I'm Greedy, I Am

Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Last week, the Senate unanimously approved S.2162, the Veterans Mental Health Improvements Act, which will help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other mental and physical injuries. The bill included provisions drawn from the Rural Veterans Health Care Improvement Act.

Provisions include:


  • Cuts the deductible disabled veterans have to pay before qualifying for mileage reimbursement from the VA from $15.44 per round trip to $6 per round trip when they travel for health care.
  • Makes permanent the increase in the VA’s mileage reimbursement rate for disable veterans who travel for health care from 11 cents to 28 cents per mile
  • Establishes a pilot program on peer outreach and support for veterans, use of community mental health centers and Indian health care facilities as mental health service centers for veterans and readjustment counseling for veterans
  • Provides families of veterans with mental health disabilities the opportunity to receive marital or family counseling
  • Creates a new program that aids low-income veterans facing homelessness
  • Requires the VA to reimburse hospitals that provide emergency treatment to veterans who have service-related disabilities

I'm very glad the Senate is at least making an effort to improve the support offered to vets, but I'll continue to harangue my Senators and Representative like a fishwife to do more. The provisions of this bill seem like too little, when our vets need so much.

3 comments:

Michelle K said...

OK, first, that's awesome (especially as I live in a rural state. (I'd be very surprised if Rockefeller wasn't pushing that bill actually.))

But what is this going to do about getting Veteran's to accept mental health care?

And this doesn't change the fact that active military service personnel are discouraged from getting treatment.

But it's a step in the right direction.

Janiece Murphy said...

Michelle, you make a good point.

As long as active duty or reserve service members have no hope of private care in the mental health arena, I think there will be far more service members who need care than get it.

A double-edged sword, to be sure.

Jim Wright said...

Janiece, fishwife. That made me laugh. But, yeah, along with the new VA bill this is a step in the right direction.

Me thinks somebody in Congress has realized that veterans vote - and there's a whole hell of a lot of us lately.

And yes, Michelle makes a very good point. What the solution is, I don't know, unless it's a clean sweep on the Pentagon idiots who think that you can spend a tour shooting people and getting shot at and just "walk it off."