REP WARNS VA REFORM COMMISSION: SOMEONE ON YOUR PANEL SPREADING BLATANT PRO-VA PROPAGANDA — GOP Rep. Jeff Miller shot a letter Monday to the head of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reform commission, alerting her a member of the panel is spewing blatant pro-VA propaganda. Phillip Longman, a member of the Commission on Care, recently edited a piece entitled “The VA isn’t Broken Yet” at The Washington Monthly, which hailed the VA as a success and fought off criticisms of the department as a Koch-funded plot. It just so happens Longman is known for his vigorous defense of socialized medicine and advocacy that the VA model be applied more broadly to the entire health care system in the United States. And the apology for the VA was replete with errors.
SCHOOL SYSTEM STOPS VETERANS FROM GIVING US FLAGS TO FIRST GRADERS — t’s as patriotic as apple pie and baseball. The American Flag. A group of Johnston County veterans says Johnston County Schools are stopping them from handing out miniature US flags to elementary students. In 2003, the group began distributing miniature flags to first graders in Johnston County Schools. “For three years they allowed us to go to all the elementary schools in Johnston County – first grade classrooms – and present the flags,” according to Ken Parker, the local Commander. “We go in and ask, do you know what the red, white and blue stands for, what the stars stand for?”
BILL WOULD STRIP BENEFITS FROM VETS USING GI BILL — U.S. military veterans attending college may lose their unemployment checks. The curbing of GI Bill spending was approved by Congress in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In December 2015, lawmakers approved of the NDAA, which included a provision to cut off unemployment insurance to veterans who are using the Post-9/11 GI Bill education funds at the same time, Military Times reports. Only veterans who were separated from the military with an honorable discharge will be allowed to continue reaping both sets of benefits. Currently, veterans utilizing Post-9/11 GI Bill education payouts receive up to $4,000 a month. These education payments include a living stipend.
VETERANS AFFAIRS AWARDS SHOCKING $22 BILLION IT CONTRACT — The Department of Veterans Affairs just awarded a $22.3 billion IT contract split between twenty-one government contractors for a program called T4NG. This round of IT updates builds on the previous $12 billion T4 contract given to 15 vendors including Booz Allen Hamilton and CACI. Booz Allen formerly employed Edward Snowden. CACI was responsible for the boondoggle in Georgia where veterans files were intermingled with other files at the benefits claims processing center.
LIBERAL MAGS GET FACTS WRONG TRYING TO DISMISS VA SCANDAL — In an absurd attempt by Washington Monthly to claim that the scandal at the Veteran’s Affairs Department was “invented” by the Koch brothers in order to “dismantle the country’s most successful health care system,” the liberal publication made numerous false statements that were contradicted by the agency’s own inspector general report. Veteran D.C. reporter Alicia Mundy authored the fact-challenged piece and lamented: “Nearly the whole of the Republican Party has become more radically antigovernment in recent years. And since the spring of 2014, when headlines started appearing about long wait times and cover-ups at some VA hospitals, a strong narrative has built up, including in the mainstream media, that the system is fundamentally broken.”
VA SUSPENDS DEVRY UNIVERSITY FROM A KEY VETERANS PROGRAM — The Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday suspended DeVry University from participation in a program that identifies schools doing a good job of serving former troops, in light of a federal lawsuit accusing the for-profit chain of misleading consumers about the employment and earnings of its graduates in advertisements. he agency is taking action after reviewing a Federal Trade Commission case against the school filed in January, VA spokesman James Hutton said in a statement. The lawsuit alleges that DeVry deceived consumers about the likelihood of finding work, with claims that 90 percent of its graduates seeking employment land jobs within six months of graduation. DeVry is under threat of losing access to federal financial aid from the Education Department if it fails to pull those advertisements and notify students of its inability to substantiate the claims.
NEW PROGRAM ALLOWS VETERANS TO WORK DIRECTLY WITH VA TO RESOLVE DEBT COLLECTION PROBLEMS Veterans can now work directly with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to resolve debt collection issues resulting from inappropriate or delayed Choice Program billing, the VA has announced. In step with MyVA’s efforts to modernize VA’s customer-focused, Veteran-centered services capabilities, a Community Care Call Center has been set up for veterans experiencing adverse credit reporting or debt collection resulting from inappropriately billed Choice Program claims. Veterans experiencing these problems can call 1-877-881-7618 for assistance.