Senate To Consider Massive Bill To Revamp Veterans’ Benefits
The legislation would expand health, education and other benefits for vets and would cost $21 billion over 10 years.
The Associated Press: Vets Benefits Bill Should Win Initial Senate Vote
A sprawling Democratic bill expanding health, education and other benefits for veterans seems ready to clear an initial hurdle in the Senate. Yet the election-year measure faces an uncertain fate as Republicans try to make it smaller and find ways to pay for it. The legislation, which sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., says would cost $21 billion over the coming decade, could confront GOP lawmakers with an uncomfortable campaign-season test over curbing spending for the nation’s 22 million veterans and their families (Fram, 2/25).
Politico Pro: Senate To Debate Veterans' Health Care Bill
A massive veterans bill the Senate will consider this week would greatly increase their access to health care, through more than two dozen new facilities across the country, greater rehabilitation for men and women who have returned from deployments with traumatic brain injuries and other services. The omnibus legislation would be the largest package of veterans' benefits passed in decades. Veterans groups are championing the multibillion-dollar bill not only because of its focus on expanded medical and dental care but also its array of provisions aimed at helping veterans obtain education and find jobs (Cunningham, 2/24).
Meanwhile, the budget request for the Defense Department next year also calls for some health benefit cuts for active duty military.
The Washington Post: Pentagon Budget Would Cut Military Health Benefits And Commissary Funds
The Pentagon's 2015 budget proposal would raise health-care costs for certain members of the military community and drastically trim subsidies for the commissaries that provide discounted groceries to troops and their families (Hicks, 2/24).
The Washington Post: Little Uniformity In Military Health Care
A new series of critical reports highlights the need to speed up unification of the military services' separate approaches to health care, which is one of the fastest-growing budget items but still lacks common standards for dealing with some medical issues (Pincus, 2/24).