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The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010

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The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010

On May 5, 2010, President Obama signed the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 into law. This law includes provisions that help provide support for the caregivers of seriously injured veterans, helps improve services for our nation s 1.8 million women veterans, and helps expand the availability of health care for veterans and services preventing veterans from becoming homeless.

The Act provides caregivers with training, counseling, supportive services, and a living stipend, and provides health care to the family caregivers of injured veterans under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA).

It requires the VA to report to Congress with a comprehensive assessment of the barriers in providing health care to the 1.8 million women veterans currently receiving VA health care, and mandates pilot programs to provide childcare to women veterans receiving medical care, and provide readjustment services to women veterans. It requires the VA to train its mental health providers in the treatment of military sexual trauma, and it expands the VA s authority to provide incentives so that it can recruit and retain high-quality health care providers.

The Act provides (additional) travel reimbursements for veterans receiving treatment at VA facilities and grants for veterans service organizations transporting veterans residing in highly rural areas. It authorizes the VA Secretary to utilize non-VA facilities for the care and treatment of veterans suffering from TBI when the Secretary is unable to provide such treatment or services at the frequency or for the duration that it is optimal to the veteran's recovery and rehabilitation. It establishes and increases eligibility for Iraq and Afghanistan service members, including National Guard and Reserve members, to receive readjustment counseling.

It requires the VA to conduct a study on veteran suicides, emphasizes the VA's commitment to provide medical care for certain Vietnam-era veterans exposed to herbicide and Gulf-War era veterans who have insufficient medical evidence to establish a service-connected disability, and eliminates copayments for veterans who are catastrophically disabled (VA Priority Group 4).

The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 directs the VA Secretary to conduct a three-year pilot program to assess the feasibility and advisability of providing a dental insurance plan for any enrolled veteran, as well as survivors and dependents eligible for VA medical care. It also increases the amount available to disabled veterans for improvements and structural alterations furnished as part of home health services.

--- Regards, Walt Schmidt