Salisbury’s Dole calls Congress to act on veteran’s behalf

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, June 26, 2024

WASHINGTON — Salisbury’s Elizabeth Dole delivered remarks on Tuesday on behalf of the nation’s largest veteran service organization during a press conference near Capitol Hill, urging Congress to pass the Senator Elizabeth Dole 21st Century Veterans Healthcare and Benefits Improvement Act.
The bill, the largest veterans’ legislation in this Congress, contains more than 90 sections addressing such critical issues as long-term care, mental health, caregivers, education, job training and Veterans Affairs modernization.
Key provisions of the bill:
  • Increasing home-based care resources: Expands access to home- and community-based services at every VA medical center, which would provide severely ill and aging veterans with more and better options to receive their care at home rather than in institutions.
  • Improving access to care: Helps ensure that decisions between veterans and their VA providers about seeking care in the community are honored. Enhances access to critical residential rehabilitation treatment Programs for mental health and substance use disorder treatment.
  • Honoring the fallen: Expands education benefits for surviving families. Removes archaic language that penalizes surviving spouses from moving forward after their loss.
  • Supporting homeless veterans: Raises the grant and per-diem rate for veteran homelessness providers who partner with VA and provide rideshares to veterans for medical, housing, and employment appointments and ensure veterans can get the resources they need to be lifted out of homelessness.
  • Caring for caregivers: Creates mental health care grants for certain caregivers who become strained by the demands of providing help and support to veterans with heightened needs. Provides a pathway to advocacy for organizations to provide veteran families support navigating VA’s caregiver and long-term care services.

In addition to Dole, other speakers included: Randy Reese, Washington executive director of Disabled American Veterans (DAV); Kathryn Monet, CEO, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV); Carl Blake, CEO, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA); Chanin Nuntavong, executive director, National Headquarters, The American Legion; Bonnie Carroll, president, founder, Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors (TAPS); Ryan Gallucci, executive director, Washington Office, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW); and Jose Ramos, vice president, government & community relations, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).