WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) questioned the Veterans Affairs (VA) Chief Officer of Readjustment Counseling Service, Michael Fisher, about how the VA is addressing the mental health challenges through the work of vet centers.
Read excerpts from Coach Tuberville’s remarks below or watch here.
SEN. TUBERVILLE: “Mr. Fisher, what happens when an individual comes to a vet center seeking counseling, but it is evident to the counselor that the individual is in crisis – perhaps on the verge of hurting themselves or someone else. What happens next?”
MR. FISHER: “It is all about getting that individual to the level of care that they need.”
SEN. TUBERVILLE: “Immediately?”
MR. FISHER: “Immediately. That could be to our VA Medical Center peers. It could also be through the local community healthcare systems – 911.”
SEN. TUBERVILLE: “Is there any follow-up from the [vet] center following that individual to the VA?”
MR. FISHER: “There is follow-up. In fact, we have examples of where [vet center] staff then accompany that veteran to that higher level of care.”
SEN. TUBERVILLE: “[…] It all goes back to [serving] people.”
As the son of a decorated World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Coach is proud to serve on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. He is committed to making sure veterans get the care they deserve, while holding the VA accountable to the taxpayer.
- Prioritizing Veterans: After learning that Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) resources were being used to facilitate medical care for illegal immigrants, rather than providing swift, quality health care for veterans, Senator Tuberville introduced the No VA Resources for Illegal Aliens Act. This bill would prohibit the VA from providing healthcare or engaging in claims processing for anyone unlawfully present in the United States.
- Expanding Healthcare Options: Senator Tuberville helped introduce the Veterans’ HEALTH Actto protect and expand access to care for veterans, safeguard veterans’ ability to choose their own providers, and require the VA to improve the quality of care at VA medical facilities. He also introduced the Veterans Health Care Freedom Act to give veterans more flexibility when making medical decisions and greater access to the free-market health care system to increase access to care and reduce wait times.
- Streamlining Job Opportunities: Senator Tuberville joined the Veteran Improvement Commercial Driver License Act, which cuts red tape to allow more veterans to find a good-paying job quickly and help address the trucker shortage. This bill passed the Senate on November 6, 2023, and is now with the House of Representatives for consideration.
- Holding VA Employees Accountable: Senator Tuberville cosponsored theRestore VA Accountability Act of 2023, which provides VA hiring managers the authorities necessary to hold poor performing employees accountable.
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.