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Kentucky House Commends Yarmuth

Congressman lauded for “steadfast commitment to providing our service men and women with the best possible care”
(Washington, DC) Today, the Kentucky House of Representatives approved a resolution by voice vote, commending Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) “for his continued efforts to ensure oversight of the administration's plan to care for returning soldiers and for demonstrating his steadfast commitment to providing our service men and women with the best possible care.”

“We have a real crisis on our hands, with soldiers who are wounded fighting for America not getting the care they need,” Congressman Yarmuth said.  “It’s great to see that the State Legislature appreciates the obligation that we have to providing these young men and women with top quality care.  These soldiers are our heroes and treating them right must be a top priority.”

The resolution, introduced by Representative Tom Riner (41) adjourns the House in honor of the 1.6 million American servicemen and women who have served in the Global War on Terror, specifically the 2,400 Kentucky National Guardsmen and Reservists and the 230,000 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Earlier this year, Yarmuth investigated the substandard conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in a rare field hearing.  Troubled by the findings and the lack of answers from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Yarmuth advocated a series of measures regarding patient advocacy, in the hopes of preventing future calamity.  

In March, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Wounded Warrior Assistance Act, which included those patient advocacy measures.

The advocacy system outlined in the bill assigns an advocate to each service member to communicate with the patient and family members, oversee their welfare and quality of life, and help resolve all financial, administrative, or personnel matters.  Each advocate may carry a caseload of no more than 30 patients.  Additionally, an independent medical advocate will serve as a counselor and advisor for service members.

The bill, which has also passed the Senate and is expected to be signed into law by the President, also improves training for case managers, improves transition services for those coming to VA from active duty, reforms the disability evaluation program, tracks active duty personnel who require additional treatment, and creates a toll-free hotline for patients and family members who require rapid responses to remediate substantiated complaints.

Yarmuth also investigated mental healthcare in the military and supported the largest veterans’ healthcare funding increase in US history.