Email Alert – 31 July 2014: House passes $17 billion emergency funding bill for VA

The House overwhelmingly passed a $17 billion emergency bill Wednesday that brings comprehensive reform of the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system one step closer to reality.  The vote was 450 for the bill, and 5 against it. Now, the VA reform bill faces the Senate, where it must pass a floor vote before becoming law.

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Email Alert: 30 July 2014: VA Reform Bill To Get Vote This Week

The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs committees on Monday unveiled plans for a $17 billion compromise VA reform bill that funds the hiring of more clinicians, expands private care options and makes it easier to fire Veterans Affairs Department executives.  The deal, if approved later this week, gives lawmakers a surprising success story to take back to their home districts as Congress begins its extended, pre-election legislative break.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1lOVrkr

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Email Alert – 28 July 2014: House and Senate Negotiators Agree to Compromise on Plan to Fix VA Health System

The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have scheduled a news conference Monday afternoon to unveil a plan expected to authorize billions in emergency spending to lease 27 new clinics, hire more doctors and nurses and make it easier for veterans who can’t get prompt appointments with VA doctors to obtain outside care.

Read more at: http://apne.ws/1rKRKnn

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Email Alert – 25 July 2014: Women Veterans Tell Inspiring Stories

“Unbroken Soliders” is a series of short video productions highlighting veterans and their motivational stories.  The first of the series features videos of three women veterans. All three are a testament to the courage and strength of injured veterans returning home and rebuilding their lives.
See the inspiring videos at: http://bit.ly/Wr6ieJ

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Email Alert – 23 July 2014: How to Stop Burn Pits From Becoming the Next Agent Orange

As veterans complain of health impacts from toxic fumes, advocates warn that burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan may be the source of another health-damaging exposure like Agent Orange. Some bases in Iraq and Afghanistan burned as much as 240 tons of trash a day in an open pit. A new VA website allows anyone who believes he or she was exposed to fumes from trash burned in those pits, or to other toxins — such as metal, bacteria or particulate matter, inhaled with the dust …

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Email Alert – 21 July 2014: New VA Funding Request Mirrors Predicted Budget Shortfall

Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson requested $17.6 billion in new funding for the department at a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday, almost directly on par with the figures DAV and other authors of the Independent Budget (IB) have estimated as shortfalls in the VA budget.  The request breaks down to roughly $6 billion annually over the next three years.

Gibson noted the funding would be used to hire 10,000 clinical health staff and pay for medical equipment, renovate hospitals and repair clinics to expand usable …

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Email Alert – 18 July 2014: VA Rejects Link Between Gulf War Service and Some Cancers

The Department of Veterans Affairs has rejected a request from members of Congress and veterans advocates to make brain cancer, lung cancer and migraines presumptive conditions for Gulf War veterans.  Officials said they cannot prove the high rate of these illnesses among Gulf War vets are related to military service.  Although Gulf War veterans already have presumptive status for numerous other conditions, data recently released by the VA show that 80% of disability claims filed by Gulf War vets for conditions related to the war …

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Email Alert – 16 July 2014: Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and Ship Accountability Acts

Susie Novis, President of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), has encouraged  Congressional Representatives to support the following bills relevant to Navy and Marine Corps Vietnam veterans:  H.R. 543, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, and H.R.1494, the Blue Water Navy Ship Accountability Act.  These important bills will ensure that sailors and marines who were exposed to Agent Orange while operating on Navy vessels in the territorial waters of Vietnam during the Vietnam War will receive healthcare coverage and compensation.  Agent Orange is a carcinogen …

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Email Alert – 14 July 2014: VA Nominee Bob McDonald Pledges More Effective Agency

In his introduction at VA headquarters, Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Bob McDonald said his priority in leading the department will be to create “a VA that is more effective, more efficient, and that truly puts our veterans first.  At the VA, the veteran is our customer, and we must all focus — all day, every day — on getting them the benefits and the care that they’ve so earned,” he told a crowd of VA employees and veterans advocates.  “That’s the only reason we’re here.” …

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Email Alert – 11 July 2014: Veterans Warned About Fraudulent Pension Scams

Veterans are being warned about fraudulent offers of help in qualifying for benefits through the Veterans Pension Program.  Examples of such scams include organizations that call veterans and offer to help with their VA pension claim for a fee, and people who charge thousands of dollars in advance to represent vets before the VA.

Read more at:  http://www.dav.org/learn-more/news/2014/pension-scams-bilk-veterans-va/

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