A House Veterans Affairs panel voted Thursday to extend until the end of 1998 the VA’s obligation to provide hospital care and medical services on a priority basis to Gulf War veterans with ailments possibly resulting from service in the 1990-91 war.
The hospitals and health care subcommittee also moved to extend until the end of 1997 VA programs for alcohol and drug abuse, nursing home care alternatives and the homeless.
The Pentagon and the Veterans Affairs Department have stressed that they have been unable to find any single cause of the health problems, known as Gulf War syndrome, that have afflicted thousands of military personnel who served in conflict with Iraq. But they have also pledged medical care for all Gulf War veterans with health problems.
Many veterans have linked the illnesses to possible exposure to Iraqi chemical or biological agents or other chemical toxins.
Congress in 1993 passed legislation promising, until the end of 1995, priority medical care for Gulf War vets.