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Round 2. Lets see how this one turns out.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dennishoddy, May 17, 2018.

  1. dennishoddy

    dennishoddy Sharpshooter

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    The House Wednesday passed by a vote of 372-70 major veterans legislation to extend and reform the Veterans Choice Program to allow more private care options.

    The "VA Mission Act," would also lift the restrictions on family caregiver benefits, which are now limited to post-9/11 veterans, and extend them to the caregivers of veterans of all eras.

    The bill will now go to the Senate, where Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and Sen. Jon Tester, the ranking member of the Committee, have already expressed their support.

    President Donald Trump has said he will sign the bill quickly when it reaches his desk.

    In a statement last week, the White House said the bill would "transform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) into a modern, high-performing, and integrated healthcare system that will ensure our veterans receive the best healthcare possible from the VA, whether delivered in the VA's own facilities or in the community."

    Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), which previously had expressed concerns that a rapid expansion of community care options could lead to the "privatization" of VA health care, had lined up to back the new bill.

    Denise Rohan, national commander of the two-million member American Legion, said in a statement that "I applaud the passage of the VA Mission Act." She said the bill "will streamline and fund the Department of Veterans Affairs' many community care programs" and also "expand caregiver benefits to pre-9/11 veterans and their families."

    Keith Harman, national commander of the 1.7 million member Veterans of Foreign Wars, said the bill "will help improve services throughout the VA health system while utilizing private sector resources when needed, striking the right balance to make sure we provide veterans with the best care possible."

    A similar bill offered last year by Isakson was left out of the omnibus $1.3 trillion spending package signed by Trump in February for all government agencies, forcing the House and Senate to begin anew on reforming choice.

    Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tennessee, the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee who was instrumental in gaining bipartisan support for the new legislation, said that "Over the last several months, we've taken great, bipartisan steps to reform the department, and this legislation is yet another strong step in the right direction."

    Roe said the provisions in the bill would keep "our promise to give veterans more choice in their health care while building on our strong investment in VA's internal capacity."

    The bill would authorize $5.2 billion to extend the current Veterans Choice Program, whose funding was set to expire on May 31, for one year while the VA enacts reforms to expand private care options.

    Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minnesota, the ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, voted against the bill.

    "There is little debate that the VA Mission Act is better than the current Veterans Choice Program," Walz said, but he questioned whether there would be sufficient funding in the long run to sustain it.

    "Voting against this bill is not something I take lightly," he said. "While I have serious concerns with regard to long term sustainability and implementation, the bill does take steps to consolidate VA's various care in the community programs while providing much needed stop gap funding for the ailing Veterans Choice Program."

    Former VA Secretary David Shulkin last year said that about one-third of VA medical appointments were being handled in the private sector, but the Trump administration had argued for more private care options for veterans who face long waits for appointments or have to travel long distances to VA facilities.

    https://www.military.com/daily-news...eterans-choice-program.html?ESRC=eb_180517.nl

    During the Obama Administration, they rolled out this program and it failed miserably.
    I got one of the choice cards as well as several of my friends that are veterans.
    They way it was supposed to work is if you lived more than 40 miles away from a VA facility you were eligible to go to a private practitioner for medical care and the VA would pay for it.
    The way it really worked is that you had to call the VA for each visit in advance to be approved for each visit, and then the VA never paid the practitioner, leaving the vet liable for the bill. I talked to the Doctors I went to and they never heard of the program. It was never rolled out to the medical community evidently to make them aware.
    Since I'm over a hundred miles from the nearest VA facility, it will be interesting to see how this roll out happens.
     
  2. C_Hallbert

    C_Hallbert Sharpshooter

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    I have a premonition that John McCain will cast the fatal vote.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    dennishoddy likes this.
  3. dennishoddy

    dennishoddy Sharpshooter

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    I admire that guy to no end for his war record, but his congressional record has been less than stellar for the party he aligns himself to.
    What he endured no human should ever have to experience.
     
    easy, rc508pir and RETOKSQUID like this.
  4. MacFromOK

    MacFromOK Sharpshooter

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    I totally agree. And I have a great respect for all veterans, including him.

    However... with a brain tumor (and its possible effect on decision making), I cannot fathom why he is not automatically disqualified from helping to shape our nation's future. :/
     
    easy and dennishoddy like this.
  5. John6185

    John6185 Sharpshooter

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    One cannot separate ethnic groups or veterans by making a certain group “special.” All veterans are special and all ethnic groups are special, I’m tired of preferential treatment given because a certain group is special.
     
    Rod Snell likes this.
  6. Cards81fan

    Cards81fan Sharpshooter

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    In a qualified way, I will say that I'm not sure why veterans are special either in regards to health care. Meaning... and maybe I'm being dense on the issue as I'm out of my insurance league talking health care, but why do we have to provide (or maybe even compel) veterans health care at all? Meaning, the government as the care provider. We don't provide it to other government employees, or civilian and retired military (who have tricare and/or other Military Health System options).

    Wouldn't we be better off to provide them health care coverage, and let veterans seek care in a more traditional insurer/insured/provider relationship?

    Why clog up VA health care providers when the private providers can serve the patients and bill for the services? The VHA may have made sense closer to 1865 but we're 150 beyond that now. Is there something I am missing or does it make too much sense for the government to effect such a system?
     

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