United States Senator ∙ North Carolina
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Bill to Strengthen Support for Family Caregivers Passes the Senate Legislation includes numerous provisions to improve VA health care
Bill to Strengthen Support for Family Caregivers Passes the Senate
Legislation includes numerous provisions to improve VA health care
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, the Senate passed the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2009. The legislation merges two bills introduced by U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and Committee Chairman Senator Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii). S. 801, which provides benefits to caregivers of severely injured veterans, and S. 252, a package of health bills containing provisions to improve VA quality management, women and homeless veterans outreach, research, and mental health care in VA facilities.
"As my colleagues know, family caregivers play an important and unique role in helping to meet veterans' personal care needs," Burr said. "Too often, family members who serve as primary caregivers face significant challenges in caring for their loved ones. It is my hope that this legislation will alleviate the burdens family caregivers face in caring for veterans in North Carolina and across our nation."
The legislation would strengthen support for caregivers and attendants of veterans and would help ensure veterans in need of institutional care have the choice of receiving care from a family member at home. This bill would provide caregivers of veterans with health care, counseling, support, and a stipend. It also expands services in rural areas and ensures that veterans who are catastrophically disabled or who need emergency care in the community are not inappropriately charged for those services.
This legislation also incorporates provisions from a number of bills introduced this Congress, including legislation introduced by Senator Burr that would create a pilot program to provide dental insurance to veterans, survivors, and their dependents. Also included is legislation that would greatly expand health care services for women veterans, improve veterans mental health care services and ease veterans’ transition from active duty to civilian life. Finally, the legislation takes important steps to improve the quality of care provided to veterans by encouraging highly-qualified doctors to fill positions in VA medical facilities.
"Passing this bill is a step towards giving family caregivers the support they need, as well as giving our veterans better access to the quality care the deserve," Burr added. "I encourage my House colleagues to speedily pass this bill and send it to the President’s desk."
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