The Department of the Veteran Affairs or VA has been in the media a lot over the last several months and none of this press coverage has been positive. There have been reports of problems in the management of VA construction projects, reports of veteran mental health patients dying and most recently a whistleblower report that the VA health care system in Phoenix, AZ is causing veteran deaths by making veterans wait for up to a year for medical care. The VA estimates that there 22.6 million veterans of which nearly 10 million are enrolled in the VA health care system meaning US veterans rely heavily on good VA care. The good treatment of veterans is a truly bi-partisan issue and these scandals have made many in Congress angry with the VA and its management. Therefore, it is not surprising that a number of bills are currently being considered to reform certain aspects of the VA. Highlighted below are a few of the bills moving more quickly through the Congressional process.
H.R.4031 Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014 is a bill to give the Secretary of the VA the power to more easily fire high level VA civil servants. This legislation is likely to become more popular due to a new scandal that showed a VA health system was secretly making veterans wait months or even a year for treatment. H.R.3593 VA Construction Assistance Act of 2013 is a bill to provide more oversight over major VA projects and was written in response to reports that the VA is behind and over budget and most of their major facility projects.
Listing of Important VA Reform Legislation
- H.R. 2661, the Veterans Access to Timely Medical Appointments Act, https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/hr/2661/veterans-access-to-timely-medical-appointments-act/overview
- H.R. 4198, the Appropriate Care for Disabled Veterans Act, https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/hr/4198/appropriate-care-for-disabled-veterans-act/overview
- H.R. 2119, the Veterans Access to Speedy Review Act, https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/hr/2119/veterans-access-to-speedy-review-act/overview
- H.R. 4191, the Quicker Veterans Benefits Delivery Act, https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/hr/4191/quicker-veterans-benefits-delivery-act/overview
- S.932, Putting Veterans Funding First Act of 2013, https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/s/932/putting-veterans-funding-first-act-of-2013/overview
- H.R. 4031, Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014, https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/hr/4031/to-amend-title-38-united-states-code-to-provide-for-the-removal-of-senior-executive-service-employees-of-the-department-of-veterans-affairs-for-performance-and-for-other-purposes/overview
- S.1148, Veterans Benefits Claims Faster Filing Act, https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/s/1148/veterans-benefits-claims-faster-filing-act/overview
- H.R. 3593, VA Construction Assistance Act of 2013, https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/hr/3593/va-construction-assistance-act-of-2013/overview