Summary

2/3/2014--Introduced. Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014 - Amends federal veterans provisions to revise or add provisions concerning medical services and... Read More

Status

This bill was introduced on Feb 4, 2014, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.

Bill Text

This bill text has not yet been received from the Government Printing Office.

Sentiment Map

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Nation

918 Supporting
109 Opposing
89% 11%

State: CA

59 Supporting
1 Opposing
98% 2%

District: 1st

3 Supporting
0 Opposing
100% 0%

Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

Urge Passage of Comprehensive Veterans' and Health Benefits Package Today! Background: Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman, Bernie Sanders introduced the Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014. The bill, S. 1982, is the most comprehensive veterans legislation to be introduced in decades. It addresses many of the VFW's legislative priority goals, including a full repeal of the military retiree one percent COLA reduction that penalizes working-age military retirees and their families. If signed into law, this sweeping legislation would expand and improve health care and benefit services to all generations of veterans and their families. Most notably, it would expand the current caregiver law to include all generations of veterans and provide advance appropriations to ensure monthly compensation and pension as well as education payments are protected from future budget battles. The bill also offers in-state tuition protection for recently transitioned veterans, improves access to mental health and treatment for victims of sexual assault in the military, and authorizes construction of more than 20 Community Bases Outpatient Clinics to serve veterans in rural and remote communities. Action Needed: Call and email your Senators today. urge them to pass S. 1982, the Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Restoration Act of 2014. Tell them that this historic legislation will provide vital services to all generations of veterans and their families. Remind them that past, present and future veterans have earned the critical services this legislation will provide. http://www.capwiz.com/vfw/issues/alert/?alertid=63063196#.UvOzxjuRJ7Y.email

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Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) urges its members and all veterans to contact your senators and ask them to support S. 1982 (formerly S. 1950), the “Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014,” introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. This legislation marks one of the most comprehensive bills to ever be considered in the Senate or House. If enacted, S. 1982 would accomplish some of the highest priorities for Paralyzed Veterans and its members. This comprehensive bill would create, expand, advance, and extend a wide array of VA health care and benefits services and programs that are important to Paralyzed Veterans and its members. Specifically, this legislation provides for the expansion of the Comprehensive Caregiver Assistance Program to veterans of all eras (not just those injured after September 11, 2001). This change represents one of the single biggest priorities for Paralyzed Veterans. The legislation also addresses another high priority for Paralyzed Veterans. Specifically, the bill provides advance appropriations authority for VA’s mandatory funding accounts (compensation and pension, education benefits, dependency and indemnity compensation, etc.) to ensure that in the event of a future government shutdown, veterans’ benefits payments would not be delayed or put in jeopardy. The need for this change was revealed during the partial government shutdown that occurred in October 2013. Another high priority for Paralyzed Veterans that this legislation addresses is repeal of the reduction in future cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for all military retirees, not just service members who are retired due to disability. The Senate and House shamefully approved a one percent reduction in the COLA for military retirees as a part of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement in December 2013. The legislation opens the VA health care system up to any veteran who wishes to enroll for care instead of entering into a health care exchange under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, it sets up a mechanism to expand access to dental care for all veterans. http://www.pva.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=ajIRK9NJLcJ2E&b=6350111&ct=13607085

