Jun 5, 2014

Veterans' crisis prompts Congress to introduce bipartisan bills

In the wake of recent revelations about long wait times and secret lists at V.A. health facilities, two senators last week introduced legislation to address the crisis. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) are sponsoring a bipartisan bill that among other goals would: Add 26 new VA facilities in 18 states; allow veterans who live more than 40 miles from a V.A. facility or who have experienced unreasonable delays while waiting for services, to receive help at non-VA medical facilities; appropriate $500M to hire more doctors and nurses; and give the V.A. Secretary greater authority to hire staff for non-performance. 

This past Tuesday, the House passed a bill, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) that is very similar to the Senate version.The speed with which these bills have been formulated is a real departure from the normal congressional foot-dragging. It is no less than what veterans deserve, and a reflection of the depth of the chronic problems at the V.A.

One of the V.A. benefits available to elderly and disabled veterans is Aid and Attendance. To find out more about this benefit and eligibility requirements, click here.

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