Forum Thread

The $17 Billion Deal To Fix Veteran's Healthcare Program

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  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    Congress is about to go on a vacation. A 5 week one; longer than most Americans likely get combined throughout the year. But, at least a few congress members are working on getting actual quality legislation passed before Congress collectively jetsets around the world, beginning Friday, Aug. 1st.

    Bernie Sanders and Jeff Miller are going to propose a bill onto the floor Monday July 28th, 2014, to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs. While the specifics haven't been announced just yet, the bill is supposedly aimed at making the VA more accountable and to help the department recruit more doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. Also, the deal is expected to allocate money for veterans who have been awaiting medical treatment for longer than 30 days the ability to leave the VA system for care.

    Basically the bill will call to spend somewhere in the ballpark of 10 to 25 billion dollars, to fix both glaring short and long term issues that the VA has faced for decades now.

    What are your thoughts on the VA Reform bill? What chance will it have to pass, especially BEFORE the 5 week recess? Do you think it goes far enough to truly reform the VA?
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    Update on contents:

    ~$17 Billion total, to be spent over the next 3 years.

    Includes:

    The VA request includes $8.2 billion to hire 1,500 doctors and thousands of nurses and other medical and mental health professionals; $6 billion for construction projects to improve safety or patient access; $1.2 billion for computer enhancements; and $400 million for more staff to deal with the agency's backlog of benefits claims.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    It's amazing what can happen when people actually talk with each other. Things actually can get done.

    It also goes to show how our legislatures are well aware of the political blow back they would have received from their constituents during the summer recess had they not reached a deal. The military's approval rating is light years ahead of Congress's and it would have been political suicide to not address this problem before taking a month long vacation.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Dallas, TX
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    Sanders needs to drop the deficit terrorism and be the one to tell the truth: that the U.S. government can afford to purchase anything for sale in its own currency, which includes the services of more doctors, nurses, and contractors to build facilities, all to take care of veterans, as the purpose of taxation is to regulate demand, and not provide the currency issuer with the revenue to spend. Financial solvency does not apply on floating/non-convertible exchange to the currency issuer. The external limits on the size of government are on the real side of the economy, not the scoreboard. Scorekeepers cannot 'run out of points.' So it is bullshit to say the government can't afford to pay for veterans healthcare, as many Republicans have gone on record as stating. We might not have the real resources, but the $ is not the problem. You would think a Democratic Socialist would recognize a public monopoly when he sees one?
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    The bill passed the Senate by overwhelming majority vote 91 - 3. The final version came to a budget of 16.3 billion. I guess a fraction was trimmed off between the House and Senate. Either way, its off to Obama, and just a signature away from becoming official legislation.

    U.S. Senate sends VA reform bill to Obama
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Because of the many screw-ups and long waiting lines here in the Philly VA, I had opted to use my employer's health plan for years, now I use my Medicare and Suplimental plan for my aches and pains ,I keep my doctor who I had for over 30 years, it's just more convenient and I trust him . I know of several vets who have horror stories to tell from their experience at the VA. although once you get into the VA system it's not so bad, however, getting into the system was the problem, I do hope that this new " FIX" will correct the problem. these guys and gals deserve the best treatment.