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VetsFirst believes that veterans must have access to high-quality Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care and benefits. Fiscal fights in Congress were a recurring scene in 2013. By the end of the year, concerns over our nation’s debt extended to program costs at VA. In December, Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) attempted to move a large veterans’ benefits bill; however, it was blocked by a Senate colleague who had concerns about the cost of the legislation. Chairman Sanders is now intent on moving a comprehensive package of benefits through the Senate in the coming weeks. The Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014 (S. 1982) contains many key provisions that would provide needed benefits and supports for veterans living with disabilities. Some of these provisions include expanded access to caregiver benefits and services to help veterans grow their families. Veterans living with significant disabilities often depend on the tireless support of their caregivers. Many family members have sacrificed for decades to provide that care. This legislation contains a key provision that would expand eligibility for VA’s enhanced caregiver program to include caregivers of certain veterans who were injured before September 11, 2001. This change would ensure that these caregivers have the supports that recognize their sacrifice and allow them to continue to provide the care that helps disabled veterans live independent lives. Veterans who have sustained traumatic injuries on the battlefield also may have trouble starting or growing their families due to their injuries. This legislation provides reproductive treatment and services, including assisted reproductive technology, through VA. It also provides financial assistance for veterans who choose to pursue adoption. This is a critically needed provision for many disabled veterans who have few options in expanding their families. Another important provision in this legislation provides advance funding for all of VA’s mandatory accounts. This advance funding would ensure that monthly disability benefits payments are not delayed in the event of a long-term government shutdown. This provision would assure veterans that their earned disability pay would not be impacted by budget fights in Washington. VetsFirst believes this legislation goes a long way toward fulfilling many of the current and future needs of our disabled veterans. http://www.vetsfirst.org/the-comprehensive-veterans-health-and-benefits-and-military-retirement-pay-restoration-act-of-2014/

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Dear Chairman Sanders and Ranking Member Burr, On behalf of the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN), we support and would like to request immediate Senate floor consideration of S. 1982, as amended, the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014. AUSN has been tracking and supporting many provisions of this omnibus Veterans bill, which are vital to our nation’s Veterans. S. 1982 contains provisions of the previous Veterans omnibus bill S. 944, originally the Veterans Educational Transition Assistance Act. The provisions would, amongst other things, firstly, amend Title 38, United States Code to require courses of education provided by public institutions of higher education that are approved for purposes of the All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program. Secondly, S. 1982 amends Post-9/11 Educational Assistance to charge Veterans tuition and fees at the in-State tuition rate (a provision which recently passed the House in the form of H.R. 357, by a vote of 390-0). The bill, furthermore, contains provisions of S. 495, the Careers for Veterans Act, which would require Federal agencies to hire Veterans and States to recognize the military experience of Veterans when issuing licenses and credentials. Another important provision, is derived from S. 629, the Honor America’s Guard-Reserve Retirees Act, which would amend United States Code to recognize service in the Reserve Components of the armed forces of certain persons by honoring them with status as Veterans under law. This is a very important issue to members of AUSN’s Reserve Component, and we hope that this provision will be considered soon so that men and women who have served a twenty plus year career in our Reserves may be recognized as Veterans under law. Finally, AUSN supports a number of additional provisions per S. 1982, addressing a wide range of Veterans issues. For instance, the bill contains provisions of S. 6, the Putting Our Veterans Back to Work Act of 2013, which reauthorizes the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. The S.6 provision calls for providing assistance to small business owned by Veterans and improving the enforcement of employment and reemployment rights for members of the uniformed services. We also praise the inclusion of provisions from S. 1216, the Job Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013, which would approve and increase the availability of on the job training and apprenticeship programs carried out by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. S. 1982 also draws provisions from S.1580 such as the Ensuring Safe Shelter for Homeless Veterans Act of 2013, which ensures shelters that receive per diem funding are operating within existing safety codes and regulations. Thank you for your consideration. AUSN hopes for swift passage by the Senate of this important omnibus bill to send to the House. With little Veterans legislation passed into law during the 1st Session of the 113th Congress, passage of S. 1982 would be an important way to start the 2nd Session. If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Legislative Director, Mr. Anthony A. Wallis at 703-548-5800.

