WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today joined Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Dean Heller (R-NV) to introduce bipartisan VA reform legislation to improve the Veterans Affairs State Veterans Home Programs. Senator Baldwin’s legislation will stop the practice of federal State Home Per Diem funding being transferred away from veterans to state-government general funds.
In Wisconsin, as has been reported by the media, according to the Legislative Audit Bureau, federal State Home Per Diem funding has been transferred from the King veterans home to the state general fund.
“This bipartisan legislation will ensure that any federal funds from the State Home Per Diem Program stay at our state veterans homes to improve the care of veterans,” said Senator Baldwin. “This VA reform will put an end to this federal funding being transferred away from our veterans.”
State Veterans Homes are facilities that provide nursing home, domiciliary or adult day care. They are owned, operated and managed by state governments. In Wisconsin, state veterans homes operate in King, Union Grove and Chippewa Falls. The VA’s State Home Per Diem Program provides an economical alternative to constructing, maintaining and operating VA facilities for the provision of care to eligible veterans. Under this program, the states provide quality care for eligible veterans in three different types of programs: nursing home, domiciliary and adult day health care.
The State Veterans Home Program Improvement Act of 2017 also contains additional reforms, including reforming the VA’s veterans home priority list to give rural states a fair shot at securing funding to construct a veterans home through the VA’s State Home Construction Grant Program. The bipartisan legislation would also allow VA to run a four-year pilot program to allow veterans to receive state veteran home per diem in state-operated nursing homes. This would be another option for veterans to receive care closer to their home and family.