WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 2, 2015) – As our nation’s post-9/11 veterans continue to face challenges in accessing VA benefits and services, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) today called on Congress to consolidate non-VA care programs. In testimony before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, IAVA Political Director and Iraq War veteran Bill Rausch urged Congress to eliminate the confusion caused by the numerous non-VA health care plans by consolidating them into one simple, consistent and easy to understand plan that puts the veteran at the center of care.
As Rausch states in his testimony, “As Congress rightly moves forward to simplify a very confusing process for veterans by drafting legislation to consolidate care in the community, IAVA strongly recommends Congress utilize VA’s plan as the framework for legislation and avoid one-off proposals that are mis-informed or put politics ahead of veterans. After all, it was Congress who provided the numerous different plans that added to the inefficiencies which resulted in the need to consolidate care. We believe Congress should be mindful of these lessons, learn from them and leverage the VA’s plan as the framework for consolidation of care moving forward.”While today’s hearing focused on consolidation of non-VA care programs, Rausch highlighted IAVA’s continued efforts to reform government for today’s veterans, which is one of IAVA’s Big Four priorities in IAVA’s Policy Agenda along with:
- Continuing to Combat Suicide Among Troops and Veterans;
- Fully Recognizing and Improving Services for Women Veterans;
- Reforming the Government for Today’s Veterans; and,
- Defending Veteran and Military Education Benefits.
Additional items in the 11-point plan include ending veteran homelessness, supporting innovative healthcare solutions, supporting military families, and promoting equality for all troops and veterans.
Rausch’s full testimony from today’s hearing can be found here.
Note to media: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 12th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 7,300 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.