One example of how we are thinking big

Republican Leadership Press Conference:
December 6, 2016

Participants:
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA)
Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Conference Vice Chair-elect Doug Collins (R-GA)
Conference Secretary-elect Jason Smith (R-MO)

Cathy McMorris Rodgers Remarks as Delivered:

“Over two years ago, people all across this country were outraged to learn that veterans had died waiting for an appointment at their local VA.

“And soon after that, a tech company approached me. They were pretty excited. They had technology, off the shelf technology, that was allowing them to book appointments in doctors’ offices all across the country within 24 hours.

“And as a side note, the founder and CEO of this tech company actually was hesitant to even approach me about this because he didn’t think he wanted to deal with the federal government. But, over the weekend, a couple of his employees, who were veterans, put together a proposal for the VA.

“Now, unfortunately, the VA had its own idea. Their approach meant: spending more money; waiting seven years—which meant the veterans would continue to wait.

“During this holiday season, we should all remember those serving and defending our country — all over the world.

“And one of the best way we show our gratitude to those who have served and are serving, is to make sure they get the care they need when the time comes.

“So I’m excited to say that legislation we’ve been working on — the Faster Care for Veterans Act — is going to be voted on this week on the House Floor.

“It ensures that veterans will have the same options to schedule their appointments that people have in doctors’ offices across the country.

“It’s a step towards making sure our veterans could go online, use an app, or if they wanted, call the 1-800 number—that option would still be there for them.

“We’re showing the VA how innovative technology, already available to millions of people, can work to help our veterans get the care that they need in a timely fashion.

“It’s just one example of how we’re thinking big, reimaging what’s considered business as usual in Washington, D.C., and making sure that people are at the very core of everything we do.

“We’re going to start also by giving people access to quality health care that they can afford that returns decisions to their rightful place between patients and their doctors.

“And we’re going to work together with the new administration to change the status quo; listen to people all across this country, and offer real, Republican solutions, for better health care and beyond.”