Government Affairs Committee Update March/April 2016

G-7 Service Connection for Hepatitis C:  There has been little that the committee can do to promote this. However, they have fought for VA funding to purchase the new drug, Harvoni, so that hundreds, if not thousands, of veterans with Hepatitis C who receive VA health care can be cured. Harvoni has a cure rate of more than 95 percent.

G-9 Awarding of the Combat Medevac Badge (CMB):  This is not a hot-button issue either in Congress or the Department of Defense. Hence, the committee has made no progress in securing approval for the CMB.

G-13 Cessation and Prohibition of the Utilization of U.S. Military Personnel as Non-Consensual Participants in the Testing by the U.S. Government of Vaccines and Other Medical Treatments:  The committee continues to press DoD on non-consensual inoculations that are not FDA approved. They are not able making much headway. However, in their many efforts to pass such legislation as the Toxic Exposure Research Act and to pursue lawsuits against government entities concerning the lack of appropriate response to exposures of troops to toxic substances, they hope to illuminate this issue.

G-14 State Veterans Homes:  The committee continues their efforts in support of this resolution by working with the Conference of State Council Presidents, the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs, the National Association of State Veterans Homes and the National Governors Association to ensure that state veterans homes receive needed funding for the care, treatment, and support of aging, ill, and indigent veterans.

G-17 Proper Use of Real Estate at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center: VVA opposed the use of the undeveloped property at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center for purposes other than those consistent with the intentions of the original donor. In 2011, VVA joined the ACLU and sued the VA for wrongful misuse of this land. Last year VVA won a victory when the VA signed an agreement dedicating West LA Medical Center land to homeless veterans. This year the VA Secretary and attorneys representing homeless veterans in Los Angeles finalized the deal by announcing a historic written agreement that dedicates the West Los Angeles VA campus to serving veterans in need. VVA will continue to support this resolution and ensure that the VA is in compliance with the intent of the agreement.

Pete Peterson, Chair

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