At the North Dakota Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Mid-Winter Conference today, Senator John Hoeven outlined veterans legislation he worked to pass last year and his priorities in the new Congress to provide better health care and benefits for veterans in North Dakota and across the nation, including improving access to alternative treatments for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) to bolster suicide prevention efforts.
Over the past year, the Senate approved and the President signed into law 15 pieces of legislation to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and strengthen veteran benefits. Hoeven worked to pass each of these bills, including the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act. This bipartisan legislation improves on the Veterans Choice Program (VCP) and includes key provisions from Hoeven’s legislation to increase veterans’ access to long-term care options in their home communities.
Further, as a member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Committee, Hoeven helped ensure the Fiscal Year 2019 funding legislation provided strong support for veterans’ services, including:
- Mental health and suicide prevention services.
- Opioid abuse prevention and treatment programs.
- Homeless assistance programs.
- Support for veteran caregivers.
- Advancing efforts to provide veterans with greater health care and long-term care options closer to home.
“Our men and women in uniform have earned their benefits through their tremendous service to this nation,” Hoeven said. “That’s why we’ve focused on funding critical VA services and reforming the VA’s community care programs, which will help them access these benefits. The VA MISSION Act will provide veterans with more health care and long-term care options closer to home, but only if we ensure that it is implemented properly. At the same time, our Veterans Care Coordination initiative provides a successful model for scheduling community care appointments. Accordingly, my priorities moving forward are to maintain this initiative at the Fargo VA and ensure the expertise and input of our local VA professionals, veteran service organizations and the veterans themselves are utilized by the administration in enacting this important piece of legislation.”