Washington, D.C. – May 23, 2018 – The Elizabeth Dole Foundation applauds and celebrates today’s passage of the VA MISSION Act of 2018 (S. 2372) in the Senate.
Since our founding, we have called on our leaders to offer the same services to all military and veteran caregivers, regardless of when their loved one served. We have been at the forefront in championing the idea that the VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers must be expanded from post-9/11 caregivers to caregivers of all eras. Today, we are pleased to report that with the passage of the VA MISSION Act, we have reached this landmark achievement. The VA MISSION Act now goes to the President for his signature, and we look forward to seeing this bill become law.
As the preeminent organization solely focused on ensuring and providing support for our nation’s military and veteran caregivers, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation was proud to have worked alongside our nation’s dedicated veterans service organizations to ensure that military and veteran caregivers were included in the VA MISSION Act of 2018, and we are gratified that as a result, veterans and their caregivers from all eras of military service will now have the opportunity to qualify for this critically-needed, life-changing support. Senator Elizabeth Dole, President of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, noted, “Our Foundation’s RAND study found that ‘the assistance provided by caregivers saves the United States billions of dollars each year in health care costs and allows millions of veterans to live at home rather than in institutions.’ Supporting the caregivers of qualifying veterans from all eras is the right thing to do, and we view this legislation as a very important step in improving services and support for our nation’s hidden heroes.”
The Foundation would like to express our gratitude to Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle who have led the charge in driving this landmark legislation. We thank Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committee leadership including Senators Isakson and Tester, and Congressman Roe for their leadership and support for the caregiver expansion. The Foundation would also like to acknowledge and recognize Senators Murray and Collins, as well as Congressman Langevin for their tireless dedication to the cause of military and veteran caregivers and ensuring the inclusion of caregiver language in this bill.
We would also like to thank the veterans’ advocates who labor long and hard to improve the support our nation provides our veterans and those who care for them. Most importantly, we thank our Dole Caregiver Fellows and other military and veteran caregivers across the country who have stepped forward time and time again to share their stories and advocate for change. This victory belongs to them.