Military Order of the Purple Heart
Legislative Priorities 2023 - 2024
The MOPH National Legislative Program is the voice of the MOPH and its supporters on Capitol Hill, as well as within the chambers of each state's legislative body. This program allows the MOPH to take official positions on legislation that affects Purple Heart recipients, military veterans, their families, and survivors. What We Do:
- Send letters of support or opposition on legislation.
- Work to develop MOPH national legislative priorities.
- Provide accurate, relevant, timely, and impactful testimony.
- Coordinate grassroots efforts through our Voter Voice service.
- Track current legislation as it moves through numerous channels.
- Assist Regional Commanders with state and regional legislative priorities.
- Build and maintain relationships with members of Congress, their staff, federal officials, and other VSO's in Washington, DC and beyond.
Veterans' Health Care
- Reduce the number of service members and veterans who die by suicide to zero.
- Fully fund the Veterans Health Administration, to include both VA and non-VA care.
- Non-VA health care must be viewed as a supplement to VA care whenever the VA cannot provide care that is timely and geographically accessible; not a replacement for VA care.
- Oppose any proposals to pay for non-VA care programs by increasing veterans' out-of-pocket expenses.
- Require VA to include "number of days until next available appointment" in its mandatory publishing of appointment data in order to reflect the amount of time veterans more accurately are waiting at each facility.
- Require that VHA grant enrollment to all veterans whose discharges are other than "dishonorable" as defined by DOD who are otherwise eligible.
- Fully fund VA medical research programs, in areas that disproportionately affect veterans such as prosthetics, toxic exposures, and TBI.
- Ensure that VA can provide the full array of gender-specific services for women veterans.
- Expand geriatric care options, including long term care eligibility and housing options.
Veterans' and Survivors' Benefits
- Fully staff VBA so that they have enough employees to simultaneously process claims and appeals in a timely manner.
- Require VBA to accept private medical evidence that is competent, credible, and complete.
- Improve decision notification letters so that veterans and VSO's can fully understand why claims are denied.
- Ensure Veterans have a choice; that private/rural providers are allowed to administer care for all veterans without penalty or refusal to cover costs.
- Expand PACT Act in order to provide greater pool of veterans who are impacted.
- Grant disability claims on a presumptive basis to veterans who are known to have been exposed to toxic substances, to include Blue Water Navy, those suffering from Gulf War Illness, and burn pit exposure (PACT Act).
- Relax the standards for those suffering from disabilities related to MST but often have no documentation in their service record due to a historically low reporting rate.
- Improve VBMS to allow VSO's to track claims that were brokered under National Work Queue.
- Allow for full concurrent receipt of VA disability compensation and military retired pay (Star Act).
- Eliminate the SBP/DIC offset for survivors.
- Continue to oppose any efforts that make it more difficult for veterans with illnesses related to asbestos to pursue their federal personal injury trust and tort claims.
- Extend the VA home loan funding fee waiver to active-duty Purple Heart recipients.
- Continue to support VA authorities to discipline and remove employees who are not properly performing their duties; especially those who willfully or negligently put veterans at risk quickly and decisively.
- Promote a customer service-based culture across VA; one that is veteran-centric as opposed to VA centric.
- Institute a robust "secret shopper" program in order to improve and properly monitor the level of customer service provided by VA employees.
- Continue to ensure that whistleblowers are fully protected and are not subject to reprisal for coming forward.
Education and Employment
- Protect the integrity and sustainability of GI Bill benefits.
- Advocate for tuition-free education at all state schools and state universities for Purple Heart recipients and their immediate family members (Blue Star and Gold Star).
- Close the "90/10 loophole" to ensure GI Bill benefits receive the same protections as other federal education benefits.
- Close the loophole that allows employers to violate USERRA with forced arbitration agreements.
- Reject proposals to diminish veterans' hiring preference in the federal government.
- Promote veterans' hiring in the private sector.
- Support opportunities for veteran entrepreneurship, including assistance to spouses.
DOD and Those Currently Serving
- Ensure that DOD provides a robust, competitive compensation package, to include base pay and BAH, in order to preserve the all-volunteer force.
- Protect the integrity of TRICARE so that service members, retirees, and their families have access to the high-quality medical care they deserve.
- Eliminate arbitrary budget caps that harm military readiness, capability, and morale.
- Fully fund the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to ensure that all those who are yet unaccounted for are finally brought home.
- Ensure that the intentions and protections of SCRA are not violated through forced arbitration clauses in financial contracts.
- Eligibility for burial at Arlington National Cemetery must continue to include Purple Heart recipients and those who may be killed in action in present and future conflicts.
Honoring Purple Heart Recipients
- Continue to oppose any effort to amend the criteria for award of the Purple Heart medal that would diminish the prestige or purpose of the award.
- Authorize the U.S. Treasury to mint Purple Heart commemorative coins, the proceeds of which would be used to support the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
- Support full federal recognition of August 7th as "National Purple Heart Day" in perpetuity in order to properly honor all those who were killed in action or became wounded in defense of our country.
- Prohibit the commercial sale of military-issue Purple Heart medals on the secondary market.