When I first came to Congress, I made a conscious decision to forgo the standard coverage used by Members of Congress to continue receiving care from Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities. I did this because our VA health care system is in need of drastic reform. Until it is fixed, and every veteran in our nation is receiving the very best care, I will stand with the millions of veterans who receive care from the VA. I believe I will be a more effective advocate for change in Washington because I understand what veterans go through everyday.

Caring for our veterans is among my top priorities in Congress, and that’s why the first bill I introduced in the House of Representatives aims to improve the VA. VA Education, Training, and Sustainability (VETS) is a package of four bills aimed at improving the talent pipeline at VA medical facilities across the country. VETS focuses on recruiting new talent, investing in existing employees, retaining staff, and improving oversight of employee incentive and training programs. I am confident that these bills will help the VA attract and retain outstanding health care employees through increased scholarship funding and debt reduction programs.

In January, I introduced the Faster Care for Veterans Act of 2016, an innovative piece of legislation that is designed to make critical improvements to veteran health care by utilizing 21st century technology. Our nation’s veterans deserve the best healthcare in the world, but for far too long they have been underserved by outdated systems that make it hard to simply schedule an appointment. I’ve heard from thousands of veterans across the country that the ability to use online, self-scheduling technology would make a major difference, and that’s exactly what my bipartisan bill would do. The legislation would allow patients to self-schedule appointments from their smart phones or computers with the click of a button. I’m proud that the House and Senate came together to pass my bill, and I urge President Obama to support our common-sense legislation and sign it into law. 

I believe we need to make incremental steps toward long-term solutions to provide for our veterans. I am carefully considering all legislation that would improve the health and well-being of our service men and women.


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