Transcript: Sen. Angus King’s Q&A w/ DOD & VA officials on the handling of military sexual assault, PTSD & suicides

Partial transcript of Sen. Angus King’s (I-Maine) Q&A on the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs handling of post traumatic stress disorders and suicides of service members who suffered military sexual assault. The hearing before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel was held on Feb. 26, 2014:

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine):
Madam Chair, I’m going to be very brief. First, I want to associate myself with your request for the data on the backlog. That’s really important, and don’t candy – don’t sugar coat it. We want the straight data on from the day somebody on average applies to the time they get accepted because treatment delayed in treatment denied in many of these cases. That’s number one.

Number two, Madam Chair, I think there’s a gap here in coverage in the sense that Tricare is only available to retirees 20 years or more. So if you can’t get service at the VA for your service-related trauma, you don’t have any other choices. So I think that’s something we need to be thinking about. It’s not like they can turn around to Tricare and use their local provider.

Finally, Dr. Galbreath, this isn’t really a question. But I just want to make a statement. I don’t understand why anybody would go to you for counseling if they understand that that record of that counseling can be made available in a later proceeding. That’s just – that just makes no sense whatsoever, and I want to visit that with Madam Chair.

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