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ND Veterans Affairs News

Stacy Kaper
National Journal
June 12, 2014

The Senate’s passage Wednesday of legislation intended to stop veterans from dying waiting for health care is likely to be Congress’s last major reform bill for the year to address failings in veterans’ services or clean up the embattled Veterans Affairs Department.

BY MARK FLATTEN | JUNE 11, 2014 | 6:20 PM
Washington Examiner

Department of Veterans Affairs memo that prohibits top administrators from answering questions from members of Congress, the media or veterans' groups is being called a “gag order” meant to cover up agency wrongdoing by a Kansas congressman.

By Cristina Marcos
The Hill
June 11, 2014, 06:14 pm

The House on Wednesday adopted an amendment from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) to allow veterans to apply for food stamps while their disability claims are pending with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

By Leo Shane III 
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 11, 2014 - 06:00AM

The Senate overwhelmingly passed emergency legislation on Veterans Affairs Department health visits and administrator accountability Wednesday, paving the way for the reforms to become law in a matter of days.

Yesterday, President Obama signed an Executive Order that will automatically apply a 6% interest rate cap to eligible federal student loan borrowers under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act without the need for additional paperwork.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2014                              

WASHINGTON –Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson met with the leadership of 27 Military and Veterans Service Organizations (MSOs and VSOs) following the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) release of results from its Nationwide Access Audit, and other facility level access data.

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 5, 2014 - 12:22PM

While the Veterans Affairs Department encourages former troops with Gulf War illness symptoms to file claims for health care and benefits, only one in five applications are approved, according to data obtained by Military Times.

By Leo Shane III 
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 5, 2014 - 05:32PM

Congress appears poised to adopt new legislation making it easier for veterans to get private medical care and harder for underperforming administrators to keep their jobs, under a deal announced by Senate leaders Thursday.

By ANDY MEDICI
Federal Times
Jun. 2, 2014 - 12:24PM

The Veterans Affairs Department secretary would be able to fire senior executives and the agency would receive new hiring authorities and emergency funding under legislation announced June 1.

By Leo Shane III 
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 3, 2014 - 04:01PM

Lawmakers from both parties want major changes in how the Veterans Affairs Department operates — and that will make it difficult to enact any changes at all.

Senate Democrats and Republicans this week are offering competing plans for VA reform, including making it easier to fire top department officials and cutting wait times for veterans in need of health care.

JUNE 3, 2014
Not all Veterans are getting the timely access to the healthcare that they have earned. Systemic problems in scheduling processes have been exacerbated by leadership failures and ethical lapses. I will use all available authority to swiftly and decisively address issues of willful misconduct or mismanagement.

VA’s first priority is to get all Veterans off waiting lists and into clinics while we address the underlying issues that have been impeding Veterans’ access to healthcare. The President has made clear that this is his expectation.

May 30, 2014 | by Bryant Jordan, Military.com

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on Friday said he is firing the top administrators of the VA Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona -- ground zero for what Shinseki called a systemwide problem of officials manipulating patient appointment schedules.

Shinseki also said he will ask the Senate to vote on legislation granting him greater authority to fire managers across the VA responsible for what he called a breakdown in trust and integrity.

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer
May. 27, 2014 - 07:33PM

A new Veterans Affairs Department effort to shorten wait times for veterans needing health care could include extended hours and overtime at VA health facilities in addition to increased staffing at some VA primary care clinics.

In cases where VA cannot meet demand for timely appointments in-house, the initiative would expand access to care in private health facilities paid for by VA.

Fellow Veterans and Family Members,

After 38 years in The Army, I am now honored and privileged to serve as your Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA).  VA remains committed to providing the high quality benefits you have earned and deserve.

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