Tom Perriello | Fifth District Report
Last week, I had the honor of attending a very special bill signing at the White House. Surrounded by representatives from the major veterans service organizations, the President signed into law the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, which will ensure our veterans get the health care they have earned. As a member of the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I was a co-sponsor of the legislation and supported it throughout the legislative process.
Endorsed by leading veterans’ organizations as “among the most important for veterans and their families,” the legislation authorizes Congress to approve investments in Department of Veterans Affairs medical care one year in advance, and requires the President to request those funds one year in advance. The change will provide time for the VA to plan how to deliver the best care to an increasing number of veterans with increasingly complex medical conditions.
The millions of our veterans who depend on the VA for health care should never face delays because Congress cannot get its budget together. This bill meets our critical obligation to the brave men and women who have defended our nation’s freedom. I’m proud to have supported this legislation every step of the way and was thrilled to see it become a law.
I want to provide constituents with some important information about the H1N1 flu and what you can do to protect yourself and your family. President Obama recently declared the spread of the H1N1 flu a national emergency. While there is no cause for panic, we must take this virus seriously and ensure we are safeguarding our communities.
The Virginia Department of Health is strongly encouraging all Virginians to get vaccinated against the H1N1 flu. The vaccine is safe, with the risks associated with the flu itself far outweighing any potential risks related to the vaccine. High-risk groups that are especially being encouraged to get vaccinated include pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, healthcare and emergency medical services personnel, people between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old, and people ages of 25 through 64 years of age with chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems. You may contact the Virginia Department of Health at www.h1n1get1.com or 877-ASK-VDH3 to learn more about where to get vaccinated.
Remember to get your annual seasonal flu shot as well; the H1N1 vaccine does not protect against the seasonal flu.
Individuals who are sick with influenza-like illness (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose) are reminded to take standard measures to limit spread of disease such as frequent hand washing, covering their cough and avoiding going to work, school or other settings where they could infect others. Individuals should consult with their primary medical provider if their symptoms are not being managed effectively with over-the-counter medications or if they have other medical conditions such as pregnancy or chronic illness. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/ or call 800.CDC.INFO (800.232.4636).
Please feel free to contact me to share your concerns and ideas. You may call 888.4.TOM4US (888.486.6487); write to 1520 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515; or visit www.perriello.house.gov to sign up for my weekly e-newsletter.
Tom Perriello represents the Fifth District in the United States House of Representatives.