Will Anything Improve?
On November 7, 2012, the 310 million people in the United States woke up to … nearly an identical government. President Obama remains in the White House, the Democrats control the U.S. Senate, the Republicans run the U.S. House of Representatives, and all nine Supreme Court justices remain on the bench.
Are there potential impacts for our 22 million living veterans? Of those, nearly six million use VA healthcare, and more than three million receive VA disability benefits. Leo Shane at Stars & Stripes writes about the impact of the 2012 elections on Veterans and VA:
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki promised to end veterans homelessness by late 2015, eliminate the veterans benefits backlog by late 2015, and establish a joint VA-DOD lifelong medical records system by 2017. All of those ambitious deadlines will come during Obama’s second term.
Shane raises key issues: ending veteran homelessness, VBA’s chronic claim delay and error crisis, and improving transition from combat to community.
However, there are many more vital issues facing veterans.
- What about the serious suicide epidemic, where each day 18 veterans kill themselves?
- What about chronic delays processing Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits?
- What about the vacancy at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims?
- What about the landmark lawsuit, Veterans for Common Sense v. Shinseki, now on the way to the U.S. Supreme Court?
- What will the departure of long-time veteran-advocate Bob Filner (D-CA) mean for tenor of hearings held by the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee?
- Will wounded Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth, a former top VA political appointee elected to the House as a Democrat from Illinois, serve on Veterans’ Affairs?
- Will the “fiscal cliff” exclude VA, as the Obama Administration insists?
- What about the urgent need for revised regulations for Traumatic Brain Injury, a serious wuond impacting hundreds of thousands of veterans harmed by roadside bombs?
Stay tuned to Bergmann & Moore’s blog for more details on all these important issues.