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tv   Washington Journal Rep. Mark Takano  CSPAN  March 11, 2021 4:04pm-4:36pm EST

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group of female warriors who are fighting and winning against isis and state and syria party to watch book this weekend, on "c-span2". you are watching c-span to your unfiltered view of government predict he spent it was created by vargas cable television company and today brought to you by the television company to provide "c-span2" to viewers is a public service. we joined now by the chair of the veterans affair committee, california democrat, commerce been huge $1.9 trillion bill that passed congress yesterday. what is in this bill specifically for veterans printed. >> the $17 billion that is carved out for veterans, is to
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basically enhance the veterans health administration to be able to anticipate the increased healthcare and we are looking at higher increased rates of the veteran unemployment during this pandemic and anticipating theic any veterans are going to need to turn to va for the healthcare. the va is doing everything it can to vaccinate all 6 million of the enrolled veterans in the system. as well as look at ways in which we can alleviate the co-pays. most of the veterans that qualify for va healthcare are lower income veterans. so during thehe pandemic, these co-pays fees are waived and some
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of the veterans were able to pay those fees. but for any veterans, those fees were waived. and we anticipated that the fees payments were going to come due and will basically this bill take care of those fees. and were offering to go back and pay back those veterans who actually paid those fees even though they were waived. enhance the veteran mental health care and we are looking at the backlog of the claims processing that needs to be addressed. and any number of other sorts of things that are pandemic related predict. >> as we talk about the veterans veterans affairs committee, there's a special line in the segment for veterans in this country. if you want to calling you have a question, 748-8003 is a number
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otherwise usual two oh two . independence (202)748-8002. in this american rescue plan, if passed during the same week the house passed the va vaccine act. what was a bill and what was included in the larger package. >> if you look at the larger package and my ranking member has an amendment to do so. and the committee when we were marking it up to coronavirus package. the american rescue plan and under the rules of reconciliation there has to be an impact on the budget and this bill was basically explored as zero. so that's how the scoreboard.
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as of the impact that was basically a policy change that we were seeking. that would give off an authorization to the secretary of the va to authorize the administration of the vaccine to the veterans who are not eligible mainly because of income. but we wanted to address the situation where we had world war two veterans with the age requirements but were not eligible because their income wasth too high. in most americans say oh come on, can't you administer the vaccine to you know, people in the '90s and in their 80s in areas where local vaccine distribution was very difficult. for most of these citizens in most local areas. in the va is there to help
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veterans. this veteran vaccine act basically allows the flexibility for the va secretary during national emergencies. and it will continue to allow the secretary that authorization in the future pandemics and future national emergencies. we had to get the belt right. in making too any would've been a surge if people were seeking the vaccines at the va medical centers and still have not passed theed senate floor been signed into law but i think that our goal to get the authorization right. we were working with the office of general counsel at va for several weeks when this issue first came to our attention from civil weeks ago. any more numbers, that's where these stories first began to
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happen. they were capturing the images of veterans being turned away. elderly veterans being turned away from the by the media. this bill would it basically allow veterans to meet the eligibility criteria of the local va chapter. i would also commit their family caregivers that are nba programs to also be vaccinated. that seems to make a lot of sense to people as well. we were making it so broad that it would mean that a lot of civilians were maybe jumping in to the lines before the veterans. >> tino how any people this bill would impact and have you gotten any sort of commitment about a vote in the senate. takano: i don't have that committed in the senate but i can tell you that there is growing support among the
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community. and we will see and i think that the va is evaluating the legislation but i think that we have got the right calibration for what we want to achieve. in the right calibration and the legislative language. and it was bipartisan, my ranking member republican making member mr. ross was very supportive and most all of the republicans all the democrats and the committee supported hetheir legislation. we have a small victory in getting it passed on the unanimous consent forget even members of the party caucus were wanting to have exact roll call
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votes on every suspension bill and i think people understood sense billry common and we work very pleased and was evicted victory for american and it was bipartisan at a very tense moment pretty. >> there veterans we need to chat with you sir. willis of michigan he is up first. good morning. >> good morning sir grade i have a question since when is the secretary of the va a noble person from royal blood. i've now been trying for the last two weeks to get in touch with the secretary. nobody at the va even knows how to get in touch with him. >> what would you ask him if you are able toim get in touch with him. what is your question pretty. >> my question is sense covid-19 affected, tomorrow will be one year since i was supposed to have the virtual hearing. via computer and i can go to my
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medical facility now but thee same facility that would've done the hearing, they can't do it. it's been over a year. since 1982 when the va decided that my whereabouts were unknown. yes they did an audit the same day that they close my case. my new address was in there. so i've been fighting with the va now for 30 some odd years. >> chairman of the veterans affair and local congressman, can you have a chance to talk to him. takano: this is an issue of trying to get a hearing and assess ability to the hearing. i don't know what cspan has here but if you can pass wil's name onto me and i will be in contact with him. i will have my committee staff reach out to him and try to troubleshoot what is going on pretty.
