Our affiliated organization www.vhcac.org sponsored a Forum on Real Threats to Veterans Healthcare on April 13. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was scheduled to make some remarks, but she didn’t just make remarks, she stayed and listened, and gave the audience her thoughts and feelings about what we need to do to honor our veterans and to keep the Veterans Health Administration a viable and fully functioning organization. Other speakers were:
Suzanne Gordon, Award-winning journalist & author
Michael Blecker, U.S. Army Veteran, Swords to Plowshares Executive Director
Maj. Gen. Mike Myatt, USMC (Ret.) President & CEO, Marines’ Memorial Association
Edgar Escobar U.S. Army Veteran, President, Veterans Alliance City College of San Francisco
Suzanne Gordon, one of our founding members has published an excellent book about the VHA and it provides all the information you would need, with specific references, to counter the fake news that is so popular in the media.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill mulling legislation to extend a program that lets veterans seek health care in the private sector have revived their longstanding complaints about long wait times for care at the Veterans Health Administration facilities. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and Dr. Baligh Yehia, the agency’s assistant under secretary, appeared before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs to testify on HR 369, a bill that would allow the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act to continue past its sunset date of August 2017. Read More Here
Treating people for free or for very little money has been the role of community health centers across the U.S. for decades. In 2015, 1 in 12 Americans sought care at one of these clinics; nearly 6 in 10 were women, and hundreds of thousands were veterans.
The community clinics — now roughly 1,300-strong — have also expanded in recent years to serve people who gained insurance under the Affordable Care Act. In 2015, community health centers served 24.3 million people — up from 19.5 million in 2010. Most of the centers are nonprofits with deep roots in their communities and they meet the criteria to be a federally qualified health center. That means they can qualify for federal grants and a higher payment rate from Medicaid and Medicare.
The ACA was a game changer for these clinics — it has enabled them to get reimbursement for much more of the care they provided, because more of their patients now had private insurance or were on Medicaid. Revenue at many clinics went up overall, and many of the health centers used federal funding available under the law to expand their physical facilities and add more services, such as dentistry, urgent care or mental health care.
With repeal of the ACA looming, clinic directors said they stay up at night wondering what’s next. We spoke with four, who all say their clinics are in a holding pattern as Congress debates the health law’s future. Read More