Wonder what Rep. Mark Takano would think of the WPO suicide article of veterans killing themselves in VA parking lots...if someone told him how many others they missed?
The other thing is, why did he have to find out from the Washington Post instead of knowing what was going on from the VA?
Bringing Congress to the fireside
The American Legion
FEB 26, 2019
Privatization of the VA
Sen. Isakson: “We’re not privatizing the VA. Period. We’re going to make sure that the VA doctors and the Choice doctors understand that a veteran deserves the first chance (at) good care. We’re going to make sure that the standards are equal and the access is equal. We ain’t privatizing nothing. However, if we find a private-sector doctor … who doesn’t do a good job, we’re going to … not use him anymore. And if a (VA) doctor doesn’t do a good job, we now have the Accountability Act to get rid of him.”
Sen. Tester: “None of the four of us on this stage want to privatize the VA. When we talk about access standards, we need to go back and ask, ‘Why are we even here?’ We’re here because veterans couldn’t get their health care in a timely manner. These access standards, it is so imperative that we get them right.”
Rep. Roe: “What I’m most interested in is you getting timely quality care. I don’t care where it is. If the VA can provide that care, that’s great. The quality of care you get is what I am most interested in. You getting the care you need in a timely way. That’s not privatization. That’s quality care.”
Reducing suicides in the veteran populationUPDATE
Rep. Isakson: "On the suicide issue … it is not exactly what a lot of us think it is. In many cases it is somebody reacting to the hand dealt to them in life. Which in some cases could not be the fault of access to a counselor, but the fault of somebody who treated them for a disease and didn’t do a very good job of it. They’re suffering from that disease. We had a lot of guys that came home from Vietnam that would not have come home from any other war … because our medicine improved. But because of that a lot more of them have needs that are much greater than the average veteran who survived. We’ve got to make sure that all of our medical services to those vets are good so they don’t get into a case where they’re frustrated.”
Sen. Tester: “We’ve got to continue to work to try to find what we can do to stop this horrible thing from happening. There is still a stigma around mental health and suicide we have to figure out how to break. I think the (veterans service organizations) can help with that area a lot. This is the 21st century. We know a lot more about the mind than we did in the ‘50s, the ‘60s and ‘70s. I can tell you unequivocally that people that get help can have mental health conditions fixed just like you fix a broken arm or a dislocated knee. We have to work as a group, as a society, to try to reduce the stigma as we try to take money and put it into areas that do the most good.”
Rep. Takano: “Next week we’re intending to have a roundtable on veteran suicide. I want my committee members on a bipartisan basis to deepen their understanding of the complexities of addressing veteran suicides. We know the majority of veterans committing suicide are not connected to the VA. We definitely need organizations like The American Legion to help us come up with strategies to reach those veterans who are not connected to the VA.”
Rep. Roe: “We were spending $8 billion a year and haven’t moved the needle a bit on the suicide rate in this country. We need to be doing something different.”
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More from this event
Bill Would Allow Last WWII Medal of Honor Recipient to Lie in State at Capitol
By Richard Sisk
26 Feb 2019
A bill that would have the last Medal of Honor recipient from World War II lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda gained bipartisan backing Monday from the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees.
"I can't think of anybody who would vote against that," Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, said of the bill introduced in January by Rep. Carol Miller, R-West Virginia, which would direct a state funeral for a member of the "Greatest Generation" who earned the nation's highest award for valor.
State funerals, and lying in state at the Capitol Rotunda, are reserved for current and former U.S. presidents and those deemed to have rendered "distinguished service." The late Sen. John McCain was granted the honor last August.
Army Gens. John J. Pershing and Douglas A. MacArthur had state funerals, but there has never been one for an identified enlisted service member. (There have been state funerals for the "Unknown Soldiers" of World War I and World War II.)
All four living recipients of the Medal of Honor from World War II were enlisted. They include former Marine Warrant Officer Hershel "Woody" Williams of West Virginia and three former soldiers: Tech. Sgt. Charles H. Coolidge of Tennessee, Tech. Sgt. Francis S. Currey of New York and Technician 5th Grade Robert D. Maxwell of Colorado.
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