Huffman Votes to Improve Veterans’ Access to Health Care, Hold VA Accountable

July 30, 2014

WASHINGTON­—Today, Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) voted  for the Veterans Access, Choice & Accountability Act of 2014 (H.R. 3230), which would provide accountability and access to care for veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The bill provides $15 billion in emergency funding to the VA as well as a critical provision to enable many rural North Coast veterans who live 40+ miles from a VA facility to get their health care outside of the VA. H.R. 3230 is the product of the conference committee between the House and the Senate, and is similar to the bill the House passed in early June with some improvements. The bill passed by an overwhelmingly bipartisan 420-5.

“This is the sort of bipartisan, forward progress that we should expect of Congress, and I’m glad that the House took action to address the immediate crisis veterans faced with unacceptably-long health care waiting lists,” Huffman said. “This compromise bill makes critical reforms to the VA and will allow the VA to hire more doctors, nurses, and medical personnel to give our veterans the care they deserve. It also includes a provision critical to many of our veterans on the North Coast, allowing those that live 40+ miles from a VA facility to get their health care outside of the VA.”

The bill’s $15 billion in emergency funding includes $10 billion for expanded health care options for veterans and $5 billion to bolster care within the VA. It also gives the VA Secretary the power to quickly remove incompetent senior executives based on poor job performance and ends a number of policies that allowed for this disgraceful state of affairs to occur.

This bill will now go to the President’s desk to be signed into law.