by Washington Nationalsvia twitter3/22/2018 3:50:54 PM
This is huge. This reform would require mental health screenings for all vets with OTH discharges prior to their departure and provide at-risk vets with access to care before their conditions deteriorate. twitter.com/leoshane/statu…
We still lose 20 vets every day to suicide so preventative measures like this are long overdue and really important. The omnibus language would guarantee care for any vet who served at least 100 days, including those with an OTH discharge as well as victims of assault or trauma.
This likely wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of @KrisGoldsmith85 & the team at @HighGroundVets or the amazing folks at @vetshelpingvets . A lot of vets will start to get the care they’ve been wrongfully denied and so desperately needed.
But the fight is not over. Major VA reforms were not included in the omnibus and many vets and VSOs are wary it signals another step toward privitization. Its criticisms are well documented and warranted, but the VA system can work.
The Choice program was supposed to be a stopgap, a temporary fix to help the VA deal with backlogs and long wait times. It’s seen very mixed results and has been incredibly expensive - the more resources funneled toward Choice, the less available for the VA.
We should be looking to fully staff VAs, increase resources & expand clinics. Fund initiatives that will increase accessibility & decrease wait times. Private sector providers (Choice) might offer quicker care but they’re often not equipped to handle the unique needs of vets.