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  • VVA Women Veterans Committee: Meet the National Committee
    Household Goods Donation VHC VSF Links Sponsors Membership Membership Brochure Join VVA Renew Your Membership Locate Your Local Chapter Membership Services Benefits Locate A Service Officer Benefits Update Benefits Guides Government Affairs Legislative Agenda VVA Testimony Legislative Action Center Government Affairs Update Public Relations VVA Publications Current Press Releases Public Service Announcements Logos Media Request Sign Up Events National Convention Leadership Conference Other National Events State Council Meetings E Room Reservations Directions To Our Office Publications The VVA Veteran VVA Publications Advertising Kit Forms Agent Orange Who We Are National Committee Members Meeting Minutes October 2014 April 2014 October 2013 April 2013 January 2013 VVA Resolutions Convention Resolutions LINKS REsource Sites AARP Foundation Women s Scholarship Program About The War Military Homefront National Association of State Women Veteran Coordinators VA Women Veteran s Research Page Women Entrepreneurs VA Center for Women Veterans VBA Survivor Benefits Web Site Vietnam Women s Memorial Foundation Women In Military Service for America Women In Vietnam Special Poster Remembering the Women Who Served 10th Anniversary Commemorative Poster of the Women s Memorial Download the poster in PDF format Meet the National Committee Chair Kate O Hare Palmer Vice Chair Pattie Dumin Committee Members Sandy Miller

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/Committees/WomenVeterans/committeeMembers.htm (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA Women Veterans Committee: Links to Other Sites
    VVA Veteran VVA Publications Advertising Kit Forms Agent Orange Who We Are National Committee Members Meeting Minutes October 2014 April 2014 October 2013 April 2013 January 2013 VVA Resolutions Convention Resolutions LINKS REsource Sites AARP Foundation Women s Scholarship Program About The War Military Homefront National Association of State Women Veteran Coordinators VA Women Veteran s Research Page Women Entrepreneurs VA Center for Women Veterans VBA Survivor Benefits Web Site Vietnam Women s Memorial Foundation Women In Military Service for America Women In Vietnam Special Poster Remembering the Women Who Served 10th Anniversary Commemorative Poster of the Women s Memorial Download the poster in PDF format Links To Other Sites Vietnam Veterans of America is not responsible for information posted on other web sites The following hyperlinks are provided only as a courtesy to our visitors and their contents may not reflect the views of Vietnam Veterans of America Women Veterans and the War Vietnam Womens Memorial Project The Vietnam Womens Memorial vietvet org Unarmed and under fire An oral history of female Vietnam vets Salon 1999 American Women Who Died in the Vietnam War American Women Who Died in the Vietnam War Virtual Wall The Center for Women Veterans

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/Committees/WomenVeterans/links.htm (2016-02-15)
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  • Government Affairs
    for the allocation of FY2009 funds by Medical Center and by Veterans Integrated Service Network VISN as well as a similar breakdown of the FY2008 allocation for comparison purposes We received the FY2008 figures about five weeks later VA told us they did not know where the money was and could not tell us until December or about 60 to 80 days after the end of FY2009 We have yet to receive the figures for FY2009 The reason this issue came up is that we have yet to hear from any VA Medical Center in the country that they received more than a 3 percent increase from FY2008 to FY2009 Many said they only received a 1 percent increase which is effectively a cut Overall the VHA received an increase of 11 9 percent from FY 2008 to FY 2009 So where is the money Where did it go This is not just a theoretical argument that engages people inside the Beltway It means that veterans are told there is no money for an additional PTSD counselor to do outreach to Fort Drum in upstate New York the home of the 10th Mountain Division which has seen some of the bloodiest combat in Iraq and Afghanistan It means that vacancies have not been filled in desperately needed specialty positions to treat diabetes at a Medical Center in the southern United States and that many other needs of veterans are going unfulfilled because the money is not getting to where it is needed So where is the money VVA looks forward to finding out We will work with our friends in the Congress such as Rep Chet Edwards D Texas to demand much more accountability from the VA in how and where the additional resources we fight for are being spent As the old adage says if you want to get to the bottom of things and find out what is really going on Follow the money VA TO GET 135 BILLION IN BUDGET LEGISLATION A House Senate conference committee agreed to allocate 134 6 billion including 53 billion in discretionary budget authority for the Department of Veterans Affairs and 56 6 billion in mandatory authority for the VA And for the first time budget legislation provides advanced appropriations for veterans medical accounts allocating a minimum of 48 2 billion in discretionary spending for veterans health care for FY 2011 to ensure a stable and uninterrupted source of funding This represents a hard fought and long sought victory for veterans for VVA and for our colleagues in other VSOs The emphasis now shifts to encouraging Congress to hold the VA accountable for how it spends every dime We have long held that accountability goes hand in hand with the increased funding that the VA healthcare accounts have needed VVA also expects to push the VA to do a far better job of outreach than it currently does and historically has done Far too many veterans and we don t mean only

