Posts Tagged ‘Veteran Club / VFW/ American Legion/ DAV’
IAVA Action Fund just released its 2010 Congressional Report Card – and we want you to be the first to check it out. This critical tool shows who in Congress took action for new veterans and who was full of hot air.
The grades are not good. The Report Card shows just how little Congress accomplished for Iraq and Afghanistan vets this year. Out of 535 legislators, only 20 legislators earned an A+, and more than a third of Congress earned Ds and Fs.
Congress showed promise for vets in the first half of this session, but by the second half, everything went downhill.
They failed to achieve real reform in our three most critical areas: improving the outdated VA disability claims process, upgrading the Post-9/11 GI Bill and helping vets find jobs in a tough economy.
As we head into the midterm elections, Americans must hold Congress accountable for their voting record. Vets can’t wait for the gridlock to clear in Washington. IAVA Action Fund is keeping our nation’s lawmakers honest, and ensuring that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans remain a priority on Capitol Hill. This is what the Report Card is all about.
Veterans bill improves benefits, protections
Posted : Friday Oct 15, 2010 13:27:03 EDT
An omnibus veterans benefits bill signed into law on Wednesday holds the promise of big changes for disabled veterans and their families, according to the two committee chairmen responsible for passing the compromise bill.
One example is an expansion of employment and re-employment legal protections and more financial protections for deployed and mobilized service members, including the opportunity for service members to sue people or businesses who violate the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act.
The bill, the Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010, was passed by Congress before lawmakers took an election break and was signed by President Obama on Wednesday.
“Veterans across the country will see their benefits improve,” said Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, highlighting programs to increase automotive grants for disabled veterans, provide childcare services for homeless veterans and expand life insurance for disabled veterans.
“Many of these provisions were pending for some time, and I am pleased that they have now become law,” said Akaka, referring to the fact that the bill took two years to pass as lawmakers grappled with what programs to include and what to leave out.
Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., the House Veterans’ Affairs committee chairman, said the bill “will make a big difference in the lives” of many veterans. He mentioned improvements in employment help, more research into health issues facing Gulf War veterans and expansion of financial and legal protections of deployed troops as key items.
Until now, violations of the legal or financial protections under the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act did not include penalties. Now, violators would face fines of up to $55,000 for a first offense and up to $110,000 for subsequent violations, and individuals whose rights are violated also may sue for civil damages and attorney fees.
Additionally, the law expands termination rights for residential and motor vehicle leases and for telephone service contracts.
On auto and residential leases, the new law requires unpaid balances to be pro-rated from the effective date of termination, rather than being charged through the end of the next billing period. And when residential leases are canceled because of mobilization or deployment, early termination fees may not be charged.
On telephone contracts, the law allows termination of a cell phone or telephone exchange service any time a military member receives notice of orders to relocate for 90 days or longer to a location not served by the current contract.
Additionally, family-plan cell phone contracts could be terminated if anyone on the plan is a service member who deploys or moves out of the service area. When phone service is terminated, a phone company would have to keep it available for up to three years for reuse by a service member, but getting the old number would require re-subscribing to the phone service within 90 days of returning.
|Stay tuned for some commentary on the notion of privatizing the VA Health Care System. The idea alone tells me the fringes groups in America can keep on chuggin’ with Freedom of Speech rights, but maybe we can get them to share them in the bathroom!|
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Jose M. Garcia
Past National Commander
Catholic War Veterans,USA
Better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot.
In God We Trust
A Synthesis of the Evidence Comparing Care in VA vs. Non-VA Settings
The quality of VA care has long been a subject of debate, even after its health care system transformation starting in the mid-90s. Although there have been some exceptions, the media has often portrayed VA health care in a less than optimal light. Regardless, VA has established itself as an innovative health care system, as evidenced in the early adoption of an advanced electronic medical record and its recent efforts to create patient-centered primary care teams.
Recently, investigators at the West Los Angeles VA Evidence-Based Practice Center conducted a literature review to compare and contrast studies that assess VA and non-VA quality of care for surgical, non-surgical, and other medical conditions. Investigators reviewed 55 articles published after 1990: 17 articles addressed surgical conditions, and 38 addressed medical and other non-surgical conditions. Findings from their report include:
- Ten comparative studies assessing the use of preventive services, care for acute and chronic medical conditions, and changes in health status, including mortality, showed superior performance–as measured by greater adherence to accepted processes of care, better health outcomes, or improved patient ratings of care–for health care delivered in the VA compared with care delivered outside the VA.
