June 01, 2016
Aguilar Convenes Veterans Advisory Board to Improve Health Care Services
Yesterday, Rep. Pete Aguilar convened another meeting of his Veterans Advisory Board. The committee of veteran health care providers, local veterans and representatives from veteran assistance organizations met with Rep. Aguilar yesterday morning to discuss improving health care services for Inland Empire veterans. This was Rep. Aguilar’s third meeting with his Veterans Advisory Board. Previous meetings addressed employment opportunities and veteran homelessness, which resulted in immediate actions. Following his first two meetings, Rep. Aguilar passed an important piece of legislation that will help veterans use the skills they developed during their service to obtain commercial driver’s licenses to help secure transportation and logistics jobs, both of which are major Inland Empire industries. Rep. Aguilar also advocated for increased funding for housing vouchers to assist veterans, and the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino was recently rewarded over $400,000 from the federal government to support housing vouchers for veterans.
“We need to make improvements to our health care system to make sure our veterans have access to quality and timely care – period. As we’ve seen in recent years, there have been serious problems that we need to address to make sure our veterans have the care they’ve earned and deserve,” said Rep. Aguilar. He continued, “I’m grateful to our community members who joined me yesterday to plan how we can solve these issues and I look forward to continuing this work for Inland Empire veterans.”
Improving health care for Inland Empire veterans has been one of Rep. Aguilar’s top priorities since taking office last year. He has supported a number of initiatives to address health care concerns, including the VA Accountability Act, which makes it easier to fire or demote Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees who fail to do their jobs and properly serve our nation’s veterans. Rep. Aguilar also cosponsored the Women Veterans Access to Quality Care Act, which requires VA medical facilities to meet gender-specific health care needs of female veterans, and he supported funding to reduce the VA backlog. Rep. Aguilar has also been a leader on combatting the startlingly high rate of suicide among female veterans by passing legislation to study the most effective ways to reduce this disturbing pattern. Rep. Aguilar serves on the House Armed Services Committee and on the Subcommittees on Strategic Forces and Emerging Threats and Capabilities.