Senate Passes South Jersey Veterans Health Care Initiative
Recommendations by the Veterans Hospital Task Force to expand healthcare availability for south Jersey veterans wins passage in the State Senate. Following months of public hearings and meetings, the task force came up with a comprehensive plan for expanding health care access for thousands of military veterans and crafted a resolution (ACR-177/SCR-142) that urges the federal Department of Veterans Affairs to adopt the recommendations.
The legislation urges urges the VA to support such things as creating a pilot program to give veterans greater access to local medical centers and moving Ocean County veterans out of a service network that requires them to travel to East Orange, Wilmington or Philadelphia for treatment. It also recommends the VA focus greater attention on the health care needs of women veterans and provide additional staffing to the Northfield Veteran' Clinic.
According to 9th District State Legislators Senator Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove, who sponsored the law that created the task force, the panel approached the process by listening to all public recommendations including one that called for constructing a Veterans Hospital in South Jersey.
In a written statement they said "after thorough deliberation, the portability of health insurance emerged as a more realistic and attractive option whereby veterans could receive medical care from local non-VA facilities when it became readily apparent that building a new facility would be cost prohibitive."
The measure passed the State Assembly this past June.