Sara Samora is a Marine Corps veteran and the veterans reporter for Stars and Stripes. A native Texan, she previously worked at the Houston Business Journal and the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. She also serves on the boards of Military Veterans in Journalism and the Houston Association of Hispanic Media Professionals.
A Department of Veterans Affairs plan that contains nearly $2 trillion in recommended facility closures, consolidations and upgrades across the country could be in jeopardy after 12 senators announced they oppose the agency’s reassessment of its facilities.
Three senators have written a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough urging the agency to speed up its process for certifying volunteer drivers to assist veterans who need help traveling to health care appointments.
Comedian Jon Stewart joined veterans service organizations on urging lawmakers to pass a bill that would expand eligibility for health care and benefits to all veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxins.
The PACT Act seeks to provide an easy path to health care and benefits for veterans who served near open-air burn pits, which were used throughout the 1990s and the post-9/11 wars to burn garbage, jet fuel and other materials.
A joint inspector general audit of the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments found the agencies did not do enough to exchange electronic health records information because interagency program officials did not direct or develop a clear plan for the system to work.
Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough told House lawmakers Thursday that agency officials are requesting the largest VA budget in history because it will improve or save the lives of millions of veterans.
House lawmakers told officials of the Department of Veterans Affairs this week to halt their launch of the agency’s new electronic health records system at any other facilities until the problems that caused outages at the first two medical centers to use the new system are fixed.