Veterans News - April 2012
About Veterans and For Veterans
Apr 6, 2012, 7:57 a.m.
A Health Care Budget Threatened
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), Chair of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, wrote that the reality of sequestration — the congressionally mandated cuts that will automatically occur later this year due to the Joint Select Committee’s failure to find $1.2 trillion dollars in deficit reductions — is about hit home for veterans. “As it stands right now, sequestration of government programs is imminent.” Miller’s concern goes beyond the issue of how this will impact our national defense, Miller is worried that an ambiguity in the law could be used by the Office of Management and Budget to cut as much as two percent from the VA’s Healthcare budget despite Congress’ intent to protect VA from sequestration. The full article can be found here: militaryadvantage.military.com/2012/03/fear-of-sequestration-real-or-political-brinksmanship/
News Headlines Hurt Vets’ Reputation
Shades of Viet Nam! In an article titled, The 'Dangerous’ Veteran: An Inaccurate Media Narrative Takes Hold, VAntage Point blogger Kate Holt writes about the impact the media is having on veterans reputations and the efforts in a San Diego neighborhood to block VA from opening a residential treatment program for Vets with PTSD and mild TBI. Read more at: militaryadvantage.military.com/2012/03/news-media-hurts-vets-reputation/.
Army Establishes Hotline
The Army Medical Command has a hotline available for soldiers and veterans who have been screened by forensic psychiatric teams since 2007 as part of the evaluation process for medical retirement. Soldiers and veterans with concerns about their diagnosis may call 800-984-8523. The forensic psychiatric team at the U.S. Army's Madigan Healthcare System at Tacoma, Washington is under investigation into whether it properly evaluated soldiers previously treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Army Surgeon General has suspended the use of forensic evaluations during the conduct of medical evaluation boards.
The Medical Foster Home Option
The Veterans Health Administration offers an alternative to nursing homes called Medical Foster Homes. The Lansing State Journal (http://tinyurl.com/6o2fwap) recently wrote about two aging veterans who have forged familial bonds in the care of such a home. For more information, visit /www.va.gov/geriatrics/medical_foster_home.asp.
Overlapping Costs Government Billions
Two new reports from the Governmental Accounting Office (GAO) has found that the federal government is doing a poor job of coordinating its responsibilities in dozens of areas. The GAO said that the lack of a coordinated reporting system makes it difficult for the National Institutes of Health, Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs to track health research funded by other federal agencies meaning agencies may issue duplicative grants to different research projects on the same topic. Summaries of the reports are available at: gao.gov/products/GAO-12-342SP.