Next CVO Meeting July 19, 2017

The next meeting of CVO will be this Wednesday, July 19th at 7 PM in the Prescription Conference Room on the 2nd Floor of the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center at 820 S Damen Ave in Chicago. Parking will be validated.

The agenda will include feedback from all Member Organizations in attendance on what they need and expect from CVO and the direction of CVO in the future. Further, we will continue our discussion of Veterans Dental Care. There will be a presentation about a program where veterans who dropped out of high school to enlist, can now get their diplomas.

We will have a sheet where attendees will put in their names as well as those of their State Senators and Representatives. The purpose will be to have a list of who is represented by whom, but it will also show who does and does not know who their legislators are.

REMINDER: If you have not already done so, please contact your State Senator and Representative, asking them to sign on as cosponsors for Senate Bill 922 and House Bill 1803, to provide dental care for veterans. In addition, please spread the word to the members of  your organizations, and please tell the members of your organizations to do the same. If these bills die in committee, for a lack of support, we will have only ourselves to blame.

As usual, there will be light refreshments.

See you at the CVO

Help Get Dental Care For Illinois Vets

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Not all vets get their health care through the VA, but even for those who do, only some get dental care. We now have a chance to try to get dental care for Illinois Vets, provided that we all put forth the effort to make it happen.

State Sen. Omar Aquino has introduced SB 622 (http://cqrcengage.com/dentalil/app/bill/853397?7), and State  Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez introduced a corresponding bill, HB 1803 (http://cqrcengage.com/dentalil/app/bill/863394?1), that would, among other things, give us dental care.

Hopefully, these will be enacted, but it’s also highly possible that they will die in committee without ever reaching the floor for a vote. A key to moving the bills forward is for many other State Reps. and Senators to sign on as cosponsors. So far, the Senators who have signed are: Iris Martinez, Julie Morrison, and William McCann. The Reps. who have signed are: Kathleen Willis, Silvana Tabares, Sara Feigenholtz, and Will Guzzardi.

Ask members of your organization to contact their State Senators and Reps. to ask them to support this legislation by signing on as cosponsors.

If you don’t know who they are, go to: http://il–nea.capwiz.com/nea/il/directory/statedir.tt?state=IL&lvl=state

If you don’t like that website, and you vote in Chicago, go to www.chicagoelections.com. Click on the tab for VOTING, and from the dropdown menu, click on VOTER INFORMATION. Enter your information and click SEARCH. Then click on your name, and on the next page, click the tab for PUBLIC OFFICIALS, and you will not only get your State Rep. and Sen., but also every other elected official who represents (or rules over) you.

To track the progress on these bills, go to ilga.gov.  On the upper left part of the page is a window where you can input the number of the bill, and the latest information will be displayed.

Sincerely,

Larry E. Nazimek
CVO Vice Chmn.
Chmn. Of Veterans Affairs Cmte.

CVO: State legislation concerning dental care for vets

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The Coalition of Veterans Organizations is trying to get dental care for veterans, because relatively few are able to get this care through the VA. In other words, many veterans are not eligible for VA healthcare, but among those who are, only a fraction are eligible for dental care. Far too many veterans walk around with rotted teeth and other obvious signs of a lack of dental care.

The VA has arranged for dental insurance that veterans may purchase, but it isn’t cheap. Veterans end up paying for what the VA should be providing in the first place.

Vets who are ineligible for VA healthcare and are under the age of 65 can get a good health insurance package at a good price through the State, and this includes dental care, since this type of care is an essential part of healthcare.

In other words, if an Illinois veteran can not get VA healthcare, then he can purchase a comprehensive healthcare plan that includes dental care, but for those who are covered by VA healthcare, except for dental care, they must pay for this care either through a separate dental plan or out of pocket.

An important part of dental care is the examination for oral cancer (which is what ultimately killed my father and other veterans), where early detection can mean the difference between life and death.

If you go to Dixon Mounds, you will learn that the reason these indigenous peoples had such a low life expectancy was that they died of infections due to their lack of dental care.

There is now proposed legislation in the IL General Assembly, HB1803 and SB622, that would give us dental care.

Bill Detail: HB1803

Bill Detail: SB622

Larry E. Nazimek
CVO Vice-Chair and Chair of Veterans Affairs Comm.