the amendment adequately resolves issues of residence and legal dependent status.

320

Rep. Boquist

Verifies that a legal dependent can be whomever the soldier designates.

352

Chair Nelson

Asks what language should be used regarding legal dependent status.

375

Caldwell

Suggests language relating to the recognition of a soldiers’ legal dependents and how to establish eligibility for soldiers who are members of the Oregon National Guard but do not reside in Oregon.

408

Rep. Barnhart

Clarifies the difference in residency status of Oregon National Guard and Oregon Reservists in the Armed Forces who do not reside in Oregon.

TAPE 84, B

012

Rep. Komp

Points out difficulties in getting another amendment before committees close.

016

Rep. Boquist

Expresses how important it is to establish “at least one” of the proposed military relief funds.

022

Mac MacDonald

Representatives, Veterans’ Organizations. Suggests additional amendments to HB 2737.

065

Rep. Barnhart

Suggests adopting -1 amendments and moving HB 2737 to House Revenue far further amendments.

083

Chair Nelson

Opens the work session on HB 2847.

HB 2847 – WORK SESSION

085

Jim Stembridge

Explains HB 2847, which requires that Oregon Veterans’ Home Account be permanently listed on individual tax return form for charitable contribution purpose. Submits -1 amendments (EXHIBIT D).

102

Rep. Barnhart

Asks if the amendment replaces the $50,000 dollar requirement.

111

Stembridge

Summarizes -1 amendments. 

127

Rep. Barnhart

Points out what language is removed from HB 2847 by -1 amendments.

136

Rep. Barnhart

Restates the importance of sending the bills to House Revenue.

147

Chair Nelson

States why HB 2737 and HB 2847 will remain in committee until each is amended correctly.

204

Chair Nelson

Closes the work sessions on HB 2737 and HB 2847.

208

Chair Nelson

Opens the work session on HB 2862.

HB 2862 – WORK SESSION

214

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator. Explains HB 2862, which directs public post-secondary education institutions to award credit for education and training obtained while serving in Armed Forces of United States. Submits and summarizes -1 amendments (EXHIBIT E). Submits and summarizes -2 amendments (EXHIBIT F).

247

Rep. Bruun

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT HB 2862-2 amendments dated 04/25/05.

253

Rep. Barnhart

Explains why there needs to be parallel language for universities and community colleges.

284

Rep. Barnhart

Explains why -1 amendments are necessary and -2 amendments are unnecessary.

304

Julie Suchanek

Government Relations Specialist, Oregon Community College Association (OCCA). Explains why OCCA requested and supports the adoption of -2 amendments.

330

Rep. Barnhart

Asks if it is the position of OCCA that community colleges should not be required to give credit for education and training, even if all program requirements are met.

346

Suchanek

Explains how OCCA interprets -1 amendments as usurping the policy control of local community college boards.

365

Rep. Barnhart

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT HB 2862-1 amendments dated 04/25/05.

370

Chair Nelson

Clarifies how HB 2862 would be changed by -2 amendments.

380

Rep. Barnhart

Restates why -2 amendments are “not necessary” since universities and community colleges already have complete control over transfer credit.

385

Suchanek

Explains how -2 amendments recognize the different governing structures of community colleges and universities. 

399

Suchanek

Restates why OCCA supports -2 amendments.

TAPE 85, A

005

Rep. Komp

Asks if Oregon University Systems (OUS) or Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) have commented on HB 2862.

010

Stembridge

States that institutions governed by OUS already award credit using guidelines provided by American Counsel of Education.   

026

Rep. Komp

States hesitance to take action on HB 2862 because of existing problems within OUS of transferring credits between community colleges and universities.

040

Rep. Barnhart

Disagrees with the analysis that HB 2862 affects the transfer of any credits within OUS.

050

Rep. Boquist

Agrees with Rep. Komps’ interpretation of HB 2862 because Chancellor’s Office would be directed to establish system wide guidelines for transferring credits.

059

Chair Nelson

Points out that OUS did agree to draft the necessary rules.

064

Rep. Bruun

Withdraws motion to adopt -2 amendments.

068

Chair Nelson

Closes the work session on HB 2862.

078

Chair Nelson

Adjourns the meeting at 10:46 a.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. Health Care Benefits for National Guard & Reserve Members & Their Families, written testimony, Rear Admiral James Johnson, 5 pp
  2. Health Care Benefits for National Guard & Reserve Members & Their Families, TRICARE Regional Office West PowerPoint Presentation, Rear Admiral James  Johnson, 21 pp
  3. HB 2737, -1 amendments, staff, 1 p
  4. HB 2847, -1 amendments, staff, 2 pp
  5. HB 2862, -1 amendments, staff, 1 p
  6. HB 2862, -2 amendments, staff, 1 p