Veteran Appeals Bill Making Its Way Through Congress

In the last session of Congress, appeals reform legislation was introduced but not passed; now the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 has cleared critical hurdles in both the House and Senate and is well on its way to overhauling the current process for veterans appeals at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2uNXcy1

Read More »

How a Government Shutdown Could Affect Troops, Veterans and Their Families

Congress has until midnight Friday to pass a budget to fund federal programs through the rest of Fiscal Year 2017 before portions of the government begin shutting down on Saturday.  The continuing resolution that’s keeping many government programs funded will expire on April 28th.  That means lawmakers have to agree on a budget deal before then to keep things running through the remaining five months of the fiscal year.  How would a shutdown affect troops, veterans and their families?

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2oKG7xo

Read More »

Veterans Access to Privatized Health Care Extended

President Trump signed into law an extension of the Veterans Affairs Choice Card program on Wednesday, the precursor to a planned massive overhaul of the initiative later this year. The Choice Card program, created by Congress in the wake of VA’s 2014 wait time problems, is one of several programs for veterans to seek medical care outside VA medical centers. Veterans who face lengthy wait times for medical appointments or live more than 40 miles from VA facilities can use the available funds to seek …

Read More »

New VA Choice Program to be Unveiled by Fall

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said he hopes to have a replacement for the controversial Choice Card program before Congress by this fall, a move that would give lawmakers just a few months of debate before the current program runs out.  President Trump is scheduled to sign legislation extending the Choice program past August until the end of 2017, when funding for those services are expected to run out.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2nMNRDl

Read More »

Putting Veterans Healthcare “Choice” in Context

Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and other veteran organizations have emphasized that decisions about how to strengthen and reform the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system need to be addressed by Congress this year. Central to that debate will be designing a system that creates new options for veterans who currently have access challenges, while not reducing access or quality for vets who rely on the VA for most or all of their care. Veteran healthcare “choice” options are a key factor that need to be …

Read More »

Partnership to Help Influence Veteran Issues in Congress

Every day, lawmakers in Washington, D.C. make decisions on important issues impacting the health and welfare of veterans, yet only 18.7 percent of Congress and 1 percent of their staff members have served in the military.  HillVets and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) have partnered in a program that will bring more vets to Capitol Hill through a fellowship program.  Having staff members who served in the military and understand how policy and legislation will affect veterans can provide valuable insight for lawmakers.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2ks0s9u

Read More »

Veterans Affairs Is Allowed Exemptions From Federal Hiring Freeze

House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairmen sent a joint letter to President Trump regarding the Federal hiring freeze, saying that one of our government’s highest priorities is to provide timely, high-quality care to the men and women who have bravely served our nation in uniform, and that a robust clinical workforce is vital to achieving that goal. Subsequently, the Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary announced that the VA has exemptions to the hiring freeze that enable VA to fill essential positions and ensure that veterans …

Read More »

Congressional Bills to Boost Veterans

Members of the 115th Congress began introducing a deluge of legislation regarding veterans, including bills aimed at extending benefits to Blue Water Navy veterans, revoking bonuses paid to VA employees, and expanding the rules of concurrent receipt of retired and VA disability pay.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2iHNd7u

Read More »

Long List of Agent Orange Decisions Awaits VA in 2017

In 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs faces an array of decisions related to the herbicide Agent Orange, which contained the toxic chemical dioxin and was used to kill vegetation during the Vietnam War.  The VA must decide whether to add new diseases to its list of conditions presumed to be linked to Agent Orange. It also faces calls to compensate naval veterans and veterans who served along the Korean demilitarized  zone .  Additionally, Congress passed a bill requiring VA to pay for analysis of …

Read More »

Coming TRICARE Changes That May Affect You

Some changes are coming over the next few years that will affect roughly 1.5 million retired military and survivor beneficiaries who get their health care under TRICARE Standard.  

Read more:  http://bit.ly/2hUcszQ

Read More »