Sunday, February 14, 2016

Fwd: Mid-Winter 2016 Talking Points

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Moses A. McIntosh, DAV National Commander, Linda Stake, DAVA National Commander <>
Date: Friday, February 12, 2016
Subject: Mid-Winter 2016 Talking Points
To: Sean Eagan <>

With the President's submission of the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) budget on February 9, DAV has added a new talking point dealing with the budget matters. All talking points for your upcoming meetings on Capitol Hill during our 2016 DAV Mid-Winter Conference are now available on the DAV website.
Our key legislative priorities and talking points for 2016 are as follows:
Reform of VA Health Care
The 2014 access-to-care crisis and aftermath have highlighted the need for significant reforms of the VA health care system. Efforts are underway both internally in VA and externally on Capitol Hill to fashion reforms that will better meet the needs of veterans.
Fiscal Year 2017 VA Budget
DAV is intensively reviewing this budget proposal, and we are working with the responsible committees to ensure that appropriations approved for VA in FY 2017 and FY 2018 are sufficient. We want to ensure that policies associated with this budget protect the interests of injured and ill veterans to receive timely, quality care from VA as well as the community and support a robust budget for VA to modernize and make necessary reforms.
Family Caregiver Support and Services
DAV has been working with Congress, VA and other advocates to expand the eligibility for comprehensive VA caregiver supports to veterans of all eras. Currently, only veterans severely injured on or after September 11, 2001 are eligible. Bills have been introduced and hearings have been held, yet only one bill to correct this inequity has been reported by the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.
Women Veterans
Meeting the transition needs of Women Veterans remains a key legislative priority for DAV in 2016.  DAV's special report-Women Veterans: The Long Journey Home identified gaps in benefits and services across the federal landscape for women service members and veterans. Both Congressional Veterans' Affairs Committees held hearings last year on women veterans issues and several legislative measures were introduced to correct deficiencies. Three measures highlighted in our report cleared the House on February 9, 2016 and have been sent to the Senate. 
Appeals Reform
With the help of DAV and other veterans service organizations, VA is attempting to address its unacceptable backlog in disability compensation appeals. DAV is working with VA and Congress on legislation to support these reforms.
Please use the talking points as a "leave-behind" for your meetings with Members of Congress. Paper copies will be available at the DAV Headquarters Office during the Mid-Winter Conference.

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 Sean Eagan

 Life Member VFW NY Post 53
 American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
Blog: Cold War Veterans Blog
Phone:  716 720-4000 
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