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  • In Norfolk, VA Secretary outlined 5 priorities for overhauling veterans' care

    Type of content: News

    Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin described the VA system much like he might a patient.

    “The VA has a lot of problems right now, and I describe it as being in critical condition,” Shulkin told reporters Wednesday. “That means we need to intensively monitor the progress of the organization, but I believe we’re moving in the right direction.”

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    Mental Health
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    VA
  • Advocates Push Senators to Pass GI Bill Expansion Before Summer Recess

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — House lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a massive expansion to GI Bill benefits last week. Now supporters are wondering if Senate officials will be able to do the same.

    Advocates for the plan on Monday lobbied upper chamber leaders not to derail the popular legislation with “political grandstanding,” saying finalizing the sweeping reforms should be an easy task before senators break for the summer.

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  • Plan to overhaul GI Bill moves through House, on to Senate

    Type of content: News

    Major reforms to veterans’ education benefits are one step closer to becoming law after the House of Representatives unanimously voted in favor of the legislation Monday.

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    VA
  • Despite promises, VA Secretary can't shake privatization concerns

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Nearly half a year into his job, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is still trying to convince critics that his efforts to improve the department won’t lead to privatizing care and support programs for veterans.

    In an editorial in USA Today Monday morning, Shulkin — the only holdover of former President Barack Obama’s administration to President Donald Trump’s Cabinet — called lingering fears of VA privatization “unfounded” and stated again that “we will not allow VA to be privatized on our watch.”

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  • Major Veterans' Groups Voice Concern Over Senate Health Bill

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Major veterans' organizations are voicing concerns about a Senate GOP bill to repeal the nation's health care law, fearing the impact of rising insurance costs and worried the underfunded Department of Veterans Affairs won't be able to fill the coverage gap.

    While there are more than 21 million veterans in the U.S., only about 8 million receive health care from the VA. The others rely on Medicaid, purchase insurance on state or federal exchanges, have employer-provided insurance or have no coverage at all.

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  • Would GI Bill changes affect military recruitment

    Type of content: News

    Changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other education benefits may have little impact on military recruitment and retention, a new study suggests. 

    That’s because many new recruits and service members don’t have a good grasp on how they work, according to a RAND Corporation report evaluating military education benefits. 

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    Education
  • VA chief: Time to rethink disability system; current setup 'not sustainable'

    Type of content: News

    It’s time to rethink a veteran disability system that "incentivizes disability," Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said during a Friday forum in Washington, the same day President Trump signed new VA accountability legislation.    
     
    “Our current disability system that is designed from 50, 60 or 70 years ago….. I would suggest it’s not sustainable and it may not be achieving the results of well-being for our veterans,” Shulkin said at an event organized by the Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative.  
     

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    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • VA standardizing caregiver plan before opening to older vets

    Type of content: News

    VA Secretary David Shulkin has told congressional committees in recent weeks he supports a change in law to expand the post-9/11 caregiver program so that its cash stipend and menu of support services can benefit caregivers to severely injured veterans from earlier generations.

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    Caregivers
    Legislation
    VA
  • Almost 70K Veterans Apply for Online Exchange

    Type of content: News

    More than 67,000 veterans have applied to shop on the military exchange store websites under a recently released benefit, officials said Thursday.

    The benefit clears the way for honorably discharged veterans from any era to shop at the exchange stores online. In the past, the shopping benefit both online and at brick-and-mortar locations was limited primarily to active-duty troops; National Guardsmen, reservists and their dependents; and retirees and their dependents.

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  • VA still planning to round down benefit payouts

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — White House officials this week backed away from one controversial veterans benefits cut but are sticking with a similar plan to trim other payouts to help balance the budget. 

    On Wednesday, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin told senators that the administration is looking to drop plans to radically overhaul his department’s Individual Unemployability benefit, a move that would save more than $3 billion but strip up to $20,000 from 210,000 elderly disabled veterans. 

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