Tom Reed Supports Veterans
Tom Reed voted Wednesday in support of the bipartisan, bicameral bill to bring much-needed reforms to the VA. Among the improvements in the bill are reforms giving veterans flexibility to seek health care outside of the VA system, supporting more doctors and nurses at VA facilities, and adding accountability measures to hold VA employees to a higher performance standard.
“This is a way to focus on what matters most when it comes to veterans – their care,” Reed said. “These reforms put veterans’ health needs first, above all else. Giving veterans the freedom to choose a doctor outside of the VA that’s closer to home and getting rid of employees who aren’t doing their jobs – these are fair reforms that will improve veterans’ access to and quality of care. We owe it to our veterans and their families to see that they receive the best possible care – they have earned and deserve nothing less.”
Reed co-sponsored the Veterans Access to Care Act that passed the House last month to give veterans the flexibility to receive non-VA care for veterans who experience extensive wait times or live far away from a VA medical facility. Reed also supported the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act to give the secretary of the VA a greater ability to fire employees from the VA based on poor job performance.
Today’s compromise reform bill includes those reforms and also provides additional support to hire more doctors and nurses at existing VA facilities and authorizes the addition of 27 major medical facilities in the VA system, giving veterans better access to doctors and more choices on where they get their health care. The bill now moves to the Senate where it is expected to be voted on this week.
Even with the bill passed in the House today, Reed says the work continues to fix the VA system that suffers from deep-rooted cultural problems.
“Thousands of veterans and their families across the country have been hurt by delays in care, poor service from their VA and sheer neglect,” Reed said. “This is not the last, but one of many steps to empower veterans to get the best care and demand accountability from the VA. I hope and expect the Senate to take up this bill now to do the right thing and support our veterans.”