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house Bill H.R. 294

Giving Vets With Severe Service-Related Disabilities Access To Longterm Care Outside Of The VA

Argument in favor

After the service that they’ve given our country, veterans deserve the best care. If the government can’t provide it, the private sector will.

EricRevell's Opinion
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03/22/2015
The extent of the VA's failure to care for our veterans is appalling, and allowing veterans to access medical care at private facilities (without paying any more than they would at the VA) will improve that situation going forward.
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Peter's Opinion
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03/10/2015
The V.A. system should be set up for any basic care it can give. Any major care should be where it is conveinant for the VETERAN and his family.Most of the clinics i`ve used are not bad,but for major issues I would like better outside care.
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Karen's Opinion
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04/05/2016
Damn sure should, with all the bad press about VA hospitals our vets should be able to get the very best medical care available!!!!
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Argument opposed

After the service they’ve given our country, we’re going to schlep our veterans off to some cut-rate facility because the government can’t manage its budget?

EricSchmeltzer's Opinion
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03/02/2015
Veterans care (as well as military care through TRICARE), is best equipped to deal with the issues our men and women in uniform, and our veterans, deal with. Going down the road of privatization, or voucherization, is going down the road of ending these programs. For veterans who need anything from brain trauma care, to prosthetics, to care for Gulf War syndrome, to Agent Orange, and more, the DOD and VA care systems are the only option that's accessible to them. Take that option away (and this bill is a first step towards that) and they are either priced out of being able to afford care, or don't have anything close by that's able to properly administer care, or both. You literally tell our veterans "You're on your own. Good luck." They deserve better!
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Tommy's Opinion
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03/10/2015
I am a veteran. The private health care and insurance has proven to be untrustworthy in efficiently caring for our citizens. 80% margins of gross profit as are taken by many are unethical, and treasonous in the negative effect on our countries operation.
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Craig's Opinion
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03/06/2015
Current America has turned serving into a charity and entitlement program. Focus on better care. Whoever wrote the Bill synopsis needs a new job.
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What is House Bill H.R. 294?

This bill would allow the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) to offer long-term care in medical foster homes (MFH) to certain veterans with severe service-related disabilities. 


The VA would be authorized to put up to 900 veterans in these medical facilities, and would have to foot the bill. MFH's are private homes where trained caregivers attend to a small number of individuals. As the CBO explains in it's cost estimate of this bill: 

"VA has an existing program under which it inspects and approves MFHs for veterans. Veterans currently living in such homes are eligible to receive VA’s Home Based Primary Care services, which include case management and health care provided in the home. VA is not currently authorized to pay for the cost of living in MFHs, but under this bill, VA could pay that cost."  

This bill would also cap the number of bonuses awarded to VA employees through 2018 at $300 million. From 2019 - 2024, the cap would be $360 million. For context, the CBO found that between 2010 and 2013, the VA averaged $395 million in bonuses and awards to employees. 

Impact

Veterans in need of medical foster care, their families and caretakers, public and private healthcare providers, medical foster care owners and operators, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and the U.S. military.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 294

$0.00
A CBO cost estimate found that implementing this bill would reduce discretionary costs by $253 million over the 2016-2020 period, subject to appropriation action consistent with the bill.

More Information

In Depth:

Sponsoring Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) introduced an earlier version of this bill to the House in the summer of 2013. It did not see a vote.


If passed, this law would go into effect in October of 2015 and expire three years later.


Of Note: 

This bill comes at a time when the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is facing something of a crisis. In 2014, it drew heavy criticism for excessive wait times, preventable deaths, and inaccurate data eventually forcing the resignation of its Secretary, Eric Shinseki. Since then, it’s had a budget expansion and the introduction of a new Secretary — Robert McDonald — who has promised to hire thousands of new personnel.


Near the end of February, a group called Concerned Veterans for America proposed a number of changes to the VA. These include subsidizing veteran care to private providers and turning the VA into a non-profit corporation that competes with other medical providers. This bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) supports them. Secretary McDonald opposes them.


Media:


CBO Cost Estimate

Wikipedia (Previous Bill Version)


Washington Post

The Arizona Republic

(Photo Credit: Flickr user DVIDSHUB

AKA

Long-Term Care Veterans Choice Act

Official Title

To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts and agreements for the placement of veterans in non-Department medical foster homes for certain veterans who are unable to live independently.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • The house Passed March 2nd, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 405 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    IntroducedJanuary 13th, 2015

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    The extent of the VA's failure to care for our veterans is appalling, and allowing veterans to access medical care at private facilities (without paying any more than they would at the VA) will improve that situation going forward.
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    Veterans care (as well as military care through TRICARE), is best equipped to deal with the issues our men and women in uniform, and our veterans, deal with. Going down the road of privatization, or voucherization, is going down the road of ending these programs. For veterans who need anything from brain trauma care, to prosthetics, to care for Gulf War syndrome, to Agent Orange, and more, the DOD and VA care systems are the only option that's accessible to them. Take that option away (and this bill is a first step towards that) and they are either priced out of being able to afford care, or don't have anything close by that's able to properly administer care, or both. You literally tell our veterans "You're on your own. Good luck." They deserve better!
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    The V.A. system should be set up for any basic care it can give. Any major care should be where it is conveinant for the VETERAN and his family.Most of the clinics i`ve used are not bad,but for major issues I would like better outside care.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Healthcare should be a right in this country not a privilege. We must put every American under the same umbrella of healthcare including veterans. It would save money in the long run and we could concentrate on ways to make people healthier instead of having to pay huge amounts of money because of escalating i illness due to poor healthcare.
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    If you can't afford to take care of the veterans, THEN STOP MAKING SO MANY DISABLED VETS WITH POINTLESS WARS
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    We owe our nations heroes the care and support they deserve for what they sacrificed.
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    They became disabled in service to the USA and as such should be accorded the best medical treatments available. We should be ashamed of the way we treat our veterans!
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    Damn sure should, with all the bad press about VA hospitals our vets should be able to get the very best medical care available!!!!
    Like (1)
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    Yea
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    Current America has turned serving into a charity and entitlement program. Focus on better care. Whoever wrote the Bill synopsis needs a new job.
    Like (1)
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    The government is responsible for their injuries and must be responsible to treat their injuries after their service to our country.
    Like (1)
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    I am a veteran. The private health care and insurance has proven to be untrustworthy in efficiently caring for our citizens. 80% margins of gross profit as are taken by many are unethical, and treasonous in the negative effect on our countries operation.
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    We must take better care of our veterans by any means possible
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    Many veterans live in areas with limited access VA care (such as veterans who live in rural areas far from VA hospitals or satellite clinics).
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    "Schlep"? You arrogant liberal swine have no idea how good healthcare is OUTSIDE government control. Government control destroys nearly everything touched by it. Get off your high horses and do a decent job, as we US CITIZENS AND TAXPAYERS are expected to do when we pay our taxes for your egregiously high, self-determined salaries.
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    We need a nationwide network of federal, nationalized, non-profit hospitals. Not just for veterans.
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    When I hear of privatization of government function, I always suspect a Bush-Cheney railroading of funds to their cronies.
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    Shame on you if you voted to privatize the care of those who entered the armed forces of the United States. Our Veterans are not disposable heroes
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    cause they gave their lifes for us.
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    The VA has long been a resource for veterans. Yes it should be monitored like any other large organization and it should be adequately funded but,it shouldn't be used as a political football.
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