VA Bill Makes Progress Toward Helping Vets Access Education, Timely Health Care, Larsen says

Jul 30, 2014 Issues: Veterans

WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today with support from Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02. The bill, H.R. 3230, the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014, is a final compromise between the House and Senate addressing changes to the VA’s practices regarding health care and education access.

“This bill directs the VA to make needed reforms so veterans in the Pacific Northwest and across the country can get the health care they need in a timely way. Veterans will have a wider range of options for their care, and VA officials will be more accountable to provide that care in an appropriate amount of time.

“As servicemembers end their time in the military, these women and men must be able to get both the health care and education they need to help them succeed in civilian life. That’s why I’m pleased this bill also allows veterans to get in-state tuition at public universities.

“Veterans should be able to access the resources needed to fully participate in our economy and our democracy. This bill makes progress on those goals.

“As a recent audit shows, scheduling practices at our local VA clinics need to improve. I will continue to monitor ongoing audits and talk with veterans in my district about their health care needs and experiences getting VA care,” Larsen said.

The bill provides funding to allow veterans who live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA facility or those who have waited 30 days or more for an appointment to get care at a facility that serves the general public. The bill also provides funding for the VA to hire more doctors and medical staff, and makes it easier to fire senior leadership for poor performance.

The Senate also must approve the bill.