Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) chief executive officer Mike Linnington will testify to Congress this morning about the needs of veterans. Linnington, who is a retired lieutenant general in the U.S. Army, will talk about the growing needs of today's generation of wounded service members and veterans and how organizations like WWP are vital in filling the gaps in care and support.
Linnington will remind Congress of the importance of collaboration between government and nonprofits around the country. He will also push for better care for veterans living with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). An estimated 320,000 post 9/11 veterans live with a TBI today.
Linnington will spotlight a burdensome requirement for some of the most seriously wounded veterans. Because their injuries often limit their abilities to work, these men and women are required to add Medicare coverage instead of the cheaper, preferred TRICARE health care option. This change comes with steep increases in premiums compared to TRICARE – sometimes as much as 500 percent. Even for warriors who can return to work, many must maintain Medicare and those higher premiums for up to eight and a half years. WWP will work with Congress to find a solution that maintains quality health care without the financial strain.
Congress will also hear about the need to extend reproductive services for veterans. Congress allowed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide treatments such as in vitro fertilization – but only for two years. Linnington will ask Congress to continue the benefit beyond 2019.