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Title of Law:Veterans Benefits Act of 2003
Law #:Public Law 108-183
Passed by Congress:108th Congress (1st Session)

The following are excerpts, highlighted in red, from the final legislation and/or conference report which contain mentions of the National Academies, including studies. (Pound signs [##] between passages denote the deletion of unrelated text.)

HR2297 Smith, C. (R-N.J.) 11/20/03
Enrolled (finally passed both houses)

A bill to amend Title 38, United States Code, to modify and improve certain benefits for veterans, and for other purposes.
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SEC. 602. STUDY ON DISPOSITION OF AIR FORCE HEALTH STUDY.

(a) STUDY REQUIRED.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, in accordance with this section, carry out a study to determine the appropriate disposition of the Air Force Health Study, an epidemiologic study of Air Force personnel who were responsible for conducting aerial spray missions of herbicides during the Vietnam era.

(b) STUDY THROUGH NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES.—Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall seek to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences, or another appropriate scientific organization, to carry out the study required by subsection (a).

(c) ELEMENTS.—Under the study under subsection (a), the National Academy of Sciences, or other appropriate scientific organization, shall address the following:

(1) The scientific merit of retaining and maintaining the medical records, other study data, and laboratory specimens collected in the course of the Air Force Health Study after the currently-scheduled termination date of the study in 2006.

(2) Whether or not any obstacles exist to retaining and maintaining the medical records, other study data, and laboratory specimens referred to in paragraph (1), including privacy concerns.

(3) The advisability of providing independent oversight of the medical records, other study data, and laboratory specimens referred to in paragraph (1), and of any further study of such records, data, and specimens, and, if so, the mechanism for providing such oversight.

(4) The advisability of extending the Air Force Health Study, including the potential value and relevance of extending the study, the potential cost of extending the study, and the Federal or non-Federal entity best suited to continue the study if extended.

(5) The advisability of making the laboratory specimens of the Air Force Health Study available for independent research, including the potential value and relevance of such research, and the potential cost of such research.

(d) REPORT.—Not later than 120 days after entering into an agreement under subsection (b), the National Academy of Sciences, or other appropriate scientific organization, shall submit to the Secretary and Congress a report on the results of the study under subsection (a). The report shall include the results of the study, including the matters addressed under subsection (c), and such other recommendations as the Academy, or other appropriate scientific organization, considers appropriate as a result of the study.

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SEC. 603. FUNDING OF MEDICAL FOLLOW-UP AGENCY OF INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE OF NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES FOR EPIDEMIOLOGICAL RESEARCH ON MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES AND VETERANS.

(a) FUNDING.—(1) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Defense shall each make available to the National Academy of Sciences in each of fiscal years 2004 through 2013 the amount of $250,000 for the Medical Follow-Up Agency of the Institute of Medicine of the Academy for purposes of epidemiological research on members of the Armed Forces and veterans.

(2) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall make available amounts under paragraph (1) for a fiscal year from amounts available for the Department of Veterans Affairs for that fiscal year.

(3) The Secretary of Defense shall make available amounts under paragraph (1) for a fiscal year from amounts available for the Department of Defense for that fiscal year.

(b) USE OF FUNDS.—The Medical Follow-Up Agency shall use funds made available under subsection (a) for epidemiological research on members of the Armed Forces and veterans.

(c) SUPPLEMENT NOT SUPPLANT.—Amounts made available to the Medical Follow-Up Agency under this section for a fiscal year for the purposes referred to in subsection (b) are in addition to any other amount made available to the Agency for that fiscal year for those purposes.

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