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  • VA, Veterans Fighting Opioid Epidemic

    Type of content: News

    Jason Simcakoski, a 35-year-old Marine, husband and father, died at the Tomah VA  Medical Center in Wisconsin in 2014 from a toxic combination of prescription drugs. His overdose sparked national outrage, with some veterans calling VA hospitals “candy factories.” His death eventually led to the passage of the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act, which created stronger procedures for the prescription guidelines used by VA providers. 

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    Physical Well-Being
    VA
  • Veteran Employment Bill Passes Senate

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON -- Rep. Paul Cook, R-Apple Valley, announced Monday that the U.S. Senate has passed his bill, HR 244, the Hire Vets Act of 2017.

    The bill already passed the House of Representatives in February. Cook had reintroduced this bipartisan bill earlier this year. It was introduced last Congress and passed the House with unanimous support, but was unable to pass the Senate before the end of the year. The bill now heads back to the House for final passage as the Senate made minor technical changes to it.

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  • New Bill Aims to Provide Veterans with More PTSD Treatment

    Type of content: News

    SAN ANTONIO - Texas lawmakers will soon consider a bill to make San Antonio a national leader in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) research and treatment.

    According to the Veterans Health Administration, PTSD tops the list of mental health diagnoses among veterans in Bexar County.

    The University of Texas Health Science Center is doing some of the nation's largest studies related to PTSD. Now, a new bill put forth by State Representative Roland Gutierrez would broaden and expand the work done by creating what they're calling a National Center for Warrior Resiliency.

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    Legislation
    Mental Health
  • What's in the VA secretary's 10-point plan to reform his department?

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — In appearances before veterans groups this week, Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin is outlining his 10-point plan for reforming department operations and offerings, with a heavy emphasis on VA medical improvements.

    The plan is separate from the 10-point VA plan President Trump unveiled on the campaign trail last summer, but includes some of the same themes of accountability and a more customer-service focus for department employees. 

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    Benefits
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    DoD
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    VA
  • Shulkin proposes eliminating 40 mile, 30 day rule for non-VA care

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON – Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin on Sunday proposed eliminating a controversial policy that limits veterans from receiving private-sector health care.

    Speaking to hundreds of people at the Disabled American Veterans annual conference in Arlington, Va., Shulkin laid out his top 10 priorities for the Department of Veterans Affairs. It was his first public address since becoming VA secretary.

    High on Shulkin’s list was redesigning the Veterans Choice Program into what he called “Choice 2.0.”

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  • VA Sec Shulkin Says Veterans Should Use The Private Sector If It’s Better Than VA

    Type of content: News

    Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin said Thursday that he supports veterans receiving care from the private sector if that care is superior to the care offered by the VA.

    Pete Hegseth, once himself a candidate for the position of secretary of the VA, sat down with Shulkin on the show “Fox & Friends” to discuss Shulkin’s vision for the department under the new Trump administration.

    As part of that interview, Shulkin mentioned that he backs the idea of veterans being allowed to seek care from the private sector if the VA is not up to snuff.

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    Legislation
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    VA
  • Veterans’ ‘wingman’ bill passes House

    Type of content: News

    Note to military veterans: Rep. Steve Knight is one of your “wingmen.’’

    Yes, that’s a metaphor for the support the Santa Clarita Republican has shown toward vets in his two-plus years in the House. But it took on a slightly more literal meaning this week when the House unanimously passed the “Wingman Act,” designed to help veterans more easily navigate the bureaucracy of filing claims with the Veterans Administration.

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    Benefits
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    VA
  • Leading Veterans Service Organizations Release 30th Edition of the Independent Budget for the 115th Congress

    Type of content: News

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    Benefits
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    VA
  • IVF services for vets will move forward, VA nominee promises

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON -- President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs promised that plans to offer in vitro fertilization services to injured veterans will go ahead in coming months, amid all the other changes at the department. 

    “We are moving ahead with coverage for service connected IVF treatments, absolutely. It's long overdue,” Dr. David Shulkin, the current VA undersecretary for health, during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday. 

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    VA
  • Familiar faces in new places: Lawmakers to watch on defense in 2017

    Type of content: News

    The commander in chief isn’t the only new face in Washington that troops and veterans should be keeping an eye on. 

    The new session of Congress that started earlier this month brought with it a host of familiar lawmakers in new leadership roles who could have profound effects on military and veterans policy. 

    Here’s a look at some of the new assignments for key congressional figures whose moves could be as important as Trump’s for defense advocates in the months to come: 

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    DoD
    Legislation
    VA

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