Florida Senate - 2020 SM 420 By Senator Diaz 36-00676-20 2020420__ 1 Senate Memorial 2 A memorial to the Congress of the United States and 3 the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, 4 urging Congress and the department to ensure that the 5 VA MISSION Act of 2018 is implemented in a manner 6 consistent with the legislative intent and purpose of 7 the act. 8 9 WHEREAS, Florida has the third largest veteran population 10 in the United States, at approximately 1.6 million veterans, and 11 WHEREAS, the health and well-being of Florida’s veterans 12 are of utmost importance to the members and body of the Florida 13 Legislature, and 14 WHEREAS, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs 15 has been charged with ensuring the health and well-being of 16 Florida’s veterans, but in recent years it has failed to deliver 17 the quality and timely care our veterans deserve, and 18 WHEREAS, on June 6, 2018, President Donald J. Trump signed 19 into law the VA MISSION Act of 2018, Public Law No. 115-182, 20 after the legislation had passed both houses of Congress with 21 strong bipartisan support and had received the support of over 22 30 veteran and military service organizations, and 23 WHEREAS, upon its full implementation, the VA MISSION Act 24 of 2018 will improve the health and well-being of veterans in 25 Florida and throughout the entire country and will preserve the 26 beneficial aspects of the Veterans Health Administration while 27 giving veterans increased options in community care programs, 28 and 29 WHEREAS, the VA MISSION Act of 2018 requires an overhaul 30 and modernization of the Veterans Health Administration to 31 provide veterans with more choices for where they receive 32 medical care through a new and consolidated Veterans Community 33 Care Program, and 34 WHEREAS, the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs 35 operates six skilled nursing facilities and one assisted living 36 facility for veterans, and the VA MISSION Act of 2018 authorizes 37 the Veterans Health Administration to enter into community 38 provider agreements with these facilities to better serve 39 veterans, which will result in allowing these facilities to 40 seamlessly partner with the administration without becoming 41 subject to additional federal regulations, and 42 WHEREAS, the VA MISSION Act of 2018 establishes an 43 information-sharing process to ensure that safe opioid 44 prescribing practices are used by community care providers from 45 which veterans are receiving care, and 46 WHEREAS, the VA MISSION Act of 2018 expands access to the 47 VA caregivers program to all veterans who have incurred or 48 aggravated serious injuries while serving in active duty, not 49 just those serving since September 11, 2001, and 50 WHEREAS, the Florida Legislature urges the Federal 51 Government to further improve the quality of veterans’ health 52 care available to the state’s veteran population, NOW, 53 THEREFORE, 54 55 Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 56 57 That the Congress of the United States and the United 58 States Department of Veterans Affairs are urged to ensure that 59 the VA MISSION Act of 2018 is implemented in a manner consistent 60 with the legislative intent and purpose of the act. 61 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Congress and the United 62 States Department of Veterans Affairs are urged to ensure the 63 law’s deadlines are timely met so veterans can gain access to 64 the highest quality of health care both inside and outside of 65 the Veterans Health Administration system. Successful 66 implementation requires the timely publication of clear access 67 and quality standards, seamless access to walk-in care, 68 innovation in care delivery and claims processing, and meeting 69 key deadlines as the Veterans Health Administration reviews its 70 infrastructure needs. 71 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State dispatch 72 copies of this memorial to the President of the United States, 73 the Secretary of the United States Department of Veterans 74 Affairs, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on 75 Veterans’ Affairs of the United States House of Representatives, 76 and the United States Senate, respectively, and to each member 77 of the Florida delegation to the United States Congress.