About H. R. 4457
Overview: H.R 4457 "Veterans Empowerment Act" is a bill that will "amend title 38, United States Code, to establish the Veterans Accountable Care Organization and to provide veterans access to private health insurance plans, and for other purposes." The Veterans of Foreign Wars has stated that the bill "would dismantle the VA health care system, require veterans to pay for care they need to recuperate from military injuries and illnesses and reduce VA’s role to an insurance program for veterans." In essence, H.R. 4457 would transform the VA's health care system to an insurance program for veterans. Under this plan the VA would continue to operate "centers of excellence" as care facilities. Veterans would choose between continuing to use the centers and enrolling in the "VetsCare" health insurance program for non-service connected care.
What you can do
Help us voice our concern to congress that this bill will dismantle our VA health care system and require veterans to pay for the care that they have already earned defending our country. Read the bill and use the URL to the VFW Action Alert to tell your Congressman that they were elected to improve, not dismantle, the health care America provides her veterans and that veterans do not want this bill!
Key points of H.R 4457
- Excludes nursing home and domiciliary care.
- Creates the "Veterans Accountable Care Organization", governed by a Board of Directors (see page 3 of bill for details).
- All VA assets and staff will be transferred to the organization.
- Permits reduction in force.
- Terminates all functions of the current VA Health Administration directly relating to furnishing of hospital care, medical services and other health care.
- VA will continue to administer "centers of excellence" relating to service-connected injuries and other medical issues under the direction of the organization Board of Directors.
- All VA assets and staff will be transferred to the organization.
- Creates the "Veterans Accountable Care Organization Fund" to fund "centers of excellence" and related costs of health care or medical services furnished to a veteran at the organization's facilities.
- Establishes the "Veterans Health Insurance Program" also referred to as the VetsCare Federal program and VetsCare Choice program.
- Establishes secondary payer, i.e. TRICARE, Medicare, for non-service connected care provided under the program.
- Cost of care, including copayments, will be determined by the organization.
About VetsCare Choice
- All veterans currently eligible VA services under 38 U.S.C 1705(a) are eligible participate in VetsCare and may elect health insurance support in lieu of eligibility for hospital care, medical services, and other health care.
- Veterans may continue to use the Department (VA) pharmacies.
- Health Insurance Support - paying or reimbursing eligible veterans for costs associated with health insurance support.. in a manner similar to Medicare and Medicaid Services. There are four types of health insurance support:
- Premium support will be tiered based on eligibility (percent disabled), ranging from full acutarial value (premium) of benifits (no copay) for for Priority Group 1 veterans who are 100% disabled to 70% acturarial value (premium) of benifits (30% copay). See About HR 4457.pdf below or the bill for tier details.
- Premium Support Based on Need - tiered support for veterans with an annual gross household income that is less than 400 percent of the poverty line. See pages 20 - 21 for details and https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines for poverty guidelines.
- Cost Sharing Support - Support for copayments, deductibles, or other health insurance provider charges in order to ensure that the effective minimum actuarial value of benefits a prescribed percentage, based on income. See 21 - 22 for details.
- Alternative Support - Veterans who obtain a high deductible health plan that includes a health savings account are eligible for alternative support. See pages 22-23 for details.
- VetsCare Senior program - for Medicare eligible veterans - Medicare or a Medicare supplement policy will be responsible for non-service connected disability health care costs.
URL to bill status: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/4457
URL to bill text (pdf): https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr4457/BILLS-115hr4457ih.pdf
URL to Title 38, US Code: http://codes.findlaw.com/us/title-38-veterans-benefits/#!tid=NB92F0A440A044393BB3F1A4B1CC409B9
URL to US Poverty Guidelines: https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines
URL to Congressman Lamborn: https://lamborn.house.gov/
URL to VFW Action Alert: http://capwiz.com/vfw/utr/1/IAJGBARZHWP/ISJQBARZJIV/11612121316
To my Comrades
Since our last newsletter, our Post has been busy and continues to be busy. We had a visit from the VA Service Officer along with our Post Service Officer helping several Veterans and their Families. Our Senior Vice Commander Steven Bustamante and Junior Vice Commander Cindy Galvin organized a memorial service for a recent widow of a Veteran (Ray Belasco) which was in the local news and was well attended by Veterans and the community. Also, We attended the Penrose Apple Day Parade. Our Color Guard looked very sharp and our Auxiliary float was an outstanding representation of "One voice for our Veterans and their families".
Hello Auxiliary Members,
Greetings Brothers & Sisters
Nov. has been a busy month and we’ have not reached the end yet. We had a great turnout for the Veterans Day Parade which included a large group of G.S who carried our banner, rode on our float, or marched + waved their little arms off.
We prepared + served two dinners for THI which were not only yummy, but very much appreciated.
Every Sunday-Breakfast $6.00: 8 until 10.30am (eggs to order, pancakes or French toast, bacon or sausage, and white or wheat toast) Line with hash browns, corned beef hash, biscuits and gravy.
Need cooks and kitchen help to re-establish teams.
Sunday 8am until 1pm
Tuesday 1pm until 7pm
Wednesday 1pm until 7pm
Thursday 1pm until 7pm
Friday 1pm until 8pm, BONUS happy hour food is back. $3 a plate and plates are sold at the Bar
Saturday 1pm until 7pm
1st Tuesday: Business and Development, House Committee and Finance meeting. (7 PM)
2nd Tuesday: Post and VFW Auxiliary meetings - 7 PM
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Let’s agree on this; Veteran Homelessness is a phrase we should never need to utter. For a multitude of reasons, some Veterans have become endangered of losing their permanent housing or have lost it all together. Once that final step has happened, the Veteran enters the spiral of a whirlpool that is almost impossible to recover from without outside support and help.
Let me introduce to you a multi-element program named Homes for all Veterans that is led by Veterans Affairs (VA). The grant funding allows Homes For All Veterans to provide outreach, case management and access to community resources to more than 1,000 Veteran households each year who are either homeless or in danger of homelessness throughout the state of Colorado and southern Wyoming.