Veterans are Getting Better Access in Health Care
One major problem with the care system for veterans was people who did a bad job could not get easily fired. Stories of bad treatment, waiting months to see a doctor and workers who didn’t do their jobs where widespread. One of the first things President Trump did, which was supported by Montana Senator Steve Daines, was to make it easier to get rid of people not doing their jobs.
Senator Daines helped secured provisions in the FY 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act that will increase Montana veterans’ ability to get care for injuries they sustained while serving our nation.
“Montana’s veterans have suffered under the status quo for too long,” Daines stated. “We are beginning to make real progress for Montana’s veterans and I look forward to continuing to make progress for them.”
Here are the following provisions for Montana:
Funding for Medical Facility Leases to include the Missoula Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) expansion.
Increased Funding for the Construction of State Extended Care Facilities to include the 60-bed veterans home in Butte.
Expanded Treatment Options for Veteran Suicide and Mental Health. At Daines’ request, the bill encourages the VA to expand research into Magnetic EEG-Guided
Resonance Therapy—a non-invasive therapeutic approach for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress and other neurocognitive disorders. The bill requires the VA to include a mobile capability to reach veterans in rural areas.
Legal Assistance for Veterans at Risk of Homelessness. Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program to work with institutions like the University of Montana’s Veterans Advocacy Clinic to provide pro bono legal assistance to at-risk veterans in their community.
Funding for the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. The authority, including the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act recently signed into law by President Trump on June 23rd. This funding follows through on his commitment to bring needed change and reform to the VA.
Funding for Medical Community Care. The Veterans Choice Improvement Act which ensured that funding for Choice providers would not expire on an arbitrary date in August. This funding ensures veterans continue to receive care from their providers until Congress authorizes a more viable replacement.
Funding to Expand and Improve Women’s Health. Additional funding supports a variety of gender-specific needs ranging from prosthetics to treatment for victims of sexual trauma.
Prioritization for Mental Healthcare Providers in Rural Areas. Veteran centers that provide resources for veterans over large areas, like those in Montana, face heavier use with lower levels of staff.
Prioritization for Funding Preventing Rural Veteran Suicides. The VA estimates that 20 percent of veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have a substance abuse disorder and substance abuse is proven to lead to increased suicidal tendencies.
Blue Water Navy The bill extends coverage to Navy veterans exposed to Agent Orange in the territorial waters of Vietnam. The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act would make it easier for the VA to process Vietnam War veterans’ claims for service-connected health conditions and alleviate a portion of the VA’s backlog by extending presumptive coverage of Agent Orange benefits to these veterans.
By: Dominick Brascia
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