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/govt_affairs.html (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA Legislative Coordinators
    Goods Donation VHC VSF Links Sponsors Membership Membership Brochure Join VVA Renew Your Membership Locate Your Local Chapter Membership Services Benefits Locate A Service Officer Benefits Update Benefits Guides Government Affairs Legislative Agenda VVA Testimony Legislative Action Center Government Affairs Update Public Relations VVA Publications Current Press Releases Public Service Announcements Logos Media Request Sign Up Events National Convention Leadership Conference Other National Events State Council Meetings E Room Reservations Directions To Our Office Publications The VVA Veteran VVA Publications Advertising Kit Forms Agent Orange Site Map Join VVA Agent Orange Other Toxic Exposures PTSD Locate Your Local VVA Chapter Personality Disorder Discharges Chaplains Corner CSCP Contact VVA PARTNER SITES PUBLICATIONS Related Links VVA Legislative Coordinators Grassroots Lobbying Your Responsibility Visiting Your Legislator Writing Your Legislator VVA Legislative Coordinators Making a Difference in Veterans Policy Making VVA s Legislative Coordinator Network works with elected leaders to make all levels of government more effective in meeting the needs of veterans and their families If you are interested in becoming a VVA Legislative Coordinator please call 301 585 4000 ext 111 HOW YOU CAN INFLUENCE LEGISLATION There s a lot you can do and the only pull you need is your own

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/coordinators.html (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA Testimony
    all grades While the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act of 1998 VEOA strengthened veterans preference in many ways it is now way past time to correct a number of flaws in the VEOA The statute made it a prohibited personnel practice to violate the rights of a veterans preference eligible person First among those flaws is that the word knowingly was slipped into the law before violate a person s veterans preference rights This has enabled those same SES folks to avoid punishing managers and supervisors for the past fourteen years Frankly if a manager or supervisor does not know veterans preference laws by the time he or she gets into a position of authority then they should be removed and dismissal proceedings started for either misfeasance and or incompetence Incidentally the word knowingly does not appear in the language that defines all other prohibited personnel practices only in the veterans preference clause It is also time to admit that the Senior Executive Service SES is a failure that has not met any of the supposed goals of the program that were used to justify exempting SES from veterans preference laws As it has played out at the VA at DOD and at other departments and agencies this exemption has enabled Jody those who avoided the draft or enlistment to serve our country in the armed forces to make sure that there are very few veterans or surviving spouses in SES positions There is a generally patronizing attitude toward veterans that has been allowed to flourish in many quarters of the federal government Even as the size of the federal workforce shrinks these outrageous abuses must end I would be remiss if I did not note that the current Administration has tried very hard to increase the hiring of veterans and the use of tools for agencies to increase the employment of veterans particularly disabled veterans There has as perhaps you might come to expect a great deal of lip service and passive resistance from the careerists It has however resulted in some gains for veterans but we must not only keep the pressure on them to do better but also move to strengthen the law Frankly there are very few things that you can do to really assist veterans particularly disabled veterans and dramatically improve their lives while also strengthening the effectiveness of the Federal work force that do not cost money in a time of both real and perceived austerity Making the veterans preference laws stronger is one of those few no cost things you have the latitude to accomplish even in a tough year which can really improve the lives of disabled veterans VVA urges you and your colleagues to seize this moment of opportunity and act with alacrity and determination H R 4048 Improving Contracting Opportunities for Veteran Owned Small Businesses Act of 2012 introduced by Representative Bill Johnson R OH would amend title 38 United States Code to clarify the contracting goals and preferences of the VA with respect to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans This legislation can be read in two very different ways with very different consequences 1 that the Federal Supply Schedule FSS and the misnomered strategic sourcing initiative which is not based on any statute we can locate and which has less than nothing to do with national security has precedence over small business in general and service disabled veteran owned small business Vets First provisions of law in particular or 2 that Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses SDVOSBs and Veteran Owned Small Businesses VOSBs who are on the delegated from the General Services Agency Federal Supply Schedules shall have preference over all others on the VA run FSS If the intent is the second meaning then VVA can enthusiastically support this proposed law If however the intent is to let the VA continue to ignore much of small business law that has been on the books for years and to ignore the Vets First contracting provisions of Title 38 then VVA must rigorously oppose this legislation The Veterans Entrepreneurship Task Force VET Force will also vigorously oppose this legislation