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Florida veteran explains how the state can lead the way on VA reform

Doctor Looking at a Veteran's VA Records

By Concerned Veterans for America

Hundreds of thousands of veterans make Florida their home, and lawmakers in the state have made caring for veterans a top priority over the years.

CVA Coalitions Director and U.S. Army veteran Jimmie T. Smith hopes to see that continue in the new Congress.

Jimmie made his case for more VA reforms in a recent piece in Florida Politics:

If you need proof that the VA needs reform, look no further than a recent survey done of the military community in the Jacksonville area.

This survey found large percentages of veterans identified needing medical services, resources for mental health and PTSD, and disability claims support. When a federal health care system exists to provide these very resources, and veterans are still reporting they need help, something must be done.

The simple answer is that veterans should have greater choice in where they seek their health care. There are clear actions the incoming Congress can take in its first days to get the ball rolling.

Jimmie continues that there are reforms on the table that are a starting point for the new Congress. Further, any reforms should follow the principle of empowering veterans with choice over their care.

All veterans should have the choice to use their benefits at the provider that best meets their needs, whether their wait times at the VA are for three days or 30 days.

The bottom line of these reforms is simple: veterans, not the VA bureaucracy, should be the priority in veterans’ health care policy, and veterans should be empowered with choices to make the health care decisions that are right for them.

You can read the rest of Jimmie T. Smith’s piece on VA reform in Florida Politics.