Kaine cosponsors bill to expand veterans’ access to healthcare

This article was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committees, joined three other Senators in cosponsoring the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act.

The legislation would expand access to home- and community-based services, including long- term services and supports, for aging veterans and improve the Department of Veterans Affairs’ support for veterans and caregivers of all ages.

Currently, many veterans covered by a VA health plan do not have such services available in their communities. This bill would require the VA to coordinate with local Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which provide home- and community-based care in local communities.

Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) joined Kaine, a Democrat, in cosponsoring the bill.

“Our veterans have sacrificed so much for us, and we owe it to them to ensure they have access to the high-quality care and services they need,” Kaine said. “The Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act would do just that by improving access to home and community-based services, sharing resources, addressing the shortage of direct support workers, home health care providers, and supporting caregivers.”

The legislation honors former Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s passion for supporting veterans and their caregivers, according to a news release. The act would:

  • Expand access to home and community-based alternative care programs to veterans at all VA medical facilities.
  • Increase the amount the VA will pay for health care from 65% to 100% for alternatives to nursing home care.
  • Create a centralized website to share information and resources related to home and community-based programs.
  • Create a pilot program to provide home health aide services for veterans living in communities with a shortage of home health aides.

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