if that is the case As there was no summary on thomas loc gov that made clear the intent of HR 4048 and there were no remarks upon introduction that we could locate the bill as written leaves us in a bit of a quandary If we are in a quandary as to what was intended we can only speculate and marvel at the mess the VA General Counsel s office never mind the Acquisitions people will make of this proposal should it become law as currently worded with no clear and unequivocal committee report We urge that this be re written and expanded for clarity and a clear committee report be written no matter which way the committee decides to proceed H R 4051 TAP Modernization Act of 2012 introduced by Representative Marlin A Stutzman R IN would direct the Secretary of Labor to provide off base transition training The Transition Assistance Program TAP has needed a significant overhaul for some time The common vernacular description of the TAP program as it exists on military bases today is death by power point Many of those slides in the standard presentation date back to when some of the separating service members were in elementary school What is particularly needed is not only an up to date and interactive experience that will engage those separating but also to deliver this program to those who are members of the National Guard and the Reserves demobilizing and are nowhere near a military base where this program is currently offered It is also true for many of the active duty service members when they separate from the service and return home that they are not near a military base that offers TAP Reportedly this is the most rural Armed Forces we have fielded since World War I with about 40 coming from towns of 25 000 or less What this means is that we must alter our paradigm and shape these very important services in such a way that the service s and vital information for these veterans and their spouses can be delivered where the new veterans can seize this opportunity and in such a manner that they will grasp this important set of services and information Our nation spends a great deal of time and treasure to train these young Americans to be effective soldiers sailors Marines and members of the Air Force and Coast Guard This prepares them to be not only the best trained and equipped armed forces in the world but the best in the history of the world Surely we can spend the time and resources to train these young Americans to successfully reintegrate into civilian life VVA does favor enactment of this legislation at an early date but urges that you and your colleagues consider speeding up the pilot to a much faster pace than three years in only five states The services are needed now not in the distant future H R 4057 Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2012 introduced by Representative Gus M Bilirakis R FL would amend title 38 United States Code to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to develop a comprehensive policy to improve outreach and transparency to veterans and members of the Armed Forces through the provision of information on institutions of higher learning VVA commends Congressman Bilirakis for continuing the tradition in his family of bold advocacy for the men and women who have pledged their life and limb in defense of the Constitution VVA favors enactment of this proposed legislation but we strongly urge that it be strengthened Let me be blunt VVA has good reason to believe that some predatory for profit schools set out to enrich themselves and their investors by taking the hard earned GI Bill for the 21st Century dollars and then arranging easy financing of additional costs from what turns out to be a finance company owned by the same investors that locks these brave young people into a debt structure that is a heavy burden at exorbitant if not usurious in the biblical sense Then it is only after wasting time and all of their benefits that these veterans discover that the schools are not really properly accredited that their degrees are phony and worthless as said credentials are not accepted by employers or licensing agencies or graduate schools In the most extreme of these cases the future has literally been stolen from these veterans These predators are practicing Stolen Valor in the extreme Let me state that VVA does not believe that all distance learning is bad nor that being a for profit school inherently means that the school can t offer fair value for a fair price They can but the predatory for profit schools do not We ask that you take into account these considerations Basic Eligibility Threshold No GI Bill or TA dollars if the graduate is not eligible to get licensed in that field In the Military and Veteran Students Educational Bill of Rights one provision is If receiving a degree or certificate will fulfill the licensing requirements in a particular field As our friend and colleague Ted Daywalt founder and president of VetJobs always says a program s graduates must be eligible for state licensing so that graduates can actually get a job in the area they studied for for example a nursing program must be approved so that its graduates can be licensed to practice nursing You could also suggest basic eligibility thresholds for graduation and job placement rates such as no GI Bill dollars if a school has a terrible graduation or job placement rate Risk Based Audits and Reviews Senator Webb is proposing a risk based review system where State Approving Agencies would be tasked with performing an audit if one of these triggers occurred rapid GI enrollment student complaints high drop out rates high loan default rates or legal action by a state or the feds against a particular college To quote from the Military and Veteran Students Educational Bill of Rights Review any institution that shows a rapid increase in student dropout rates or student loan defaults