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  • VA Employee Disciplinary Actions Are Now Public Information

    Type of content: News

    The Department of Veterans Affairs made public July 7 a list of employee terminations, demotions, and suspensions that it will update weekly, which agency officials said is an attempt at transparency following action by Congress to give the VA secretary unprecedented disciplinary power.

    Veterans and anyone else interested can now see a list of disciplinary actions taken against VA employees since President Donald Trump took office Jan. 20. 

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  • Million Veteran Program surpasses 580,000 enrollments; faces potential budget cut

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — A large-scale Department of Veterans Affairs project to research how veterans’ genes and military service affect their health surpassed 580,000 participants Friday during an enrollment event at American Legion headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C.

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  • VA to open emergency rooms to 'bad paper' vets on July 5

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — Veterans with other-than-honorable discharges will be able to access Veterans Affairs emergency rooms for urgent mental health care starting July 5, under new rules outlined by department leaders on Tuesday. 

    The move is the culmination of months of review into how to handle the cases of vets who may have been improperly separated from the military due to undiagnosed or untreated problems like post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury or other mental health issues. 

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  • Major Veterans' Groups Voice Concern Over Senate Health Bill

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Major veterans' organizations are voicing concerns about a Senate GOP bill to repeal the nation's health care law, fearing the impact of rising insurance costs and worried the underfunded Department of Veterans Affairs won't be able to fill the coverage gap.

    While there are more than 21 million veterans in the U.S., only about 8 million receive health care from the VA. The others rely on Medicaid, purchase insurance on state or federal exchanges, have employer-provided insurance or have no coverage at all.

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  • VA chief: Time to rethink disability system; current setup 'not sustainable'

    Type of content: News

    It’s time to rethink a veteran disability system that "incentivizes disability," Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said during a Friday forum in Washington, the same day President Trump signed new VA accountability legislation.    
     
    “Our current disability system that is designed from 50, 60 or 70 years ago….. I would suggest it’s not sustainable and it may not be achieving the results of well-being for our veterans,” Shulkin said at an event organized by the Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative.  
     

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  • Trump signs VA bill to protect whistle blowers, expedite firing of problem worker

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — President Trump signed legislation Friday designed to protect whistleblowers while making it easier to fire problem employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    The "VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017" makes permanent an office created by a Trump executive order earlier this year to look into claims made by whistleblowers and to protect them from retaliation.

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  • Trump nominates VA insider as next department deputy secretary

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday nominated Marine Corps veteran Thomas Bowman to serve as the No. 2 ranking appointee at the Department of Veterans Affairs, potentially giving the administration another high-ranking official with inside knowledge of the department. 

    Bowman is currently majority staff director for the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee and previously worked in several top posts at the department, including serving as chief of staff for former secretaries Jim Nicholson and James Peake.

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  • VA standardizing caregiver plan before opening to older vets

    Type of content: News

    VA Secretary David Shulkin has told congressional committees in recent weeks he supports a change in law to expand the post-9/11 caregiver program so that its cash stipend and menu of support services can benefit caregivers to severely injured veterans from earlier generations.

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  • Proposal Extends IVF, Adoption Help for Injured Veterans

    Type of content: News

    Veterans with reproductive injuries will be able to access fertility help and have some adoption expenses covered after 2018 if a funding proposal goes forward.

    The funding bill for the Department of Veterans Affairs approved by a House committee last week gives the agency approval to continue funding in-vitro fertilization after the current 2018 expiration. A 2016 law lifted a longtime ban on the coverage but is set to expire at the end of 2018 if Congress takes no further action.

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  • VA still planning to round down benefit payouts

    Type of content: News

    WASHINGTON — White House officials this week backed away from one controversial veterans benefits cut but are sticking with a similar plan to trim other payouts to help balance the budget. 

    On Wednesday, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin told senators that the administration is looking to drop plans to radically overhaul his department’s Individual Unemployability benefit, a move that would save more than $3 billion but strip up to $20,000 from 210,000 elderly disabled veterans. 

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