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Ossoff introduces bipartisan legislation ensuring veterans access to mental health services

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 2:43 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff introduced a bipartisan legislation this week to ensure that military service members and their families have access to mental health services.

Senator Ossoff hopes to pass the Military Families Mental Health Services Act later this year. It’s through the National Defense Authorization Act, which funds the U.S. Department of Defense.

Ossoff is working with Republican Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota to move the bill along.

News Leader 9 spoke with Ossoff on the tough battle ahead for this piece legislation.

”There’s no guarantee ever that we are going to be able to get this done, but I’m relentless in fighting for military families and veterans in Georgia,” said Senator Ossoff. “What my bill does, is it ensures that they can get those three mental health appointments per year with no out of pocket costs. Now they’ll still be able to access other mental health services as normal through Tricare, but we want to encourage people to take advantage of the counseling services that are available and encourage them to access mental health services through Tricare.”

The Senate did pass legislation Thursday, June 16, to ensure veterans who were exposed to burn pits and toxic fumes get access through the VA for diseases associated with toxic exposure. It now heads to the House of Representatives.

President Biden urges the House to swiftly pass this bill and plans to sign it right away.

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