Urgent Support Needed for S. 1982, the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits & Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014

United States Capitol building in Washington, DCParalyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) urges its members and all veterans to contact your senators and ask them to support S. 1982 (formerly S. 1950), the “Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014,” introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.  This legislation marks one of the most comprehensive bills to ever be considered in the Senate or House.  If enacted, S. 1982 would accomplish some of the highest priorities for Paralyzed Veterans and its members.

This comprehensive bill would create, expand, advance, and extend a wide array of VA health care and benefits services and programs that are important to Paralyzed Veterans and its members.  Specifically, this legislation provides for the expansion of the Comprehensive Caregiver Assistance Program to veterans of all eras (not just those injured after September 11, 2001).  This change represents one of the single biggest priorities for Paralyzed Veterans. 

The legislation also addresses another high priority for Paralyzed Veterans.  Specifically, the bill provides advance appropriations authority for VA’s mandatory funding accounts (compensation and pension, education benefits, dependency and indemnity compensation, etc.) to ensure that in the event of a future government shutdown, veterans’ benefits payments would not be delayed or put in jeopardy.  The need for this change was revealed during the partial government shutdown that occurred in October 2013. 

Another high priority for Paralyzed Veterans that this legislation addresses is repeal of the reduction in future cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for all military retirees, not just service members who are retired due to disability.  The Senate and House shamefully approved a one percent reduction in the COLA for military retirees as a part of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement in December 2013. 

The legislation opens the VA health care system up to any veteran who wishes to enroll for care instead of entering into a health care exchange under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.  Additionally, it sets up a mechanism to expand access to dental care for all veterans. 

Paralyzed Veterans urges every member and all veterans to contact your senators and ask them to support S. 1982.  This legislation will significantly enhance the quality of life for our members. 

If you do not have the office phone number for your senator, please contact the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be directed to your senator’s office or visit this web page to find your senator's contact information.  If you have additional questions about this legislation, please contact our Government Relations Department at 800-424-8200 or info@pva.org.   

Read the letter from Paralyzed Veterans National President Bill Lawson to Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Bernie Sanders in support of Senate Bill 1982 (formerly S. 1950)

Learn more about Paralyzed Veterans of America's efforts on Capitol Hill

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