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MOAA Veteran Health Care Priorities on the Hill

MOAA shares many of these interest areas with congressional leaders and looks forward to helping Congress address these matters either through legislation or oversight hearings:

  • Implementing the VA MISSION Act. The 2018 legislation represented a major shift in VA health care delivery. The massive bill will take years to implement but will result in more options where veterans can receive care, expand caregiver programs to veterans of all eras, enhance VA’s workforce capabilities, and modernize medical facilities.
     
  • Expanding access to care for veterans in rural communities. While not a new priority, this issue has taken on greater importance during the pandemic, where lack of internet access may limit a veteran’s ability to access much-needed online or telemedicine resources.
     
  • Implementing several critically important measures signed into law in 2020. These MOAA-supported laws address the rising rates of mental health conditions and veteran suicides, as well as provide health care and benefit improvements for veterans, particularly those in need. Examples include the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act; the Veterans Comprehensive, Prevention, Access to Care, and Treatment (COMPACT) Act; and the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act.
     
  • Implementing the joint VA-DoD electronic health record. This long-sought move would allow clinicians to easily access veterans’ medical information.
     
  • Eliminating health disparities for women, minority, and underserved veterans. The VA must ensure a welcoming and safe environment, and should remove barriers to provide timely, sensitive, and high-quality care, particularly for veterans at high risk.
     
  • Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on VA’s workforce. MOAA has worked with Congress in recent years to strengthen and modernize the VA workforce and to fill ongoing critical employee shortages. It is important to fully assess the pandemic’s impact on the workforce and to apply lessons learned during the crisis to make improvements to human capital and throughout the health care system.
     
  • Improving care in state veterans’ homes and VA long-term care facilities. These improvements include strengthening VA’s oversight and engagement in facility inspections, as well as requiring documented resolution of reported discrepancies.

 

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