Rep. Lipinski Helps Pass VA Reform Bill (July 30, 2014)

The House of Representatives has passed a major Veterans Affairs Reform Bill with overwhelming bipartisan support.  Statement from Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3):

“Today, both parties put their partisan bickering aside to support our veterans who have given so much to our nation.  Having spent the last few months hearing and reading vets’ personal stories of the shameful lack of care they have received from the VA, I’m happy to support this bill that provides much-needed reform.

“The bill improves access and quality of care for veterans by requiring the VA to offer an authorization to receive non-VA care to any veteran who is enrolled in VA health care and is unable to secure an appointment at a VA medical facility within 30 days or resides more than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility.  It also requires an independent assessment of VA medical care and establishes a Congressional Commission on Care to evaluate access to care throughout the VA health care system.  It provides funding to hire more physicians and other medical staff, modernize existing infrastructure, and build new facilities.  Additionally, the bill authorizes the VA to fire or demote senior managers and other employees for poor performance or misconduct, and it improves education benefits for veterans and dependents.

“In the coming months and years I will continue to hold the VA accountable and work to build on the positive steps laid out in this bill.  And, as always, my door is always open to any veteran who has an issue with the care they receive from the VA or has any other questions or issues.”