Jun 07

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VFW Washington Weekly – June 7, 2010

In This Issue:
1. VFW Victorious in Protecting DOD, VA Healthcare Programs
2. VA Creates Homeless Vet Hotline
3. Help VFW Win a $250,000 Grant
4. Afghanistan Now America's Longest War
5. Defense Budget Update
6. Vietnam MIA Identified
1. VFW Victorious in Protecting DOD, VA Healthcare Programs: The president's signature last week on H.R. 5014 ended a two-month battle that only the VFW waged to ensure all DOD and VA healthcare programs for all beneficiaries were recognized as meeting minimum essential coverage standards under the new national healthcare law.  H.R. 5014 recognizes all VA healthcare programs provided to more than 8 million beneficiaries.  H.R. 4887, signed into law April 26, recognizes all military Tricare and nonappropriated-fund healthcare programs for more than 9 million beneficiaries.  The battle began when House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) revealed just days before a full House vote that national healthcare legislation only recognized Tricare for Life as meeting standards, and excluded a half dozen other Tricare programs, as well as the NAF healthcare plan.  A closer review of the 2,400-page document revealed that not all VA healthcare programs were recognized either, to include those provided to widows and dependent children.  Whereas many in Washington chose to believe that the intent of the new law would not impact DOD or VA programs, the VFW knew differently, because bill language becomes the law of the land, and because the intent of the 111th Congress will carry little weight in the 125th Congress, when the nation's focus has moved on to other priorities.  The new national healthcare law had to be fixed, not for what it provided, but for what it omitted, and "The VFW is proud to have taken the lead on this issue on behalf of all of America's veterans, servicemembers and their families," said VFW National Commander Thomas J. Tradewell Sr.  "It's a prime example of what we do as advocates here in the Nation's Capitol."  To read the VFW press release, go to http://www.vfw.org/index.cfm?fa=news.newsDtl&did=5498.

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Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/fl/post4256/general/vfw-washington-weekly-june-7-2010/