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Stopped in Senate

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News May 2014

The “Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014” (S. 1982) introduced to the Senate in January, was rejected.

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The omnibus bill was just four Republican votes short of advancing.

S. 1982 would’ve expanded Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) health care and benefits programs and services, including:

-Expanding the Comprehensive Caregiver Assistance Program to all veterans

-Advancing appropriations for VA mandatory funding accounts to prevent a delay of veterans’ benefits in the event of government shutdown

-Reducing future cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for all military retirees

-Opening the VA healthcare system to any veteran wishing to enroll for care

-Expanding dental care access for all veterans

The bill didn’t pass through the Senate, in part, because it was estimated to cost $20 billion over 10 years, but also because of concern the bill would add more patients to a system already bogged down with a backlog of disability claims and long wait times.

“We are deeply disappointed that the Senate could not set aside its differences to support the men and women who have already sacrificed so much for this country,” says Bill Lawson, Paralyzed Veterans of America president, in a statement. “We will continue to work to make the improvements proposed by S. 1982 a reality.”

 

 

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Stopped in Senate

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