an increase in student complaints a state lawsuit or probation etc VA and DoD should decertify or terminate from TA and GI Bill eligibility any institution of higher education that has been put on probation or terminated by a state government from its student aid program has been found by a government agency to have engaged in grossly deceptive recruiting practices or has admitted fraud or been successfully sued for fraud VA and DoD should share information with the Departments of Education and Justice and communicate information on adverse findings by those agencies with the State Approving Agencies for institutions that may require additional inspections or remedial action Data Collection Student Disclosures and Reporting Here s the applicable paragraph from the Educational Bill of Rights Track the data on school performance and student outcomes under Tuition Assistance Montgomery and Post 9 11 GI Bills and Top Up Currently DOD and VA track dollars out the door but not what those dollars have bought No agency is currently tracking even dollars out the door under Top Up At a minimum DOD and VA should track the number of credits earned and whether students remain enrolled have successfully completed a program or have dropped out Metrics should be regularly reported to Congress Disclosures You ve got a serious list in the attached Educational Bill of Rights Disclose relevant educational and financial information to DoD VA and to prospective students in plain language and in easily accessible obvious places on all materials and websites The actual costs per credit hour and or degree or other relevant measures including all lab and student fees Whether or not credits are transferrable to that state s public universities and community colleges If receiving a degree or certificate will fulfill licensing requirements in a particular field If the institution of higher learning IHL has been accredited by what national and or regional accrediting entity That programs of study have been approved for GI Bill benefits by a State Approving Agency Whether the institution is a public private non profit or private for profit institution and if it is a for profit entity it should be required to disclose its profitability executive compensation and shareholder return annually and semi annually as well as what percent of its budget goes to marketing and recruitment to career placement and to actual instruction What the overall graduation and job placement rates have been for the past five years as well as in the specific field of study in which a prospective student is considering majoring What the dropout rates have been over the past five years The student debt and default rates on loans at one year two years and three years after a student has graduated or has otherwise left the school Whether the college has dedicated support staff to assist students negotiate the educational terrain especially support staff for military veterans and military families in particular disabled veterans it s one thing to get into a school it s quite another to attain a degree while juggling family and work and studies and whether or not the college has certified counselors available to assist students seek scholarships and other forms of financial aid The qualification level of the teaching and tutoring staff e g what percentage of instructors have achieved a terminal degree in their field of discipline Whether or not the school has a career placement office with paid dedicated staff to assist students in their job search upon graduation or in the case of online institutions what is the availability of career placement services for students and alumni What percentage of the institution s budget is spent on advertising marketing recruitment commissions and sales how much has been taken as profit over an institution s past five fiscal years and the total annual individual executive compensation package for the senior corporate or college staff over the past years as well as shareholder returns quarterly and annually over the same period H R 4072 Consolidating Veteran Employment Services for Improved Performance Act of 2012 introduced by Representative Jeff Miller FL 1 would amend title 38 United States Code to improve employment services for veterans by consolidating various programs in the Department of Veterans Affairs VVA supports the part of this bill that would create the position of Deputy Undersecretary of VA for Veterans Employment and Economic Opportunities and move the DOL Veterans Employment and Training Service VETS to VA While this begs the question as to the lack of accountability of the state workforce development agencies in regard to the proper deployment of the veterans personnel to work on assisting veterans especially disabled veterans to obtain and sustain meaningful employment at a living wage it is at least a start in the right direction VVA still strongly believes that all of the veterans staff positions currently known as Disabled Veteran Outreach Program specialists DVOPs and Local Veteran Employment Representatives LVERs that are currently state employees should be federalized VVA holds that this is necessary because there is presently no effective oversight of how the states are utilizing these personnel Experience would suggest however that we are lucky if we are able to get the equivalent of one day a week of these half time LVERs and DVOPs devoted to veterans At minimum VVA strongly urges you to authorize only full time positions as veterans personnel and ensure that there is a meaningful oversight system to ensure veterans get their money s worth of effort from each full time position funded by DOL to serve only veterans Lastly we need more meaningful objective measures than the current mass scale manifestation of the post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy We need real placements