What They Are Saying: VSOs and Health Organizations Praise Sen. Moran’s Bill the GHAPS Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (SVAC) – recently introduced the Guaranteeing Healthcare Access to Personnel Who Served (GHAPS) Act that would address gaps in veteran health care to ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is serving veterans in hard-to-reach places. Please see the following statements in support of Sen. Moran’s legislation the GHAPS Act:

“The American Red Cross is proud to support the Guaranteeing Healthcare Access to Personnel who Served (GHAPS) Act. We applaud Senator Jerry Moran's efforts to assist hard-to-reach veterans who face challenges in accessing care. The American Red Cross supports veterans and their caregivers through the Military and Veteran Caregiver Network and believe this legislation will create more options for scheduling community care, develop a continuity of care plan for the closure of any VA medical facility and aims to assess telehealth and virtual health programs.” – Koby Langley, Sr. Vice President, International Services, & Service to the Armed Forces at American Red Cross.

“VVA fully supports the GHAPS legislation, which, when passed into law, will enhance programs that have proven to be successful for veterans and close the gaps in VA healthcare system responsible for leaving behind our aging, disabled veterans and family caregivers residing in rural America without the proper access to healthcare and services.” – John Rowan, National President, Vietnam Veterans of America

“The American Ex-Prisoners of War and our members strongly support passage of the Guaranteeing Healthcare Access to Personnel who Served Act, or the GHAPS Act. This legislation will help codify programs that have been successful for veterans, remove bureaucratic barriers to care and mandate a VA telehealth strategy to incorporate and apply lessons learned during the pandemic to close the gaps in VA health care that often leave behind rural and highly rural veterans, community care veterans and overseas veterans.” – Cheryl Cerbone, Chief Executive Officer, American Ex-Prisoners of War

“By ensuring the VA is employing all options of evidence-based treatment across its medical centers, directing the VA to develop a strategic plan to guarantee continuity of care in the wake of VA medical facility closures, and empowering veterans to have greater control over their own care, we can work toward closing persistent gaps in access faced by so many that live in rural and highly rural America. Our mission statement is ‘linking voices to promote rural mental health,’ and we are proud to add our voice to those supporting the GHAPS Act to prevent veterans from falling through gaps in the current VA health system. We look forward to seeing this common sense bill signed into law to help the VA meet the unique needs of every veteran in VA care.” – Ron Manderscheid, President and CEO, The National Association for Rural Mental Health

“America’s Warrior Partnership (AWP) is proud to support the GHAPS Act and would like to thank Ranking Member Moran for his leadership on the issue. The VA has taken far too long to implement the MISSION Act, and their actions regarding Community Care are the opposite of what Congress has intended. The bipartisan members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee pressed Secretary McDonough on access standards during his nomination, and this legislation is a clear follow-up to hold the VA accountable. America’s Warrior Partnership firmly believes if the GHAPS Act access standards for Community Care were in place before the COVID-19 pandemic, there would not be a backlog of 20 million appointments at the VA today, and millions of veterans would have been able to get help when needed from their local community providers.” – Jim Lorraine, President and CEO, America’s Warrior Partnership

"We must ensure that America's veterans do not fall through the cracks of the VA healthcare system. It is imperative that VA provide care in a consistent, comprehensive, and transparent manner. The GHAPs Act helps ensure that no veteran falls into the void by credentialing and tracking community care network providers, improving rural health and telehealth, and ensuring uniform access standards for community care.” – James W. “Bill” Oxford, American Legion National Commander

This legislation is also supported by the Jewish War Veterans, National Association of American Veterans, Fleet Reserve Association, Alaska Native Veterans Association, National Association of Black Veterans and the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors.

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