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Supports. (http://www.veterans.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Legion1950.pdf)

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American Legion 1 year ago

A vitally important amendment will soon be offered in the Senate that would authorize advance appropriations for all VA programs, services and benefits – one of DAV’s highest legislative priorities – and to get this passed, your Senators need to hear directly from you. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Mark Begich (D-AK) will offer the amendment to S. 1982, the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Pay Restoration Act of 2014, veterans legislation that DAV strongly supports. Their amendment is similar to their bill, S. 932, the Putting Veterans Funding First Act, which the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs approved in a bipartisan vote of 13 to 1 last November. The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee approved similar legislation (H.R. 813) unanimously last August. VA’s medical care programs already receive advance appropriations since Congress passed, and the President signed, Public Law 111-81, the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, in October 2009 to provide the budget a year in advance. As a result, during the recent government shutdown while many VA offices and services were closed, VA hospitals and clinics were able to provide uninterrupted health care. By contrast, the shutdown delayed, disrupted and suspended other critical services for veterans. However, the advance appropriations process is not just a tactic for government shutdowns; it has made VA health care funding more timely and predictable every year and can do the same for the rest of VA’s programs, benefits and services. Advance appropriations can mitigate the disruptions caused by late-arriving budgets and continuing resolutions that occurred in 22 of the past 25 years. Furthermore, by passing advance appropriations, we can protect veterans from being used as political pawns during unrelated budget fights in the future. However, without adoption of the bipartisan Boozman-Begich amendment, veterans claims processing, burials, research and other vital functions of the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue to suffer from a broken budget process. Because of the complexities of Senate rules, we need to send a clear and strong message to Senators that the adoption of this amendment to S. 1982 is essential to fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served. By helping to ensure timely and predictable funding for all veterans benefits and services, the Boozman-Begich amendment is a crucial step to keeping those promises. Please use the prepared electronic text to urge your Senators to vote for this important amendment, to support any procedures necessary to allow a vote on this amendment, and then to vote for final passage of S. 1982. As always, we greatly appreciate your support of DAV and your grassroots activism in participating in DAV CAN, our Commander’s Action Network. Without the efforts of you and thousands like you, DAV would not be as influential and effective in our advocacy for veterans, particularly for those wounded, injured and ill from their military service. (Information provided by a POPVOX user. Source: http://capwiz.com/dav/issues/alert/?alertid=63087021)

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Show More Positions

Organizations Opposing

While the intentions of this bill are well, it will only increase the issues facing the Veterans Affairs (VA) system. -This bill will create least fifteen new government programs and increase federal spending. -The VA system is already suffering backlogs of unattended claims and general inefficiency. -S. 1982 will only worsen care for veterans and prohibit real reform from happening.

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Heritage Action 1 year ago

Users Supporting

I support The Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act because...Veterans put us first, returning the favor is the least we can do.

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TX
26
wisetexan
TX-26
11 months ago

I support The Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act because I have four nephews and several cousins who served in the military. Several of them are dealing with the VA on health issues and have found themselves in the long lines waiting for services that are caused by the lack of adequate funding. All of them deserve for the promises we made them to be kept.

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TX
32
JudithAdams
TX-32
11 months ago

I support The Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act because...as a disabled Vet, that was MISdiagnosed in the USAF...it would be impossible for me and my family to survive with out the benefits I receive...

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TX
13
Arthritic
TX-13
11 months ago

I support The Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act because...we should do this and much more for the people who put their lives on the line for our country.

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FL
1
Anonymous2320898
FL-1
11 months ago

I support The Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act because...This is an important bill to enact!

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CT
1
tbshar
CT-1
1 year ago

I support The Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act because...my father,now deceased ,was a 20 yr air force vet.Korean war era-vietnam era.He was incensed anytime there was ever talk of congress cutting veterans benefits.you can not change the terms of a contract after one party has met their obligations.It is wrong to renegue on a contract made with individuals who have sworn to defend you by putting their lives on the line

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MA
1
dave6460
MA-1
1 year ago

Users Opposing

I oppose The Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act because the bill adds layers of extra paperwork to an already broken system and will lessen the ability of that system to provide care for those who really need it.