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>> well if you are willing to do the saline we will get your information as we talked to a few more callers. t aaron is in tulsa, oklahoma. rrepublican and good morning. >> actually i'm not a veteran myself, i am the wife of a veteran who has been put into a nursing home with alzheimer's. i have been working for almost two years to be able to get his benefits increased and give him the care he needs. it seems like there are too any silos in the va as far as who does what and when and where. in the right hand does not know with the left hand is doing. and rain of going around in circles and is been a confusing that i'm not sure exactly what can be done but it would be helpful if there was a place to go. i had signed up with bso who is not helpful.
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and like i said, it's a little confusing. >> who is a member of congress. >> as far as the house, kevin earned. takano: and you are in oklahoma right. okay. so i suggest that you also try to be in touch with your member of congress regardless of party they usually have a caseworker, so more than one that are dedicated to troubleshooting veterans issues so i would recommend that you do that in addition to working with the bso. some states also have resources at the county level and at the state level. but it depends on the state rated so those folks, riverside
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county where my congressional district is in rehab even a staff. it's a large town and not all counties across the country have the same resources. and sometimes at the state level and often my congressional office caseworkers, has relationship with the bso's and also the county it went often we will engage directly with the va on the hat and behalf with the veteran who has an open case. so you might want to open up the case with your local member of congress. and of course, i can also take your name if you're willing to
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cspan and i will work with my republican making a members because he also has a staff as well. at that level of congress but your local member of congress should also have a caseworker as do your senators. your senators from oklahoma also have caseworkers as well. we've found that people often don't know that they can turn to the members of congress to also troubleshoot a benefit issue. this is their job to advocate for you. >> if you would be willing to do that, stay on the line for just a second pretty congressman, she brings up and could you explain what that vso does not connection. takano: so it stands for veteran service organization.
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and some of the vso's that are the more widely known are vso's coordinations like the american legion. the veterans of wars. in vietnam veterans of america. disabled american veterans or vap, a paralyzed veterans of america. and they focus on those veterans often with spinal cord injuries and paraplegics. in disabled american veterans organization veterans that have recognized service connected disabilities. tithese vso's, chartered by congress any more but i think there are atea least three chartered by congress. and they often have in their
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local state and local renditions. they often have counselors. in the service officers that are trained to help guide the veterans and their families through the maze of benefits and the ways in which you have to pursue those benefits. va is a large federal department the federal government. so it can be intimidating admittedly. so folks should not or if they should know that is a resource out there. i will be you - your local member of congress could be helpful as well pretty. >> and i may have one of your constituents on the line. from riverside, california pretty good morning.
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>> i am actually in his district. it i was my question. we have mental health boards in the va hospital and such. although they are controlled by the states, they don't control all of the laws. that's a state-by-state thing. what are the democrats in congress in general doing to get those laws in line universally drawn country. the affordable care act, it does not make sense when the taxpayers will be paying for a different law in a different state printed because in california there's a lot of wiggle systems me into- play whn it comes to the healthcare system to excessive extent in some cases with some decisions. it could be made by a medical professional. is there any agendas of the m democrats are going to be bringing this to mind. in my second l question was met when covid-19 started in them
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treating people back in the united states, you seem to oppose the way you treating people in your backyard and i'm just wondering if you want to clarify to people why you kind of had a stance towards that treatment of people. and i will stay on the line. takano: i'll answer the second question first. then i want on the first question. i don't think and i don't know where you're getting theim impression that i am opposed for this with the americans because i work very hard to work with the initial claim that was initially going to go to ontario. it was redirected to a reserve base.
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when the top health officials then i think assistant secretary hhs chadwick and the cdc, the head of the cdc redfield, i was called literally the night before this or they had made another decision h to redirect them from ontario to reserve base in my district. it was not a matter of me choosing, it was a matter that they were informing and i worked with the local board of supervisors. in fact the local board of supervisors and the county health officials were already working with federal officials in the state officials.
