Denham: VA Reform Bill is Just the First Crucial Step
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) attended the bill signing ceremony of the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 at Fort Belvoir, VA today with President Obama and congressional leaders.
“The VA reform bill that was signed into law today is just the first crucial step in ensuring our veterans receive the care they deserve,” said Rep. Denham. “This bill increases access to care by making veterans eligible to see a private doctor if they live more than 40 miles from a VA facility. This will lift a huge burden on Central Valley veterans who have been driving hours to the Palo Alto facility.
“The hardest work is just beginning as we work to implement these changes, and our mission isn’t over. No more long wait times, no more secret lists, no more lists at all. It’s time to eliminate the backlog and bring real reform to the VA.
“The lesson of the past few years is clear: we cannot expect additional funds alone to solve the problem. This bill is merely a start on all of the necessary structural reforms that must take place within the Department. I look forward to working with the Veterans’ Affairs committee and Secretary McDonald to ensure these resources are used effectively so our vets get the care they deserve.”
The Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 requires independent assessments of VA medical care and gives the Secretary of the VA additional tools to hold underperforming staff accountable. It also includes additional resources for staffing at VA medical facilities to help address the bureaucratic impediments that exist to hiring qualified health professionals for VA facilities across the country.
Constituents with feedback for Rep. Denham on how to reform the VA are invited to submit their views through his website: http://denham.house.gov/denham-poll-va.