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IA
2
Anonymous2749702
IA-2
1 year ago

I oppose The Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act because this is an extremely lengthy bill, which can only mean an unnecessary expansion of an already hulking bureaucracy. According to Heritage Action for America, this bill "will create fifteen new government programs and increase government spending" even though "the VA system is already suffering backlogs of unattended claims and general inefficiency." What needs to happen is either 1) the reduction the size of the VA system and elimination of unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles to premium care for our veterans; or 2) if possible, the gradual elimination of the VA system and transfer of the system's responsibilities to the private sector. Whatever the course of action taken, growing the VA system is not going to help our veterans but rather, in the words of Heritage Action for America, "worsen care for veterans and prevent real reform from happening." Respectfully,

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OH
8
SlatsTheAmerican
OH-8
1 year ago

Dear Senators; I strongly oppose The Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act because; although well intentioned the proposed legislation will only serve to dilute the limited resources available to many fellow veterans in dire need of the specialized care as provided by the Veterans Administration.. I am one of the more fortunate retired veterans, in exceptional health, not requiring much if any medical services. Please vote NO!! This is not a party line item, rather one of common sense in taking greater care of our Veterans!! Sincerely; John W. von Lange U.S. Army Retired

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MN
8
Anonymous655713
MN-8
1 year ago

I oppose The Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act because it would extend VA services to all veterans, even if their injuries are not related to their service. This increased eligibility would prevent those truly in need from obtaining the assistance they need through the VA.

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TX
25
Anonymous3377060
TX-25
1 year ago

it will hinder wounded veterans from receiving the care they need. I am a veteran, but I never served in battle. The VA has enough to do caring for the wounded. I don't need the same services they do.

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TX
32
jamesallman
TX-32
1 year ago

I oppose The Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act because The $24 billion package would create at least 15 new government programs and would extend VA services to all veterans, even if their injuries are not related to their service. This increased eligibility would prevent those truly in need from obtaining the assistance they need through the VA. The VA system already suffers a backlog of thousands of unattended claims. Adding new claims and programs to the already overburdened system would only make the program more inefficient and prevent real reform from occurring.

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KY
4
Anonymous2327319
KY-4
1 year ago

Bill Summary


2/3/2014--Introduced.
Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014 - Amends federal veterans provisions to revise or add provisions concerning medical services and other benefits provided to veterans and/or their dependents through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) relating to the following areas: -survivor and dependent matters, including benefits for children of certain veterans born with spina bifida; -education matters, including the approval of courses for purposes of the All-Volunteer Force and the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance programs; -the expansion and extension of certain health care benefits, including immunizations, chiropractic care, treatment for traumatic brain injury, and wellness promotion; -health care administration, including extension of the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Professional Scholarship Program, and -complementary and alternative medicine; -mental health care, including an education program and peer support program for family members and caregivers of veterans with mental health disorders; -dental care eligibility and expansion, including a program of education to promote dental health in veterans; -health care related to sexual trauma, including appropriate counseling and treatment and a screening mechanism to detect incidents of domestic abuse; -reproductive treatment and services, including fertility counseling as well as adoption assistance for severely wounded veterans; -major medical facility leases; -veterans' employment training and related services; -veterans' employment, including within the federal government and as first responders; -career transition services; -employment and reemployment rights of members of the Armed Forces after active duty service; -small business matters, including contracting and subcontracting participation goals with federal departments and agencies; - administrative matters, including regional support centers for Veterans Integrated Service Networks; -the revision of claims based on military sexual trauma as well as claims for dependency and indemnity compensation; - jurisdictional matters, including with respect to the Board of Veterans' Appeals and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; -the revision of certain rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, including protections with respect to the expiration of professional licenses, a prohibition on the denial of credit or the termination of residential leases due to military service, and the temporary protection of surviving spouses under mortgage foreclosures; and - outreach and miscellaneous matters, including: (1) repeal of the provision of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 that reduces the cost-of-living adjustment to the retirement pay of members of the Armed Forces under age 62, and (2) the accounting for discretionary accounts designated for overseas contingency operations/global war on terrorism.

S. 1981The Open Internet Preservation Act S. 1983 A bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bu...