- 22 июля, 16:36
- POLITICO. Top Stories
2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang on Monday unveiled a wide-ranging proposal to improve services for veterans, including updates to the education, employment and health care benefits troops receive after leaving the military.
What would the plan do?
One of the most significant changes would allow veterans to use skills they learned in the military to get civilian certifications required for certain jobs. For example, a medic in the military would be able to become an EMT upon leaving the service without additional training or licensing. Requiring veterans to obtain a civilian license or go through more training for a job they’ve already been performing in the military “disrespects the work done in the military, and, quite frankly, it’s wasteful,” according to a fact sheet from the campaign. The plan would also seek to boost veterans' employment by creating a mentorship program.
The plan also proposes several changes to veterans’ education benefits under the GI Bill, which helps veterans pay for college or graduate school. It would make veterans eligible for in-state tuition at any public school, regardless of how long they have lived in the state, and also calls for the broader program to be simplified.
Yang promises to cut the number of daily veterans suicides in half by the end of his first term as president, in part by increasing funding for veterans crisis lines and giving free gun safes to all veterans. The entrepreneur also promises several changes to the Veterans Affairs health care network — including allowing VA staff to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans and increasing salaries to fill staffing holes. His vision would eventually see everyone transitioned to a Medicare for All-style healthcare system, but he said the VA would maintain a role in prosthetics and PTSD, which have an outsized impact on the veteran community.
To end veteran homelessness, Yang would start a program similar to the census to find all homeless veterans and register them with the VA system to help them access employment programs and healthcare. Yang would also establish a “Reverse Boot Camp” that veterans would be required to attend upon leaving the military to make sure they are aware of the services available to them and to teach skills like grocery shopping, creating a resume and sticking to a daily schedule.
Who would it help?
The program aims to help both veterans who have been out of the military for a while, through changes to the VA system or GI Bill, as well as troops still in the service, who would go through the new exit boot camp upon leaving the military.
Yang met with members of Common Defense, a veterans group that opposes Trump, in May when he signed the “End the Forever Wars” pledge. A campaign spokesman said he was “inspired” to roll out this veterans policy by those meetings, as well as by several conversations with retired Maj. Gen. Richard Ojeda, a former West Virginia state senator who was also running for president but suspended his campaign earlier this year.
What other Democrats have proposed?
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), a Marine Corps veteran, unveiled a plan in May to improve mental-health services for veterans, which would require annual mental-health check-ups for both active-duty troops and veterans. It would also fill all of the open mental-health jobs at the VA and encourage doctors to look into alternative therapies such as exercise and marijuana.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine