Duncan Sponsors Bill to Give Vets Choice
WASHINGTON – Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) hailed the passage Tuesday of a bill he co-sponsored allowing eligible Veterans to get care from a private doctor, an idea he has long fought for in Congress.
The measure—H.R. 4810, the Veterans Access to Care Act—would allow Veterans to seek health care outside the V.A. system if they are subject to a long waiting period or live more than 40 miles from a V.A. medical facility. It also eliminates bonuses for all V.A. employees for the next two years.
Similar legislation is being considered in the Senate.
“I have said for many years both in my District to Veterans groups and in Washington that eligible Veterans should get a card that allows them to go to any hospital they choose, including those considered to be the best in the Nation,” Duncan said. “V.A. hospitals would then be forced to provide better service or Congress could and should close them.”
“I am so pleased this idea was incorporated into legislation I co-sponsored this week that will hopefully put a stop to long waiting times for our Veterans,” Duncan continued.
“Many Veterans in my District must travel to Mountain Home hospital in Johnson City for major care. If this bill becomes law, it will bring an end to this burden for many and give our Veterans the choice and flexibility they certainly deserve,” Duncan continued.
Duncan is also a co-sponsor of H.R.4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act, which passed the House on May 21st. This bill would make it easier for the Secretary of the V.A. to fire management and top officials.