Tags: America's Forum | VA Scandal | J.D. Gordon | Clay Hunt | suicide | Veterans Affairs

J.D. Gordon: Clay Hunt Bill Is 'Step in Right Direction'

By    |   Friday, 13 Feb 2015 11:15 AM

The recently passed Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act isn’t a panacea for all that ails the Department of Veterans Affairs, but it’s a good start, former Defense Department spokesman J.D. Gordon said Friday on "America’s Forum" on Newsmax TV.

"It's going to help veterans because it's going to increase awareness of where to get help," he said. "It stipulates a couple things. One is that the VA will have different websites and information about veterans where they can go for help immediately. So it's going to make it easier for them to get information right off the bat. That's No. 1.

"No. 2, it's going to increase the number of psychiatrists, because it's going to help with student loans. So it will incentivize people to become psychiatrists at the VA, so that'll help too."

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Passed by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama this month, the bill is named for Clay Hunt, a Marine sniper who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and committed suicide in 2011. It contains provisions for helping vets with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and creates a three-year peer-support pilot program pairing returning veterans with soldiers to assist with the transition from active duty.

Gordon thinks the bill’s passage is a good thing, but said the VA needs an overhaul.

"The reason we have so many problems with the VA is ... it's government gone wild," he said. "Could you imagine going to the DMV for healthcare? That's what the VA is, though, because these are government workers.

"They know it's near impossible to fire them because these public sector unions protect them so much. So there's really no incentive. It doesn't matter if they treat two patients a day or 20. They're going to get paid the same."

Gordon said Congress needs to tackle the issue of public sector unions, "but it's really tough because the Democrats get so much money from these labor unions that that's why we can't fix the VA."

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The recently passed Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act isn't a panacea for all that ails the Department of Veterans Affairs, but it's a good start, former Defense Department spokesman J.D. Gordon said Friday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV.
J.D. Gordon, Clay Hunt, suicide, Veterans Affairs
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2015-15-13
Friday, 13 Feb 2015 11:15 AM
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