Senator Johhny Isakson announced big moves to reform Veteran Affairs at the 2016 Disabled Veterans of America (DAV) national convention, promoting his Veterans First Act bill and announcing a new crisis call center.
The bill, if passed, will provide advancements in veteran healthcare and benefits, as well as require increased accountability from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The bill will expand the Veterans access to caregivers, giving them the opportunity to receive the care they need while living in their homes with family and loved ones. Isakson is urging for reform within the VA, stating the following:
Veterans’ services have to be more accessible and seamless, and the Veterans First Act does that. One of the problems that VA leadership has had is the inability to affect change at the agency and have the type of accountability of the agency’s management that they really need. Under the Veterans First Act, senior management will be held accountable for the leadership that they give to the more than 300,000 other employees at the VA.
Alongside VA secretary Robert McDonald, Senator Isakson announced a new Veterans Crisis call center to be located in Atlanta. The center will help provide immediate access to veterans in need of immediate help, supporting the influx of calls to the nation’s other call center, located in New York. The center is expected to contribute at least 200 jobs and $25 million to the economy.
A veteran himself, Senator Isakson is chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.