August 22nd, 2017
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.
My bipartisan Faster Care for Veterans Act legislation was signed into law by President Obama in January 2017 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 Our nation’s veterans deserve the best healthcare in the world, but for far too long they have been underserved by outdated systems that make it hard to simply schedule an appointment.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 self-schedule appointments from their smart phones or computers with the click of a button would make a major difference. My legislation requires the VA to pilot an online self-scheduling app for VA patients, equipping the VA with the same state-of-the-art technology enjoyed by patients in the private sector to improve the quality of veteran health care services. I’m proud that the House and Senate came together to pass my bill, and that President Obama signed 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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