Costello Op-ed: Bring care to all veterans
As published in The Hill
This Veterans Day, we honor the veterans and military families everywhere that answered the call to serve our nation. It is also important to take a moment and thank the family caregivers who provide the invaluable support to our disabled veterans every day.
Many veterans living with the wounds of war rely on the assistance of family members and loved ones for their health care and daily activities. While often overlooked, the dedication and time it takes to care for and support a disabled veteran is immense.
Caregivers are true partners in the delivery of healthcare to our veterans and it is important we recognize their tremendous service and their worth.
In 2010, Congress acted to support our veterans’ family caregivers by establishing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.
This program has proven to be of tremendous benefit to our family caregivers, providing them with the support and resources they need to properly care for their veteran in the comfort of their own home. In fact, home care is not only preferred by most veterans, it is also substantially cheaper than institutional care.
Unfortunately, the program is only available to post-9/11 veterans.
We have heard from Vietnam and Korean War veterans in our districts who do not understand why they cannot have access to this vital program as well. Therefore, we came together to introduce H.R. 2894, the CARE for All Veterans Act, which would gradually expand the VA’s caregiver support program to veterans of all service eras.
We believe family caregivers are a crucial part of caring for our nation's disabled heroes and they too deserve quality support. All caregivers, no matter the age of the veteran they serve, should have access to this VA caregiver support program.
The CARE for All Veterans Act will responsibly create an equitable system for our nation’s veterans. We look forward to continuing our work together to ensure that those who dedicate themselves to caring for our disabled veterans have the necessary resources and support they need.
Costello has represented Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District since 2015. He sits on the Transportation and Veterans’ Affairs committees. Esty has represented Connecticut’s 5thCongressional District since 2013. She sits on the Space, Science and Technology and the Transportation committees.