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house Bill H.R. 475

Accelerating GI Bill Claims and Streamlining GI Bill Programs for Post-9/11 Veterans

Argument in favor

Having the VA’s Benefits Administration process GI Bill claims electronically should have been done years ago. Institutions that charge veterans more than in-state students should be dropped from GI Bill programs.

Loraki's Opinion
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08/07/2016
I'm all for doing whatever you can to improve the efficiency of the VA, so they can better serve our veterans. However, there is one part of this bill that bothers me. The description states, "The VA could override individual veterans’ decisions if it is determined that the choice was against the veteran’s best interest." So the Nanny State wants (has?) the power to determine what is or isn't in a veteran's best interest?! That would really rub me the wrong way, if I were a veteran! We're talking about adults here, not kids in elementary school! I haven't read the whole bill, so perhaps I'm misunderstanding what is meant by that statement. . . .
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Casey's Opinion
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08/06/2016
The deserve the fulfillment of the promise made to them when enlisting
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John's Opinion
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08/28/2015
Yes, but costs should be neutral by making cuts to the ignorant paper pushers that prevented adoption of electronic infrastructure. Additionally, the education institutions that charged more should be fined 10x the amount they over charged and THEN dropped from eligibility.
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Argument opposed

Trying to bring state institutions of higher education into compliance with tuition requirements and extending a deadline is an odd strategy. Keeping the original deadline in place will hopefully bring more states into compliance sooner.

Tina's Opinion
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12/02/2015
Extending the deadline will only hurt veterans. This should've been sorted out long ago. And while changing to electronic processing and some of the other items included are good. Congress has repeatedly shown that kicking the can down the road means that nothing ever gets done.
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Mike's Opinion
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08/06/2016
I believe this is not lawful, once a vet always a vet. Why a cut off date. We have Vietnam vets just coming to an age that benefits may need to be activated. This shuns all other vets including myself. Thank you so much Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), have you served?
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Jason 's Opinion
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10/16/2016
The bill summary states that the VA can override a veteran decision on education if it feels it's in the vets best interest.
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What is House Bill H.R. 475?

This bill would the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to alter the information technology system of the Veterans Benefits Administration to ensure that all claims for post-9/11 educational assistance are settled electronically whenever possible. It would also provide for rule-based processing to settle claims with minimal human intervention.

A deadline would be extended, giving the VA an extra year to disapprove education courses provided by a public higher educational institutions from the All-Volunteer Force and the Post 9/11 Educational Assistance Programs. Institutions would disapproved from participating if they charge veterans living in the state higher tuition and fees than it charges in-state residents, regardless of the veterans’ state of residence.

Individual veterans could convert their educational assistance to the post-9/11 veterans’ educational assistance programs if they meet certain conditions regarding their service. Transitional rules would be established that require assistance available under a veterans’ previous program to be available under the post-9/11 program.

The VA could override individual veterans’ decisions if it is determined that the choice was against the veteran’s best interest. Educational institutions and participating veterans would be required to report enrollment changes to the VA including interruptions or terminations.

Impact

Veterans using the GI Bill, public higher educational institutions, and the VA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 475

$19.00 Million
The CBO estimates that this bill would increase spending by about $191 million over the 2016-2025 period, or about $19 million per year.

More Information

In-Depth: The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) expressed support for most of this legislation, noting that processing GI Bill claims has taken too long in the past due to “outdated business practices” and inefficient communications with the veteran-student.

One area of this legislation that the VFW disagreed with was the extension of the VA’s deadline for states to provide in-state tuition rates for all veterans, as the VFW believes most states will meet the initial deadline and the VA could provide waivers for states.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Minnesota National Guard)

AKA

GI Bill Processing Improvement Act of 2015

Official Title

To amend title 38, United States Code, to make certain improvements in the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs relating to educational assistance, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Economic Opportunity
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    IntroducedJanuary 22nd, 2015
    I'm all for doing whatever you can to improve the efficiency of the VA, so they can better serve our veterans. However, there is one part of this bill that bothers me. The description states, "The VA could override individual veterans’ decisions if it is determined that the choice was against the veteran’s best interest." So the Nanny State wants (has?) the power to determine what is or isn't in a veteran's best interest?! That would really rub me the wrong way, if I were a veteran! We're talking about adults here, not kids in elementary school! I haven't read the whole bill, so perhaps I'm misunderstanding what is meant by that statement. . . .
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    The deserve the fulfillment of the promise made to them when enlisting
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    Yes. Our Vets require the best.
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    Yes, but costs should be neutral by making cuts to the ignorant paper pushers that prevented adoption of electronic infrastructure. Additionally, the education institutions that charged more should be fined 10x the amount they over charged and THEN dropped from eligibility.
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    My YEA vote is not only about this issue. It is essential to adequately fund technology for the VA. Cutting the federal budgets for years has resulted in agencies having inferior technology & tech security as is evidenced in the hacking of OPM, the Pentagon, etc and the loss of billions of emails at the IRS & Department of State. Congress acts like this is a shocker. Is more stupidity even possible? If they refuse to give agencies adequate money to spend on up-to-date technology, how can they then blame them when the antiquated systems fail? This is our dysfunctional federal government! Shame on you!
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    Veterans deserve to be rewarded for good service to their country as quickly as possible.
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    This legislation will support veterans. I'm for it.
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    I have a veteran friend who's living a nightmare life right now. Our vets need our help!
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    Actually each attempt VA has made to streamline or simplify the system it has had quite the opposite effect. I support change. But l am completely skeptical that VA can accomplish it
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    We should be doing everything we can to help our Veterans.
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    The VA should allow veterans to receive care outside the system with there own primary care Dr. and whatever specialist they need to see with voucher if necessary.
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    If you said no, you should move elsewhere
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    Everything needs to be streamlined!!!
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    Streamline all of it. It has always been so difficult to streamline separate VA computer systems and get them to talk to one another. The VA should have the top of the line in technology but all too often they still have antiquated old facilities. It's like the VA only gets crumbs...that should change.
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    Extending the deadline will only hurt veterans. This should've been sorted out long ago. And while changing to electronic processing and some of the other items included are good. Congress has repeatedly shown that kicking the can down the road means that nothing ever gets done.
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    I hate how much of anything with the VA I have to step back in time to accomplish anything, especially for approval.
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    Faster is better with the VA.
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    Yes and you can stop waste or I guess job security by stopping the unnecessary paperwork that says the exact same thing from five different offices in the same VA.
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    Same idea of student loans the whole University system is gouging kids and the fed govt this should not be a hard fix
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    what about Vietnam vets. I can't get medical benefits
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