Image by Ian MacDonald

 Supporting our Vets 

 

Risked the Ultimate

Our Country values the Brave who go into the service of the United States and we respect those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defending our great country.

We must never stop working to improve the care we provide for our Veterans and this care should never be decided on politics.

As your Congressman, I’ll take seriously the responsibility of having to ask our kids, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters in our Armed Forces to risk their lives in defending our Country, and I will work tirelessly to make sure they receive the best care and respect after their duty is done.

 

The VA

Over 130 years ago the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs opened its doors to our nation’s veterans. The VA health care system employs nearly 370,000 health care professionals. The VA operates 171 medical centers and approximately 1,200 community-based clinics It provides care to 9 million veterans, their spouses and families with medical, dental and vision care.

Like all large bureaucracies there comes a time when the system breaks down due to inefficiency and ineptness. The VA went through a bad period not long ago when huge backlogs, falsification of records and just bad care in general led to Congress to act.

The task at hand is for Congress to keep acting, reform the VA so as to attract top health care professionals and recruit the thousands it badly needs to fill vacancies around the country.

 

What Congress Can Do

Right now Congress can improve and expand VA care. There is The Veterans Dental Care Eligibility Expansion and Enhancement Act of 2021 that delivers dental care for all veterans through the VA and gets rid of barriers to health care for veterans. In March, the House passed, despite Republican opposition, The Honoring our PACT Act of 2021 that expands health care to veterans exposed to toxins.

The COST of War Act increases disability compensation and benefits for veterans. Finally, The Healthcare for Burn Pit Veterans Act gives Post-9/11 combat veterans, including those suffering from conditions caused by toxic exposures, such as burn pits, access to VA health care.

Congress needs to act on these bills.

 

Making the VA Work

The VA struggles to fill medical center director positions as pay is capped and is not competitive with the private sector. Low pay and the federal bureaucracy do not appeal to most health care workers. Much more has to be done to address this important problem affecting our veterans and their families.

 

VA Loans

The VA program for homebuyers should work better for our vets. As a Realtor, I have worked with a number of Veterans helping them find their dream home using their VA benefits. However, many Veterans feel frustrated because of the strict conditions attached to the loan where the home has to be in nearly perfect shape. No VA financing is available for fixer-uppers. This leads many Veterans out of the market to buy the right home for them as VA financing often gets beat out by buyers using Conventional or FHA loans.

Expanding VA financing and amending certain restrictions will help the marketplace for Veterans and will be of great benefit to them and their families.