(October 18, 2017)

 

In order to further improve the lines of communication and to respond to the concerns between the National VA Council and you our members, I have established a National VA Council Briefing. This NVAC Briefing will bring you the latest news and developments within DVA and provide you with the current status of issues this Council is currently addressing. I believe that this NVAC Briefing will greatly enhance the way in which we communicate and the way in which we share new information, keeping you better informed.

 

Alma L. Lee

National VA Council, President

 

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In This Briefing: FYI: Trump Administration’s Plan to Expand Private Care for Vets Sparks Fight Over VA’s Future
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Click on link below to review the full story reported by Government Executive

http://www.govexec.com/management/2017/10/trump-administrations-plan-expand-private-care-vets-begins-fight-over-vas-future/141842/#.WeaYWACEAIs.email

The Trump administration has issued its plan to streamline and expand its programs allowing veterans to receive health care from the private sector, igniting the first spark in an upcoming fight on the future of the government’s role in providing care to former military personnel.

The Veterans Affairs Department wants to “merge and modernize” the array of programs allowing patients to receive care outside of VA providers, according to a framework of the Veterans Coordinated Access and Rewarding Experiences (CARE) Act department officials presented to Congress this week. The measure would eliminate rules for the Veterans Choice Program that require a veteran to live 40 miles from a VA facility or face a 30-day wait to receive care at one in order to become eligible for private care on the department’s dime. That program, created by a law President Obama signed in 2014, got off to a rocky start but has since gained popularity.

VA said its measure would also shore up VA facilities by improving buildings and boosting staffing levels where large numbers of vacancies persist. Secretary David Shulkin said earlier this year department has 49,000 unfilled positions, but the number has since decreased.

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