Veterans Affairs

Back At Base
3:43 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Veterans Choice Act Fails To Ease Travel Burdens For Vets In Need Of Care

While the Veterans Choice Act seems simple, making it work hasn't been as easy.

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 11:27 am

Veterans who need to see a doctor often have to travel long distances – 40 miles or more – to get to a Department of Veterans Affairs facility. So last year, after scandals involving long wait times for vets, Congress tried to make getting care easier.

The Veterans Choice Act gives veterans the option of using a doctor outside the VA system if VA facilities are more than 40 miles away, or there's more than a 30-day wait for an appointment.

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Health
3:30 am
Wed January 28, 2015

VA Steps Up Programs As More Veterans Enter Hospice Care

A hospital bed is draped with a flag after a veteran died in the hospice ward at St. Albans VA in Queens, N.Y.
Quil Lawrence NPR

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:32 pm

Ask Americans if someone in their family served in the military, and the answer is probably no. After all, fewer than 1 percent of Americans serve these days.

But ask if one of their grandfathers served, and you'll likely get a different answer. Between World War II and the wars in Korea and Vietnam, millions of men were drafted into service — and both men and women volunteered.

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Shots - Health News
3:21 am
Mon October 13, 2014

A Benefit For Rural Vets: Getting Health Care Close To Home

For some rural vets who live far from a VA hospital, getting medical care has meant driving a day or two from home, and missing work.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 7:12 pm

Army veteran Randy Michaud had to make a 200-mile trip to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Aroostook County, Maine, near the Canadian border, every time he had a medical appointment.

Michaud, who was medically retired after a jeep accident in Germany 25 years ago, moved home to Maine in 1991. He was eligible for VA medical care, but the long drive was a problem.

He's one of millions of veterans living in rural America who must travel hundreds of miles round-trip for care.

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Politics
3:30 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Veterans' Care Emerges As A Key, Bipartisan Issue In Campaign Ads

Campaign ad still from Arkansas congressional candidate Jackie McPherson.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 8:37 am

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Obama Signs $16 Billion VA Health Care Bill Into Law

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 3:24 pm

President Obama signed legislation Thursday that tries to mend the broken Veterans Affairs system, providing money to improve facilities and hire more medical staff, along with allowing more veterans to use private facilities. The bill is aimed at cutting veterans' long wait times for health care.

The president signed the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 one week after it gained congressional approval; the signing ceremony was held at Fort Belvoir, an Army base in Virginia.

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12:45 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Error-Ridden Military Hospitals Lack Consistent Scrutiny

The New York Times finds persistent lapses in military hospitals of patient protection, revealing system in which scrutiny is sporadic and avoidable errors are chronic. The article includes a look at Reynolds Army Community Hospital at Ft. Sill.
FORT SILL, Okla. - Jessica Zeppa, five months pregnant, the wife of a soldier, showed up four times at Reynolds Army Community Hospital here in pain, weak, barely able to swallow and fighting a fever. The last time, she declared that she was not leaving until she could get warm.
National Security
3:29 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

With More Veterans Needing Health Care, What Will The Cost Be?

Sloan Gibson, acting secretary of Veterans Affairs, spoke in Phoenix last week. After a visit to a VA hospital, he said additional resources were likely needed in the area. Nationwide, the number of veterans seeking health care has risen dramatically in recent years.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:31 pm

A new generation of American vets is home from war — about 2.6 million of them. And there are about 10 million older veterans, many from the Vietnam era, hitting their 60s, 70s or 80s. Taking care of both groups is getting expensive.

"If they can afford to pay for wars, they can afford to pay for the treatment after the wars," says Garry Augustine, with Disabled American Veterans. DAV and other private veterans' organizations draw up their own "independent budget" for the Department of Veterans Affairs every year.

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Politics
11:09 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Senators Reach Deal To Pay For Veterans' Care Outside VA System

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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