Bernie Sanders unveiled on Monday a proposal to expand services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Among numerous policy details in the proposal, Sanders said he would:
- Fill 50,000 currently empty positions currently at the VA in his first year.
- Spend $62 billion to repair and modernize VA facilities.
- Increase wages, staffing ratios and workers protections at VA facilities.
- Provide dental care to all former servicemembers.
- Expand mental health and suicide prevention services.
- Guarantee housing for veterans.
“As a nation, we have a moral obligation to provide the best quality care to those who put their lives on the line to defend us,” Sanders said in a statement. “Just as planes and tanks and guns are a cost of war, so is taking care of the men and women who we sent off to fight the wars.”
Revival Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg also released a proposal for the VA Monday, in which he said he would increase funding for veterans, streamline access to medical care and improve mental health services. Buttigieg addressed the plight of current service members as well, saying he would improve child care on military bases, bring more women into leadership roles and end the transgender military ban.