WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, chaired a hearing yesterday during which several veterans organizations testified in support of pending health care legislation. The backing of Paralyzed Veterans of America, Wounded Warrior Project, and Disabled American Veterans adds momentum to the Chairman’s veterans’ health care agenda, which includes reforming health care funding, breaking down health care barriers for rural veterans, and establishing a permanent support program for family caregivers.
“VA must adapt to the changing needs of America’s veterans and their families. These bills recognize veterans’ families as partners, allow veterans to receive the care they’ve earned, and make veterans’ health care funding more timely and secure. I look forward to moving these important measures from the Veterans’ Affairs Committee to the President’s desk,” said Akaka.
S. 801, the Family Caregiver Program Act of 2009, would establish a permanent program for the caregivers of disabled veterans, providing them with training and certification, access to VA health care and financial support, and new travel benefits.
S. 734, the Rural Veterans Health Care Access and Quality Act of 2009, would improve health care staffing, enhance access to quality care, and provide travel benefits, for veterans living in rural and remote areas.
S. 423, the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009, would promote timely and predictable funding for the largest health care system in the country, which has started 19 of the past 22 fiscal years without knowing its budget for the year. S. 423 is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of more than one-third of the Senate, and is supported by the President and numerous veterans service organizations.
The written testimonies of the hearing’s witnesses, as well as the Chairman’s full opening statement, are available here.
April 23, 2009