Dodd Announces Plan for Veterans’ Health Care
Presidential candidate Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) on Wednesday at the Iowa Paralyzed Veterans of America hall in Des Moines announced a proposal to improve health care and disability benefits for veterans, the Des Moines Register reports.
The proposal would mandate that determinations on disability benefits occur within 30 days and that payments begin no later than two weeks after the determination, according to Dodd. He said veterans on average must wait 177 days before they begin to receive disability payments.
In addition, the proposal would expand the Family and Medical Leave Act to allow more time for family members to care for sick or injured veterans. He said, "Far more needs to be done to address gaps in coverage. It's not enough to blame red tape." Dodd said that the proposal would cost $19 billion and that he would finance the plan with funds currently used to finance the Iraq war, which he has promised to end (Rossi, Des Moines Register, 11/7).