||March 16, 2012
Senate VA Committee Discusses Homelessness Goals
This week, the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee held a hearing to discuss homelessness and VA’s goal to end it by 2015. Much of the hearing centered on programs and services available to women veterans—a growing number among the homeless veteran population. Several female veterans told their stories of being homeless and looking to VA and community based organizations for help. Committee Chairman, Patty Murray referenced a recent GAO report that found many facilities not providing gender specific privacy, safety or security within the housing units. Other items discussed included oversight on the grant and per diem programs and its providers, matching grants with successful community-based programs and providing funding for services that meet the unique needs of women veterans. For more information from the hearing or to view the recorded webcast, click here. Read the GAO report.
Field Report: New Mexico Congressional Town Hall
Members of Congress are home in their districts this week, and VFW advocates have taken the opportunity to meet directly with their leaders on veterans’ issues. On Tuesday, VFW Post 7686 in Alamogordo, N.M., hosted a veterans’ town hall forum where post members and area veterans had an opportunity to meet with Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., and State Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-Alamogordo, to candidly discuss a variety of veterans’ issues like VA benefits-delivery and health care. Click here to learn more about the town hall.
Field Report Form Now Available
The VFW Capitol Hill vfwac.
Last September, unencrypted backup data tapes were stolen from the car of a government contractor. The tapes contained personal information on almost 4.9 million Tricare patients, which is more than half of all authorized users. Tricare Management Activity officials said the risk of compromise was low due to the sophistication of the software, but soon afterwards, some alleged victims discovered unauthorized bank transactions and bogus credit card charges. Eight class action lawsuits have now been filed charging the government and contractor SAIC with negligence in the care of sensitive personal and health information. A motion to consolidate all eight cases was made March 9. Concerned patients can call the SAIC Incident Response Call Center toll-free at 855-366-0140; international callers can call collect to 952-556-8312.
DOD Budget Impact in Review
The Defense Department’s fiscal year 2013 budget includes recommendations to reduce military pay raises and significantly increase Tricare enrollment fees and copays on military dependents and retirees over the next five years. Click here for a complete list of all the proposed increases. VFW is asking everyone to urge their elected officials to defeat. Send your representatives and senators a powerful message today.