Rep. Zeldin Bill to Help Disabled Veterans Heads to President’s Desk
WASHINGTON - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) announced today that his bipartisan legislation (H.R.1005/S.324) to help severely disabled veterans on Long Island and across the country, by expanding access to Adult Day Health Care for disabled veterans who need extra assistance and special attention in their day to day lives, passed the House of Representatives unanimously and now heads to the President’s desk for his signature, with which it will become law.
Service members who are 70% or more service connected disabled often require significant assistance from others in order to carry out everyday tasks. Many times, the burden falls on family members of disabled veterans; some veterans may even need to reside in institutionalized facilities to receive the daily assistance of a trained medical professional. Both of these options can create financial and emotional hardships for the veteran and their family. One program that is currently available to help disabled veterans is Adult Day Health Care, which can be provided at State Veterans Homes across the United States. However, the expense of the program is oftentimes directly shouldered by the veteran and their family, which significantly limits the number of veterans who can enroll. Furthermore, the program is only currently offered at three facilities in the United States; one being the Long Island State Veterans Home, which is located in the First Congressional District of New York, in Stony Brook. Congressman Zeldin’s bill defines the Adult Day Health Care program as a reimbursable treatment option through the Department of Veterans Affairs, which guarantees all severely disabled veterans, those who are 70% or more service connected disabled, are able to access Adult Day Health Care at no cost to them. The bill would also help expand the program, which could be offered at any of the 153 State Veterans Homes (SVH) across the country.
Congressman Zeldin said, “This is an important piece of legislation that provides a valuable and necessary service to our nation’s veterans, and I am pleased to announce this bill now heads to the President’s desk. By expanding access to Adult Day Health Care programs, we can ensure that all veterans receive the best and most efficient outpatient services that provide each veteran with the assistance and special attention they need, while still allowing them to maintain their independence. This important legislation will expand care for disabled veterans on Long Island and across our country, allowing each veteran to lead a much more fulfilling life, while keeping families together and strong. Expanding Adult Day Health Care for our disabled veterans is a top priority, and I thank my colleagues in the House and Senate, especially Senator Orrin Hatch and House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe, for passing this commonsense legislation and look forward to the President signing it into law.”
United States Senator Orrin Hatch (R, Utah), Senate sponsor of the Adult Day Health Care Act, said, “Our Utah veterans deserve our utmost care and respect. This legislation will give veterans the opportunity to live and spend more time at home with their families while still receiving daily medical care and attention. If signed into law, it would allow state veterans homes—such as those in Ivins, Ogden, Payson, and Salt Lake City—to enter into agreements with the VA to provide adult day health care. I’m thrilled to see this bill pass in the House and move to the President’s desk for his signature.”
House Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman Phil Roe said, “Our country made a promise to care for the men and women who sacrificed for our freedoms. I’m proud this legislation would expand access to adult day health care for veterans who qualify for, but are not currently utilizing, nursing home care, and would provide America’s heroes with companionship and care as they age. I’m grateful for Rep. Zeldin’s leadership on this important legislation, and I look forward to President Trump signing this bill into law.”
Vietnam Veteran and Long Island State Veterans Home Patient Al Anderson said, “I am grateful to Congressman Zeldin for having the foresight to introduce this bill on behalf of all severely service connected veterans who reside in State Veterans Homes across the country. The bottom line is that this legislation will allow me to return home to my family, while still having the ability to receive essential services through the Adult Day Health Care program. I can keep my chronic conditions in check and still enjoy the comforts of my own home.”
Spouse and Caregiver of Vietnam Veteran James Saladino Noreen Saladino said, “The passage of the State Veterans Home Adult Day Health Care Improvement Act of 2017 will be life changing for me and my husband, Jim. This legislation is one of the best things that has ever happened to us. My husband will be able to receive the care he requires in a safe and comfortable environment at the Long Island State Veterans Home, while I get a rest from being his sole caregiver. I want to thank Congressman Lee Zeldin and other Members of Congress who never ever gave up the fight for our nation’s veterans and their families.”
Director of the Long Island State Veterans Home Fred Sganga said, “We are grateful to Congressman Lee Zeldin for his ongoing efforts to care for veterans both locally and nationally. This legislation will enable veterans to receive the essential services they deserve, while still being able to reside in their own homes. This legislation helps to restore a veteran's freedom to remain an active member of their community even after succumbing to the perils of military service. Congressman Zeldin never forgets the sacrifice of brave women and men who donned the uniform to protect the freedoms we all enjoy today.”
President of the National Association of State Veterans Home Sharon Murphy said, “The National Association of State Veterans Homes is grateful to Congressman Zeldin for his foresight to provide essential services to our most disabled veterans, without the need for institutionalization.This legislation will have tremendous impact for our chronically ill and injured veterans as well as their caregivers.”
Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD said, "Today's passage of Congressman Zeldin's Adult Day Health Care bill provides a tremendous step forward in bringing quality and affordable care to Long Island's disabled veterans and their families. I commend Congressman Zeldin for his passionate pursuit of ensuring that our most vulnerable veterans obtain the very best care."