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Veterans Shouldn’t be Forced to Choose Between Addiction Treatment and Childcare, Rose Pushes for Fix

Congressman introduces amendment to expand covered services for childcare from the VA to veterans seeking addiction treatment

Washington, February 7, 2019
Tags: Veterans

Congressman Max Rose, an Army combat veteran, today introduced an amendment to expand childcare coverage from the VA to apply to veterans seeking treatment for addiction.

Rose will speak on the House floor in support of his amendment at approximately 3:30 p.m. and can be watched live HERE.

“We need to stop treating addiction as anything but a disease, and veterans fighting this shouldn’t be punished by having to choose between getting the treatment they need or taking care of their child,” Rose said. “I’ve seen the courage of my fellow veterans who seek for the help. I’ve seen that substance abuse counseling at our VA facilities can save lives and save families. And I’ve seen what happens when my brothers and sisters who served do not get the treatment they need—and I refuse to watch that happen again.”

Rose’s amendment to the Veterans Access to Child Care Act would include substance or drug abuse counseling in the definition of covered health care services, and make sure that veterans seeking help are adequately supported, and able to pay for child care.

In 2011, Congress created a pilot program to provide free child care at a small number of VA medical centers and clinics. Over 10,000 children have used the program, which has been very popular with the veteran community. Congress has reauthorized this popular and successful program multiple times. The Veterans Access to Child Care Act would make the VA’s Child Care Pilot Program permanent and expand it so that all veterans, who are primary caretakers, have a safe, reliable, and cost-free option for child care when they use VA healthcare.

Women veterans used the service at a rate four times their population among the veteran community at large, indicating the program is working for the growing population of women veterans and their families. However, unless Congress acts, this pilot program will expire on October 1, 2019.

Earlier this week, Rose, who serves on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, joined a bipartisan meeting with the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs Robert Wilkie at the White House to discuss priorities and challenges facing the VA.

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