House and Senate move to expand access to medical care for veterans

Jun 13, 2014

Spurred into action by 23 deaths linked to delayed appointments at Veterans Affairs health facilities, the House and Senate both passed legislation to improve veterans access to medical care. The House passed H.R. 4810, the Veterans Access to Care Act, which I co-sponsored. The bill requires the VA to pay for care from a non-VA provider for eligible veterans, requires an independent review of care provided at VA medical facilities, and requires the VA to submit a plan of action based on that review. The Senate legislation, too, allows enrolled veterans to get help from non-VA providers and also authorized hiring more heath care providers for VA facilities. The rush to act leaves both House and Senate bills in need of further refinement over the coming days; but some action is better than no action when it comes to serving the veterans who have served our country.