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if you review the communications i came out of my office, we are doing everything possible to inform the community and keeping the community called. in my public statements were to the effect that we were evacuating the families of state department workers and of people who work on behalf of the american people. and there were other also on the plane. but i later found out that you maybe be referring to is that i later found out that several officials were less than prepared. the nation of been an less than transparent. was demanding and asked for
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actually asked for and was given assurance by undersecretary chadwick that he would brief me on the procedures that were not being followed and indeed there was an internal investigation that was underway in those being used to not brief me. but i felt that i'm so that briefing because this was happening in my district. in hhs officials and cdc officials needed to be as transparent as they could. and actually that's an understatement. i felt during the pandemic, health officials need to be transparent. and there were a lot of years about how the virus spread and we didn't know and we did not have adequate testing. there was a lot of these
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deceptive languages in the response to my written inquiries and to hhs about who had been tested. and the fact the folks in quarantine at that time the evacuees, not all of them were tested. and the truth is, we know through february and early january, that the cdc was having real troubles with testing. as you can recall during that time. but been very critical since then about the lack of transparency and about the fact that people were not trained, the agency that deals with families and children, they were
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not well trained on how to take care of the evacuees once they were at the reserve base. there has been some revelation based on the reports since then this showed the they were notly completely trained, the government officials in terms of being able to receive and take care of these americans who we have a responsibility to take care of. >> congressman, were running short on time. would you like to answer his other question printed. takano: thank you. as far as the mental health boards, we understand, this is a new issue that you are bringing up to me about the mental health of the state laws. so explain to be more of what "the issue is". >> it is we have an affordable
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healthcare act in regard to implement and the different laws in different states on how to handle this. a lot of it goes back to less illegal challenges in patients can make. and things like that and are you guys doing anything to help get that to be consistent around the states and try to do something to change these laws which have not been changed in more than 50 years, some of them to try to get them and aligned with what we are doing.ea we now need to be relying on these legal systems with mental health care.e. takano: but it will tell you is that there is a sort of mental health care professionals short of psychiatrists, and the practitioners. the affordable care act as far
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as it can, the essential elements in the health benefits. there a standard of healthcare policies they have to meet it printed they have to also include mental health care as part of the policy. i can tell you that medicaid as i have talked to the empire and this is like a few years ago. but one of the effects of the affordable healthcare act, dca and medicaid expansion is that we have been able to attract specialists in the area including mental health care practitioners. but you raise a good point.
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the pandemic is or has resulted in and will result in a huge need in our country for enhanced mental health care in congress does need to take a look at this issue. in her broadway and how are we going to meet mental health care needs of americans who are going to be in need of that middle healthcare. and i can tell you that related to veterans, and we have a great need to increase the number of mental health care providers. but healthcare and the va does include the review of the whole issue of having need to meet the mental health care issues of our country.
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>> we have another person waitingin for you. for 20 minutes. make it quick pretty. >> yes, how much is being allowed for the. veterans printed and being from california, what is being done about the homeless. we have a big amount of homeless here. takano: we are doing a lot of the reconciliation bill. the american rescue plan to make sure that we prevent homelessness byt addressing the assistance and the addressing the homeowners who are facing mortgages and we address that in
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the bill. we address some of the huge housing related issues. ... ... issues related to safety of homeless people by making sure we provide the funding to get them into emergency temporary housing. the whole issue of how we address homelessness throughout california when it is it's going to take more focused effort, and the v.a. is a key part of that solution and has been an ongoing effort for the last several years, last ten years since the obama administration made it a goal to eliminate veteran homelessness.
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there has been tremendous progress made nationally, i mean significant progress made nationally a reducing veteran homelessness. we need to make more progress on that front in california. i'm happy to sit in riverside county where we are right now, well, where you are, where i would like to beat most of the time, in riverside county they have done a tremendous job. i had to really give a lot of credit to some of the county folks, riverside county, for really attending to reducing veteran homelessness. they have done a really good job in san bernardino county, but we need to take that same expertise that they have gained and apply the lessons they accused to
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reduce veterans homelessness come to reducing homelessness across the board. and it's complex. it involves having mental health services available, also drug rehabilitation. homelessness is driven by mental illness, by poverty but also addiction issues. there's a lot to doing that but i think we have come think we really have to look past that we learned a lot for how we dealt with veteran homelessness. >> host: come back and talk to us again about andrew. we always appreciate your time, or casework when you come on, congressman mark takano. the chairman of the house veterans affairs committee. >> guest: thank you. >> be with us that when president biden speaks to the nation in his first primetime address. expected to mark the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus penned in the in use. on c-span, online at
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watch booktv this weekend on c-span2. >> up next on c-span2 a senate subcommittee hearing on antitrust law and tech giants like google and facebook if the subcommittees considering those companies impact on news content and whether third-party sites should be compensated for providing content to companies like google and facebook. minnesota senator amy klobuchar chaired the hearing. [inaudible conversations] all right. i have the gavel. we're gaveling the hearing to order. this hearing of the subcommittee on competition, policy, antitrust and consumer rights entitled "competetion policy for the twenty-first century: the case for antitrust reform." good afternoon and welcome to


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