Major Veterans Bill Package Passes Senate
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) March 10, 2021 – An omnibus package of veteran-specific legislation passed both the House and Senate, putting it one step closer to becoming law. It now makes its way to the President to sign. The bill includes legislation to provide veterans with additional pandemic aid and addresses issues pertaining to women veterans, Native veterans and homeless veterans.
The Johnny Isakson and David P Roe Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act received largely bipartisan support. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the women’s bill, the Deborah Sampson Act, the “crown jewel” of the entire package, and said it is “the most comprehensive bill for women veterans in over a decade.” Women make up the fastest-growing veteran demographic.
“This is important for our veterans,” said VA disability lawyer James G. Fausone of Legal Help for Veterans. “We should be doing as much as possible for the men and women who served our country, especially those veterans who belong to more vulnerable groups.”
The Deborah Sampson Act will create a dedicated Office of Women’s Health at the VA and add women’s health primary care providers and necessary health equipment, like mammography machines, to every VA healthcare facility. It provides an expansion in mental health services for women and an overall increase in funding for gender-specific veterans programs.
It also addresses issues women veterans regularly experience, such as:
* Gender-based and sexual harassment and assault at VA facilities
* Military sexual trauma
* Intimate partner violence
* Sexual assault
The package includes The Native American Veteran Parity in Access to Care Today (PACT) Act, which seeks to increase VA access for Native American and Alaskan veterans. Native veterans are the poorest and least-insured group of veterans and have the least access to VA services. The bill will eliminate copays for Native veterans, who are already not subject to copays when receiving care at the Department of Health and Human Services and Indian Health Service facilities.
Additionally, some of the legislation focuses on fighting veteran homelessness, which is expected to rise significantly during the pandemic. A few of the ways this will be done is by providing funding to non-VA organizations that help homeless veterans, expanding voucher programs to veterans with other-than-honorable discharges and using VA land and property to house homeless veterans.
Also included in the bill package is legislation that will:
* Protect veterans from medical malpractice at VA facilities
* Expand education benefits and retraining assistance
* Grant VA home loan eligibility to Guard and Reserve members
* Give K2 vets access to VA burn pit registry
* Broaden COVID-19 relief
* Provide federal funding for local veteran cemeteries
Once signed by the President, the Johnny Isakson and David P Roe Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act will become law.
For more information on Attorney James G. Fausone and Legal Help for Veterans, visit https://www.legalhelpforveterans.com/.Learn more at http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC 41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101 Northville, MI 48168 Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800