Commission Has Ideas on Veterans’ Care

The Little Hoover Commission is a bipartisan board that informs the governor and the California state government on ways to promote improved economical and efficient public services.

I read its most recent report on CalVet’s veterans homes. This report was requested by Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, chair of the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs. The report states that maintaining the status quo is not in California’s best interest, in part because so few of the 1.7 million veterans benefit from the $365.8 million program, and trends in long-term health care favor community-based care rather than intuitional care that isolates residents.

The report concludes that CalVet should adjust veterans home policies to reduce expenses and their dependence on the state’s general fund. The report makes the following summarized recommendations:

  • Amend policy to prioritize admission policies to favor veterans with the greatest need.
  • Amend policy to eliminate domiciliary care.
  • Establish a veterans home evaluation process to support future decision-making.
  • Assess the overall needs of the California veteran population.
  • Program savings should be repurposed for home or community-based veteran services.
  • Amend policy to modernize program to define benefits, establish daily cost of care, charge fees based on the cost of care and require residents to maintain health insurance.
  • Amend policy to specify consequences for residents who pay their share of their cost.
  • Enhance fiscal transparency by making financial reports available online.

To read the full article from the April 2, 2017 edition of the VC Star, click here.