House Bill Gives Veterans Relief from Abysmal VA Wait Times
Washington, DC –The House today passed H.R. 4810, the Veteran Access to Care Act of 2014, by a 426-0 vote. This legislation directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to enter into contracts with non-VA facilities to provide care to veterans who have waited longer than the wait-time goals of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), have been notified that an appointment will not be available within the VHA wait-time goals, or live more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility. In addition, H.R. 4810 eliminates bonuses and performance awards for all VA employees for fiscal years 2014-2016.
Congressman Brooks said, “Recent revelations of Veterans Administration mismanagement highlight the need for sweeping reform. This week, a system-wide VA audit disclosed that more than 57,000 veterans were subject to unacceptable and dangerous wait times for access to health care. America is bombarded daily with non-stop disclosures of how badly broken the VA system has become even though, over the past decade, Congress has dramatically increased VA funding far in excess of new patient loads. As the VA continues to prove it is incapable of meeting patient needs, it’s apparent we must permit our veterans to seek responsive health care outside of the VA system. I’m pleased the House has taken yet another step to stand up for our nation’s veterans. I urge the Senate to act quickly and pass this bipartisan legislation.”
Congressman Brooks concluded, “There is one positive Americans can discern from these disclosures about the dangerous and deadly quality of VA care for America’s war veterans. The VA health care system is a stark warning that federal government-run health care makes matters worse, not better, that ObamaCare is a step in the wrong direction, and that federal government-run health care does not come close to providing the kind of health care America has come to demand and expect from private or local health care providers. No private health care provider could stay in business if it caused as many health care delays, and deaths, as the VA system has been inflicting on America’s war veterans.”