Today the House passed eight veterans related bills, including:
H.R. 3956, the VA Health Center Management Stability and Improvement Act, as amended, would direct the VA to develop and implement a plan to hire a director for each VA medical center without a permanent director, prioritize hiring for facilities that have been without permanent leadership for the longest times, certify compliance with scheduling policy, and ensure that directives and policies apply to each VA office or facility in a uniform manner.
H.R. 3715, the Final Farewell Act of 2016, as amended, would require VA to permit the interment or funeral, memorial service, or ceremony of a deceased veteran at a national cemetery during weekends, other than federal holiday weekends, upon the request of the veteran's next-of-kin.
H.R. 3989, the Support our Military Caregivers Act, as amended, would allow a veteran or caregiver of a veteran to elect to have an independent contractor perform an external clinical review of their caregiving arrangement through the Family Caregiver Program. It would also require VA to produce a directive for the Family Caregiver Program and require GAO to study the Family Caregiver Program.
H.R. 2460 would direct VA to enter into an agreement or a contract with state veterans homes (SVHs) to pay for adult day health care for a veteran eligible for, but not receiving, nursing home care.
H.R. 5229, the Improving Transition Programs for All Veterans Act, as amended, would require VA to research and report to Congress how the Transition Assistance Program addresses differentiated needs of groups of minority veterans, including women veterans, disabled veterans, Native American veterans, veterans who are residents of a U.S. territory, veterans who are part of the indigenous population of a U.S. territory, and other minority groups.
These bills now await consideration by the Senate. Following House passage of the bills, Chairman Miller released the below statement.
“Today the House took noteworthy steps to improve the welfare of our nation’s veterans and reform VA into an organization truly worthy of the veterans it is charged with serving. These bills will help aid our veterans throughout their lives by improving their transition from active duty to civilian life, providing adult day health care for eligible veterans and holding VA to higher standards of care. I applaud my colleagues in the House for stepping up to pass these important measures, and I call on the Senate to act on them without delay.” - Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans' AffairsRead More
Today, Chairman Miller released the following statement regarding VA Secretary Bob McDonald’s comparison of Department of Veterans Affairs wait times to those at a Disney theme park.
“There is nothing amusing about VA’s performance over the past few years, and comparing VA wait times to those of an amusement park is just plain wrong. Wait times are of critical importance to the veterans waiting for VA medical care and they should be to Sec. Bob McDonald as well. In fact, the VA scandal over fraudulent wait times – in which department officials cooked the books in order to make excessive waits for medical care appear shorter – is precisely why McDonald is now VA secretary. Unfortunately, nearly two years after McDonald took over at VA, the department’s wait-time rhetoric doesn’t match up with the reality of veterans’ experiences. But given the fact that VA has successfully fired only a handful of employees for wait-time manipulation while letting the bulk of those behind its nationwide delays-in-care scandal off with no discipline or weak slaps on the wrist, I am not at all surprised these problems persist. And until the department takes steps to remove all who caused VA’s wait-time manipulation problems from the payroll, efforts to reform the agency will never succeed. In the meantime, attempts among department officials to downplay the significance of wait times for VA medical care will only further erode the trust of the veterans the department is charged with serving.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
Government Accountability Office
April 19, 2016Read More
Today Chairman Miller introduced H.R. 5286, the VA Construction and Lease Authorization, Health, and Benefits Enhancement Act.
The bill would improve Department of Veterans Affairs health care and benefits in a variety of ways, including:
After introducing the bill, Chairman Miller released the following statement:
“When it comes to reforming VA into an organization truly worthy of the veterans it is charged with serving, there is still much more work to be done. But H.R. 5286 brings us closer to this goal in a number of different ways, whether it’s ensuring VA has skin in the game when it comes to paying its bills on time, streamlining the department’s process for partnering with private-sector health care providers or fairly compensating some of our most severely injured veterans. I am proud of the work that went into this bill and hopeful we can send it to the Senate in short order.”– Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
Read the text of the bill here.Read More
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