Increase the Veterans Administration budget to recruit and retain more mental health professionals
Increase "the VA budget to recruit and retain more mental health professionals."
Expand Veterans Centers in rural areas
Expand "Vet Centers in rural areas so that veterans and their families can get the care they need where they live."
Establish standards of care for traumatic brain injury treatment
"Establish standards of care for TBI (traumatic brain injury) treatment, require pre- and post-deployment screenings and improve case management so that service members get the best possible care."
Fully fund the Veterans Administration
Fully fund "the VA so it has all the resources it needs to serve the veterans who need it, when they need it."
Assure that the Veterans Administration budget is prepared as 'must-pass' legislation
"Obama will meet early in the budgeting process each year with congressional leaders and the nation's leading Veterans' Service Organizations (VSOs) to ensure the VA budget is always given 'must-pass' status."
Allow all veterans back into the Veterans Administration
As one of his "first acts" as president, Obama will sign an executive order "ending the unfair ban on healthcare enrollment of certain groups of veterans, including 'Priority 8' veterans who often earn modest incomes." Currently, veterans who have no service-connected disability and make above a certain amount of income are not allowed to enroll in the VA health program.
Make the Veterans Administration a national leader in health reform
"Make the VA a leader of national health care reform. … This includes efforts to improve electronic records interoperability, expand effectiveness research, promote wellness programs, and instill more accountability for performance and quality improvement initiatives."
Expand the Veterans Administration's number of "centers of excellence" in specialty care
Expand the number of "centers of excellence for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), PTSD, vision impairment, prosthetics, spinal cord injury, aging, women's health and other specialized rehabilitative care."
Reduce the Veterans Benefits Administration claims backlog
"There are currently over 400,000 claims pending within the Veterans Benefits Administration, and over 800,000 claims receipts are expected in 2008 alone. … Obama will hire additional claims workers and convene our nation's leading veterans groups, employees and managers to develop an updated training and management model that will ensure that VA benefit decisions are rated fairly and consistently, and stem from adequate training and accountability for each claims adjudicator."
Institute electronic record-keeping for the Veterans Benefits Administration
"As president, Obama will transform the paper benefit claims process to an electronic system that will be interoperable with the VA's health network as well as military records. This will reduce error rates, improve timeliness, and enhance the overall quality of the claims decisions."
Expand housing vouchers program for homeless veterans
"Expand proven homeless veteran housing vouchers to assist those already on the streets."
Launch a supportive services-housing program for veterans to prevent homelessness
"Launch an innovative supportive services-housing program to prevent at-risk veterans and veteran families from falling into homelessness in the first place."
Dedicate more resources to fight employment discrimination against military reservists
Will put "additional resources into enforcement and investigation in order to crack down on employers who are not following the letter and spirit of the law" in regards to military reservists.
Create a 'Green Vet Initiative' to promote environmental jobs for veterans
"Will ensure that more of our veterans can enter the new energy economy. They will create a new 'Green Vet Initiative' that will have two missions: first it will offer counseling and job placement to help veterans gain the skills to enter this rapidly growing field; second, it will work with industry partners to create career pathways and educational programs."
Create a veterans job corps
"I want to create a veterans job corps, so we can put our returning heroes back to work as cops and firefighters in communities that need them."
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