Yesterday, I voted in favor of the Veterans Access to Care Act of 2014, a bill that gives veterans the options to seek care at non-VA facilities. This vote comes as the Department of Veterans Affairs released results from an internal audit that flagged eight facilities in Texas and two in South Texas for further review.
I have been concerned for some time about the allegations surrounding care at the VA and this report makes it even more apparent that reforms at the Department are necessary. That is why I previously supported a bill make it easier for the VA to hold the appropriate employees responsible for delays in treatment affecting veterans.
Today’s legislation will allow veterans living more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility to seek care at a non-VA facility. It will also give local providers three options for reimbursement from the VA:
1) the rate of reimbursement under VA,
2)the rate of reimbursement under Medicare, or
3) the rate of reimbursement under TRICARE.
Veterans deserve a healthcare system they can trust – not a bureaucracy that prevents them from getting the care they need.
I spoke on the Floor of the House of Representatives today in support of this bill. To watch my statement, click here:
Rep. Cuellar spoke in favor of the VA Access to Care Bill today on the Floor of the House of Representatives. This bill passed the House floor 426-0 and will next move to the Senate
On Monday, the VA released a two-part internal survey conducted of VA employees. Overall, 81 (37%) of the sites from the 216 sites visited in the Phase One Access Audit require further review. Of the 216 sites reviewed, 81 locations were flagged for additional review and of those these in Texas were included:
South Texas Veterans HCS (San Antonio), TX
Central Texas HCS (Temple), TX
Fort Worth, TX
Corpus Christi Outpatient Clinic and PACT Annex, TX
Harlingen (Texas Coastal Bend HCS), TX
McAllen (Texas Coastal Bend HCS), TX
Central Texas Health Care System – Austin, TX
Big Springs (West TX VA Medical Center), TX
No facilities in Texas were flagged for further review in Phase Two.
To access the full VA report, click HERE and to access the Texas specific information, click HERE.
I was an original co-sponsor of the Veterans Access to Care Act. It passed the House of Representatives yesterday 426-0 and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.