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A Mission to Serve our Veterans

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Washington, June 14, 2019 | comments

Washington, D.C. – Every day, I hear from veterans throughout the 10th District. These conversations and requests for assistance are often incredibly disheartening, and it’s clear that our Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system requires significant and fundamental reform to ensure that these brave heroes are receiving the treatment they’ve earned in the line of duty. Unfortunately, all too often, they don’t. These men and women wait months for treatment – available to them only at specific VA healthcare centers that are often much farther away and less timely than private healthcare options. This is no way to treat our Nation’s veterans.

Fortunately, over the past few years, Congress has passed significant reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs to modernize our broken appeals system, expand GI Bill benefits, reauthorize vital programs, increase whistleblower protections, and add crucial layers of accountability to the VA. In fact, last June, President Trump signed into law the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act, and just last week, on June 6, 2019, the VA launched its new Veterans Community Care Program.

This new system – developed over the last year – builds on and strengthens the Veterans Choice Program. The VA is now required to pay for hospital, medical, and extended care expenses from community healthcare providers if the VA doesn’t offer those services in-state or if the veteran and his or her doctor agree that it’s in the veteran’s interest to find healthcare in the community. The Veterans Community Care Program also works to provide more flexible options to seek healthcare within their own communities outside the VA system and to improve the level of responsiveness and quality of care at our VA Medical Centers and Community Based Outpatient Clinics.

Importantly, this new law also significantly expands eligibility for family caregivers, ensuring that all veterans with a serious injury from the line of duty will soon receive the additional supports and services for their family caregivers. These veterans – and the family members that care for them – sacrifice immensely and deserve our full support, and I’m proud that they will be provided some well-deserved relief. I’m extremely hopeful that the VA MISSION Act will improve care for veterans – not only in our district, but nationwide. 

As always, my office stands at the ready to help any and all veterans facing red tape, bureaucracy, or mistreatment at the VA. My offices in Georgia have a dedicated team of caseworkers who advocate tirelessly for our men and women in uniform. I encourage veterans seeking help to call my office in Monroe at (770) 207-1776 or visit my website for help.

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Published in the Walton Tribune on Saturday, June 15, 2019.

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Tags: Veterans

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