Advocates Want To Make Sure Veterans’ Unique Needs Aren’t Lost As Congress Addresses Opioid Crisis
Veterans can have chronic pain and wounds from the war that need to be treated by opioids, but they are also twice as likely as nonveterans to die from an accidental opioid overdose. Advocates see Congress' efforts to address the crisis as a good start, but warn that lawmakers still have blind spots when it comes to treating veterans. In other news, a program that allows veterans to seek care outside the VA, which President Donald Trump and other Republicans have championed, is falling behind in its implementation.
Opioid Crisis Poses Challenge For Vets
Advocates are working to ensure that veterans are not overlooked as Congress and the Trump administration push to address the opioid epidemic. They say two sweeping opioid bills passed in recent years is a good start, but that the programs they cover need dedicated funding to ensure success. (Weixel, 11/13)
VA Under Pressure To Deliver Trump Reforms
A law overhauling how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) allows patients to seek outside care is falling behind in implementation despite President Trump’s boasts about the reforms. Trump has long touted the law, which makes it easier for veterans to access private or community health-care programs, as essential to improving the beleaguered agency. (Kheel and Hellmann, 11/13)