Wednesday, July 30, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 3230, the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, which addresses the excessively long wait times and unacceptable mismanagement within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):
"It is a national shame that thousands of our nation's veterans have suffered due to the gross mismanagement at the VA. These glaring problems are undoubtedly the result of a broken system that must be meaningfully and structurally reformed. I was proud to support this legislation today, which provides immediate relief to our veterans who are currently being short-changed by their VA and increases accountability for those officials entrusted with their care. The structural issues within the VA have resulted in tragic outcomes for those who have made countless sacrifices to protect our nation's freedoms, so it is of the utmost importance that we implement these much-needed, meaningful reforms and begin the process of changing the culture within the VA."
- H.R. 3230 authorizes 27 major medical facility leases throughout the nation and provides funding to the VA to hire physicians and medical staff, increasing access to care.
- The bill also requires the VA to allow veterans unable to obtain appointments at VA medical facilities within 30 days to receive care outside the VA system. This would also apply to those veterans residing over 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility.
- To provide accountability within the VA, H.R. 3230 allows for easier removal of ineffective senior level officials at the agency and eliminates exorbitant bonuses for VA employees through FY 2024.