not the current phony system However VVA opposes the part of this bill that would move the HVRP grant program from DOL to the VA per VVA 2011 National Convention resolution HV 7 Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program to Remain at the US Department of Labor DOL and be fully funded at 5 0M resolved that Vietnam Veterans of America opposes the transition of the HVRP Program from the US Department of Labor and further that DOL should be held accountable for this program s function oversight and performance Additionally VVA urges full funding to the authorized level for the HVRP program As noted above the key issue here is that the very effective CBOs and faith based organizations FBOs which operate on a very close margin need the HVRP funds from DOL to serve as match funds in order to receive Grant Per Diem funds from VA Frankly these CBOs and FBOs produce effective services to very poor and homeless veterans at much less cost than government can get the job done Veterans tend to trust them more than the VA or other government agencies when beginning the process of trekking the long road back from the street to a productive role in society If this match problem can be surmounted then VVA would reconsider this position Many thanks for the opportunity to appear here today to share the views of VVA Appendix I MILITARY VETERAN STUDENTS EDUCATIONAL BILL OF RIGHTS The VSOs and MSOs indicated below urge the Administration to establish an interagency working group from among the Departments of Defense Veterans Affairs Education and Justice to develop appropriate protocols to protect active duty service members reservists and members of the National Guard veterans and family members who seek to use their GI Bill and Tuition Assistance benefits to pursue higher education from unethical and predatory institutions of higher learning Several of our ideas on reining in the abuses that we know have been

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/testimony/2012/030812.html (2016-02-15)
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  • RATING THE RATING SCHEDULE- THE STATE OF VA DISABILITY RATINGS IN THE 21ST CENTURY
    routinely do not provide adequate training materials or time to examining clinicians to let them do their job correctly in performing C P exams An excellent example is the Best Practices Manual for Adjudication of PTSD Claims VA examiners should be trained in these Best Practices and given sufficient time by their clinic directors to successfully complete their job We frequently hear complaints from veterans that their C P exam lasted only 20 minutes This is inadequate per IOM standards It is critical that adequate time be allocated for this assessment Depending on the mental and physical health of the veteran the veteran s willingness and capacity to work with the health professional and the presence of comorbid disorders the process of diagnosis and assessment will likely take at least an hour or could take many hours to complete Unfortunately many health professionals do not have the time or experience to assess psychiatric disorders adequately or are reluctant to attribute symptoms to a psychiatric disorder Examiners are required by law to review a claimant s entire claims file and medical record Unfortunately it is common for veterans to appear for a C P exam and discover their examiner has not reviewed or even been provided their claims folder If VA properly used their own manual policy procedures rules trained their employees properly gave them proper tests and let their professionals do their job correctly almost all VA staff would get it right the first time This would obviate the need to churn claims back and forth in the system Add to this effective supervision and VA would greatly increase their accuracy and output VA Should Use The Best Medical Science To Accurately Diagnose And Assess PTSD The Institute of Medicine IOM report of June 16 2006 presented the best medical science as to how to accurately diagnose and assess PTSD Unfortunately VA does not follow these recommendations even though VA commissioned and paid for this study If VA were to use the PTSD assessment protocols and guidelines as strongly suggested by the Institutes of Medicine back in 2006 our veteran warriors would receive the accurate mental health diagnoses needed to assess their PTSD International Classification of Diseases ICD 9 10 VVA at this time does not support the adoption of ICD9 10 to replace the VASRD and DSM codes for mental health disabilities There are too many differences that would increase the confusion and complexity for VA raters trying to rate PTSD claims For example ICD9 10 lacks DSM IV criterion A2 for PTSD Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders DSM IV We are waiting for the revision of the DSM IV scheduled to be revised by 2013 Preliminary evidence suggests there will be further separation of some mental health classifications We feel the VASRD should reflect these latest medical advancements in classification of mental health conditions and follow the revised DSM standards Disability Benefit Questionnaires DBQ VA describes DBQs as streamlined medical examination forms designed to capture essential

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/testimony/2012/013012.html (2016-02-15)
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  • Before the Subcommittee on Health Committee on Veterans Affairs U.S. House of Representatives “Understanding and Preventing Veteran Suicide”
