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Health Administration for the next gen- eration of veterans. The “strawman” document calls for phasing out all VA health care treatment facilities over the next 20 years and push- ing all veterans, including those who are 100-percent disabled, into the private sec- tor for medical care.


In a letter to commissioners, Atkins


stressed the need to preserve, but also im- prove, the VA health system. “We are concerned migrating the


current system to community-based ser- vices … would eliminate some of the best aspects of VA care, such as spinal and polytrauma care, and could produce un- intended consequences, such as a reduc- tion in benefits and/or negative health care outcomes.” Instead, MOAA urged the commission to consider incorporating VA Secretary Bob McDonald’s MyVA reform efforts and plan for consolidating community- care efforts. MOAA also believes the Independent


Budget’s (IB) veterans’ service organiza- tion concept, “A Framework for Veterans Health Care Reform,” should be seriously considered. The IB recommends moving away from arbitrary federal access stan- dards and toward a clinically based deci- sion made between a veteran (including family and caregivers) and a health care professional, offering the potential for simplifying eligibility requirements and expanding access. MOAA believes the IB provides an


excellent framework for what a veterans’ health care system should look like. MOAA and other veterans’ and mili- tary service organizations met with the commissioners April 18 to discuss in more detail the commission’s work and potential recommendations for their final report. The report is due in June.


44 MILITARY OFFICER JUNE 2016 Military Family R


Resiliency Study shows military families are tough.


AND Corp. recently released its Deployment Life Study*, a longitudinal review of military


families facing deployment. Nearly 3,000 families from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force were studied over a three-year period, with each family being surveyed before, during, and after de- ployment in four-month intervals. Surprisingly, the study showed few


long-term adverse effects on military fam- ilies as a result of deployments, with the major exception being servicemembers who faced deployment-related physical, psychological, or combat trauma. There are some questions about wheth-


er the study captured a true cross-section of deployment-affected families. For exam- ple, the experience level of those surveyed indicates they were relatively seasoned military families. Many families highly af- fected by deployment peaks might have left service or otherwise might not have been in the study at all, so those surveyed might represent a more resilient population. Outcomes of the study could be help-


ful, however, in determining the focus of future support programs surrounding de- ployments. This was the first longitudinal study performed that surveyed multiple family members. MO


— Contributors are Col. Steve Strobridge, USAF (Ret), director; Col. Mike Barron, USA (Ret); Col. Bob Norton, USA (Ret); Capt. Kathy Beasley, USN (Ret); Col. Phil Odom, USAF (Ret); Cmdr. René Campos, USN (Ret); Brooke Goldberg; Jamie Naughton; and Trina Fitzgerald, MOAA’s Govern- ment Relations Department. Visit www.moaa.org/ email to sign up for legislative-news updates.


*online: View the complete RAND Corp. study at http://bit.ly/1rddIBz.


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