As a disabled veteran, Kim used the VA system after departing the military. She grew frustrated when scheduling an appointment due to long wait times. Over time, the VA has improved, but more is necessary to ensure our Vets receive the quality care they deserve. Republicans have voiced a preference for privatizing the VA. Kim do not support the privatization of the VA and will fight to ensure the government continues to uphold its bargain. In recent years the VA developed a program to allow Veterans to receive treatment from private care providers. While Kim understand that not all treatment can be performed at the VA, her greatest fear is the chiseling away VA’s primary purpose.
In Congress, Kim will work on funding additional VA centers in rural areas. Not only will this provide the care our Veterans need closer to home but will create jobs for the community.
VETERAN’S SUICIDE PREVENTION
After Kim’s term of service (ETS) ended in the military, it took her some time to adapt to civilian life. She found it challenging to convert the skills she learned in the military to the skills required in the civilian world. Understanding America’s healthcare was another issue she had to overcome. And finally, the uncertainty of finding a job was stressful. There have been positive changes in the military and preparations before a solider is discharge, but we can do more. We can only imagine soldiers who have served in hostile environments only to be discharged with PTSD to find it challenging in the civilian world. In Congress, Kim will work towards creating a program for solider’s who suffer from PTSD. Veterans who have experienced combat and were successfully able to adapt after discharge could mentor other veterans that are currently dealing with PTSD. The idea came from after leaving the military. Kim noticed she is closer to those who have served. There is a bond between service members that transcends race, religion, and ideology. Kim hopes this support system will help lower the number of veteran suicides.
Other Important Policies
Kim will also work to:
- Push for more VA telehealth
- Support the Rural Veterans Travel Enhancement Act that will expand on current initiative that provide transportation services to veterans living in rural areas and reimbursement for their travel to the Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities.
- Protect Goal Star spouses (Coast Guard) during future shutdowns. Currently Gold Star spouses receive their benefits from the Department of Defense and are protected from payment interruptions except for Coast Guard which receive their benefits from Homeland Security.
- Expand the Military Lending Act to include National Guard, Reservist, veterans and survivors. The Military Lending Act (MLA) enacted in 2006 and implemented by the Department of Defense currently protects active duty members of the military, their spouses and their dependents from certain leading practices that could pose a threat to military readiness and affect service member retention.