    also been shown to predict suicide risk in those with PTSD 10 Further some cognitive styles of coping such as using suppression to deal with stress may be additionally predictive of suicide risk in individuals with PTSD 3 Other research looking specifically at combat related PTSD suggests that the most significant predictor of both suicide attempts and preoccupation with suicide is combat related guilt especially amongst Vietnam veterans 11 Many veterans experience highly intrusive thoughts and extreme guilt about acts committed during times of war and these thoughts can often overpower the emotional coping capacities of veterans Researchers have also examined exposure to suicide as a traumatic event Studies show that trauma from exposure to suicide can contribute to PTSD In particular adults and adolescents are more likely to develop PTSD as a result of exposure to suicide if one or more of the following conditions are true if they witness the suicide if they are very connected with the person who dies or if they have a history of psychiatric illness 12 13 14 Studies also show that traumatic grief is more likely to arise after exposure to traumatic death such as suicide 15 16 Traumatic grief refers to a syndrome in which individuals experience functional impairment a decline in physical health and suicidal ideation These symptoms occur independent of other conditions such as depression and anxiety All of this brings us full circle to what VVA has been saying for years if both DoD and VA were to use the PTSD assessment protocols and guidelines as strongly suggested by the Institutes of Medicine back in 2006 http iom edu Reports 2006 Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosis and Assessment aspx our veteran warriors would receive the accurate mental health diagnoses needed to assess their suicide risk status Once again on behalf of VVA National President John Rowan and our National Officers and Board I thank you for your leadership in holding this important hearing on this topic that is literally of vital interest to so many veterans and should be of keen interest to all who care about our nation s veterans I also thank you for the opportunity to speak to this issue on behalf of America s veterans I shall be glad to answer any questions you might have References Knox K L 2008 Epidemiology of the relationship between traumatic experience and suicidal behaviors PTSD Research Quarterly 19 4 Bullman T A Kang H K 1995 A study of suicide among Vietnam veterans Federal Practitioner 12 3 9 13 Amir M Kaplan Z Efroni R Kotler M 1999 Suicide risk and coping styles in posttraumatic stress disorder patients Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 68 2 76 81 Ben Yaacov Y Amir M 2004 Posttraumatic symptoms and suicide risk Personality and Individual Differences 36 1257 1264 Thompson M E Kaslow N J Kingree J B Puett R Thompson N J Meadows L 1999 Partner abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder as risk factors for suicide attempts in a sample of low income

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/testimony/2011/021211.html (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA Addresses Home Care Nurses at Capitol Hill Briefing
    high prevalence of veterans residing in rural areas the care nurses provide to patients in the comfort of their own home is invaluable as it not only saves in hospitalization costs but it ensures patients do not have to travel 20 30 and sometimes hundreds of miles one way for treatment However if providers are forced to shut their doors due to lack of funding the current limited services available to veterans will be inundated with an unsustainable increase in patients resulting in longer waits between care or restriction of care all together The veteran community is also concerned with the proposed co pay for home health care which would be imposed on some of the sickest and poorest members of our society Congress refers to the co pay as ensuring patients have skin in the game but the veterans who served this country believe as they should that they have put enough skin in the game and have earned the right to quality health care The ill advised and serious attempt in the Senate last week to curtail benefits to Vietnam veterans who are ill as a result of exposure to Agent Orange should have convinced all of us that veterans benefits and health care are in jeopardy We fought for the ideals of America for life liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all who come to our shores We fight mostly for our buddies next to us We didn t leave them behind on the field of battle and we won t leave them behind here at home And neither should our elected officials in the corridors of Congress The time is now for Congress to recognize the incredible value home health care provides to America s veterans seniors and chronically ill populations and to disregard proposals that would harm these vulnerable communities We look forward to working with Congress to address the rise in health care costs but all the while preserving quality home health care for those Americans who depend on it Thomas J Berger Ph D Dr Tom Berger is a Life Member of Vietnam Veterans of America VVA and founding member of VVA Chapter 317 in Kansas City Missouri After serving as chair of VVA s national PTSD and Substance Abuse Committee for almost a decade he joined the staff of the VVA national office as Senior Policy Analyst for Veterans Benefits Mental Health Issues in 2008 and then in June 2009 was appointed as Executive Director of the VVA Veterans Health Council As such he is a member and former Chair of the Veterans Administration s VA Consumer Liaison Council for the Committee on Care of Veterans with Serious Mental Illness SMI Committee he is also a member of the VA s Mental Health Quality Enhancement Research Initiative Depression Executive Committee MHQUERI and the South Central Mental Illness Research and Education Clinical Center SC MIRECC Dr Berger also serves as a national committee member on the National Association of Alcohol and Drug

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/testimony/2011/072711.html (2016-02-15)
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