The VA is failing to keep its promise to veterans and military families across the country. And due to the changing size and nature of the veteran population, the VA culture will only get worse if we don’t fix it now.
The Veterans Empowerment Act is the only VA reform proposal to address and mitigate the core problems at the VA. Introduced into the House of Representatives by Congressman Doug Lamborn, it would provide the type of reforms our heroes deserve – strengthening and preserving the VA while also allowing veterans access to care outside the VA system whenever they decide it is best.
The Veterans Empowerment Act would put veterans before the VA bureaucracy, make the VA a more patient-centered health-care provider, and allow the VA to focus on its key competencies of treating veterans with service connected injuries.
Sign your name to support the legislation and demand our heroes receive the health care choice, accountability, and access they deserve.
The VHA has developed certain capabilities that are worth preserving. From prosthetics to mental health, the VA is a leader in certain areas of medicine that would be in the country’s best interest to maintain and possibly even to expand. By making the VA integrated health care system a government chartered non-profit organization, they can actually better focus on those capabilities.
We believe that many veterans will still chose to use the independent VA health care system because of the VA’s specialization in treating certain conditions and because most plans offered through our premium support would provide most services through the independent VA health care system (which we rename the Veterans Accountable Care Organization- VACO) with no-cost sharing. Additionally, if the new, independent VA health care system uses the flexibility granted by its new nonprofit status to make changes that improve quality of care then it is likely more veterans will begin to use the VA health care system.
No, VA health care is a benefit, not an entitlement, like it is for retired military. There are no costs for service-connected disabilities. Veterans are already required to pay co-pays through the current VA health care system for certain non-service connected medical services. Cost-sharing is already in effect for retired military in their current system, TRICARE. Under the Veterans Empowerment Act, veterans who use the independent VACO will only have to pay the existing copays or deductibles.
The VA health care system was originally created to serve service-connected disabled veterans. Additionally, the priority group system was created by Congress to ensure that those veterans with higher disability ratings received a higher priority for care within the VA health care system in addition to the higher levels of benefits associated with a higher disability rating. Therefore, in keeping with the principle of reorienting the VA health care system back towards its original mission of caring the veterans with service-connected disabilities, the proposed premium support plan bases its level of premium support based on level of disability, whether or not a veteran served in a combat zone, and financial need.
All current enrollees will be grandfathered into new system with the same level of benefits. No veterans who are currently enrolled in the VA system will be kicked out of the system. However, the Veterans Empowerment Act proposes tightening eligibility requirements for new enrollees at a certain date in order to reorient the VA back towards its mission of providing care for service-connected disabled veterans.
Through the introduction of cost-sharing and tightening enrollment eligibility requirements. OMB has stated at the Commission on Care meetings that purchased care costs less than VHA provided care.
No, eligible veterans would be able to purchase their plans through a menu of available insurance plans in their states that would be made available through the Veterans Health Insurance Program (VHIP). Veterans would not be forced to use Healthcare.gov or use a state or federally-run Obamacare exchange.
This was done in order to make sure that the program is implemented as smoothly as possible and to ensure that any implementation issues can be addressed with a fewer number of veterans within the system. This is also why theVeterans Empowerment Act would create an implementation commission to oversee the implementation of the recommended reforms.
TheVeterans Empowerment Act does not in any way alter the relationship between the VA and DoD.
TheVeterans Empowerment Act does not address the disability system or the Veteran Benefit Administration.