In today’s Federal Newscast, the Veterans Affairs Department releases its much anticipated community care standards, which lay out what veterans are allowed to get medical treatment from non-VA doctors.
The House will vote this week on a bill that would replenish the Veterans Choice Fund with an additional $2 billion. But to offset the costs, VA would continue to collect housing loan fees and would trim pensions for some veterans living in nursing facilities that are covered under Medicaid.
Veterans groups want a 10 percent overall budget increase for VA, more staffing and updated facilities to meet today’s healthcare needs.
Veterans groups are calling for an 8.3 percent increase in medical funding for the Veterans Health Administration and a 10 percent overall increase for the Department of Veterans Affairs next year. Carlos Fuentes, legislative director for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to provide details on ‘independent budget’ recommendations and others.
A new omnibus veterans package cleared the House Tuesday afternoon, but it doesn’t address three controversial issues that both veterans affairs committees and the VA Secretary himself have spent the past year debating. That leaves a fix for the outdated veterans appeals process, an alternative or solution to the Veterans Choice Program and new accountability procedures to the 115th Congress and next administration.
More veterans trust the department now than they did two years ago, the Veterans Affairs Department said in a new report detailing its progress on Secretary Bob McDonald’s myVA Transformation.
Service members with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury cannot separated be from the service without those conditions being taken into consideration, even in cases of misconduct.
The Senate is still debating whether it should overhaul current programs at the Veterans Affairs Department that give veterans access to private health care or revise certain pieces of it. At the same time, the VA said it’s close on finalizing a new appeals process, but the committee is concerned the VA’s plan does little to address the current backlog of 450,000 unresolved claims.
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) has introduced a bill to link the Veterans Affairs Department with private sector technology, in the hope of creating an opportunity for veterans to self-schedule medical appointments.
DoD opens its electronic medical records to VA claims processors for the first time. The goal is to shave days or weeks from the time it takes VA to decide disability claims for recently separated service members. But the launch of the system has had a few bugs.