Reaching More Vets

There are currently some 8.9 million veterans enrolled in the Veterans Affairs Department’s healthcare system; however, there are 22.4 million veterans who are eligible for these benefits, Tommy Sowers, the VA’s assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs, told lawmakers. “We’re working closely with [the Department of Health and Human Services] on information about the Affordable Care Act to make sure that veterans are informed and understand some of the changes moving forward,” said Sowers in explaining what the VA is doing to reach more veterans during his April 24 testimony before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. The hearing dealt with the VA’s outreach and community partnerships. Sowers said a large portion of Vietnam War veterans already uses Facebook. He acknowledged that the department needs to do more to reach out to the older generation of veterans. Especially in rural regions of America, “face-to-face” action is required for “veterans to sign up,” said Sowers. (Sowers’ prepared remarks)