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PVA STUDY STATES HEALTH CARE REFORM MUST CONSIDER VA'S ROLE

 PVA STUDY STATES HEALTH CARE REFORM MUST CONSIDER VA'S ROLE
 /ADVANCE/ WASHINGTON, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- As national health care reform initiatives gain momentum, the debate also must focus on the role and value of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), said Victor S. McCoy Sr., national president of the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA).
 McCoy, speaking at the release of a two-year health care study, said PVA undertook the effort "to make sure the needs of PVA members and, in fact, the needs of millions of veterans with medical problems, are addressed."
 Titled "Strategy 2000: The VA Responsibility in Tomorrow's National Health Care System," the 246-page report reflects the work of a panel of health-oriented organizations; economists; health care providers; authorities from government, labor and the VA health care system; and consumers.
 "Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides unique services to veterans with significant disabilities -- namely those in need of specialized spinal cord injury care, blind rehabilitation, prosthetic rehabilitation and research, mental illness, war-related post-traumatic stress disorder, AIDS, substance abuse and long-term care," said McCoy.
 However, he continued, "one of our fundamental concerns is that health-care reform proposals -- from health organizations and consortiums, state legislatures, Congress and the administration -- do not even mention the role or value of the VA."
 McCoy noted that the VA, the country's largest health care system, currently treats more than 1 million in-patients and more than 20 million out-patients every year. "We want policy-makers to consider how these millions of people will be treated following national health care reform," he said.
 "We feel that veterans' dependence on health care, the system's immense resources and its service to national needs and values, should be more than an arbitrary afterthought," McCoy stated.
 In addition, "Strategy 2000" is more than "just a document to be placed on-the-shelf for future reference," McCoy said. "Rather, it is an on-going statement that we, as veterans, as people with disabilities who have a vital, personal interest in health care, now are entering the debate on national health care reform."
 The Paralyzed Veterans of America, a veterans' service organization, has for more than 40 years served the needs of its members, all of whom have catastrophic paralysis caused by spinal cord injury or disease.
 -0- 5/7/92/0900
 /CONTACT: Phil Rabin of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, 202-872-1300/ CO: Paralyzed Veterans of America ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU:


DC-TW -- DC044 -- 7251 05/06/92 16:13 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 6, 1992
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