- Studies of the quality of hospital and nursing home care demonstrate similar risk-adjusted mortality rates in VA facilities compared with non-VA facilities. VA hospitals had somewhat better patient safety outcomes compared with non-VA hospitals.
- Studies of the quality of mental health care demonstrate that the quality of antidepressant prescribing is slightly better in VA compared to private sector settings.
- Elderly VA patients were less likely to be prescribed potentially inappropriate medications than elderly patients receiving care through Medicare managed care plans.
- Stroke patients receiving rehabilitation in VA settings were discharged with better functional outcomes.
- Of four general surgery studies, three revealed no significant differences in adjusted post-operative morbidity rates, while one found significantly lower rates of post-operative morbidity in the VA setting compared with the private sector.
- Three of the four studies assessed risk-adjusted mortality rates, and of these, two found no significant difference across settings.
- Of three solid organ transplant articles, two found no significant differences in patient survival when comparing VA patients with non-VA patients. Additionally, one of these found no significant difference in graft survival between these two groups.
Overall, the available literature suggests that the care provided in the VA compares favorably to non-VA care systems, albeit with some caveats. Studies that used accepted process of care measures and intermediate outcomes measures, such as control of blood pressure or hemoglobin A1c, for quality measurements almost always found VA performed better than non-VA comparison groups. Studies looking at risk-adjusted outcomes generally have found no differences between VA and non-VA care, with some reports of better outcomes in VA and a few reports of worse outcomes in VA, compared to non-VA care. The studies of processes of care are mostly those about medical conditions, while the studies of outcomes are mostly about surgical conditions and interventional procedures.
Reference: Asch, S, Glassman P, Matula S, Trivedi A, Miake-Lye I and Shekelle P. Comparison of Quality of Care in VA and Non-VA Settings: A Systematic Review. VA-ESP Project # 05-226; 2010.
This report is a product of the HSR&D Evidence-Based Synthesis Program (ESP), which was established to provide timely and accurate syntheses of targeted healthcare topics of particular importance to VA managers and policymakers – and to disseminate these reports throughout VA.
See the full reports online.
This past Friday, September 4th, a group of Iraq and Afghan Vets gathered at the Downtown Campus of Pima Community College to form a new Veterans Club. The timing is right and the energy is high for these young warriors to gather together in a brotherhood of common experiences and guide themselves through the trails of academic life.
I only wish we had such camaraderie after the Nam. Possibly college life would not have been laced with as many obstacles as the war itself. With only 10 years to use the GI Bill, it took many vets that long to adjust, and by then the benefits were gone.
These men and women are on their game. The organizational skills of many of the first time attendees were impressive. The group of soldiers, sailors and Marines wasted no time in electing a slate of officers and establishing meeting times, currently to be on Fridays at 1pm in the Student Life Conference Room at the Downtown Campus.
The club members submitted a variety of names and selected the name; PCC Vets4Vets.
The officers for the Charter Organization are as follows:
President: Scotty Scotton/ United States Army veteran of 5 Conflicts
Vice President: Chris Clemens/ United States Army
Secretary: Levi Godkin/ United States Navy
Treasurer: Sam Rodenberger/ United States Army
Faculty Advisor: Tim Kelliher/ Army Ranger/ 206-7207
Student Life Coordinator: Bill Marshall/ Work Study/ Former Parachute Instructor.
Staff Program Coordinator: Mike Lopez/ 206-7528
At Large Resource Staff: Bob Hyde/ United States Navy Submarines/ Adjunct Teacher in
Business and Tutor. Owner of Artistic Gifts on 4th Ave.
Michael Brewer/ United States Marine Corps/ Chaplain for Pointman
Ministries Inc/ Service Officer Marine Corps League Nighthawk 72
Detachment/ Mentor for Merritt Retreat Center for Returning
For more information contact the PCC Vets4Vets President; Scotty Scotton at 272-7031 or the Campus staff; Mike Lopez at 206-7528