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Hudson Continues Work to Improve Veteran Care

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2017
 
Hudson Continues Work to Improve Veteran Care
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08), the representative of Fort Bragg and the voice of North Carolina’s veterans, released the following statement after the House passed several bills to improve care for veterans:  
 
“As we celebrate All American Week and honor those we’ve lost in service of our country, I’m continuing my work to reform the VA and improve care for veterans. There’s a lot more work to do, but this legislation is a step in the right direction to make it easier for our veterans and their families to get the timely, quality care and benefits they deserve.”
 
The House passed several bills this week to improve care for veterans, including legislation to expedite care, improve processes for scheduling, and give wartime disabled vets better Cost of Living Adjustments. A full list is below.
 
  • The VA Scheduling Accountability Act (H.R. 467) would increase accountability at the VA by requiring facilities to comply with all standard practices and directives for scheduling veterans’ health care appointments. The bill would also require the VA to report to Congress on individual medical facilities’ compliance and prohibit VA medical center leaders from receiving awards or bonuses if their VA medical center fails to certify compliance with the scheduling directive.
  • H.R. 1005 would expand access to Adult Day Health Care for disabled veterans who need extra assistance and special attention in their day to day lives.
  • The No Hero Left Untreated Act (H.R. 1162) would help veterans recover from post-traumatic stress (PTS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), military sexual trauma (MST), chronic pain, and opiate addiction by establishing a pilot program within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a neurological treatment option for mental trauma called magnetic EEG/EKG-guided resonance therapy.
  • The Veterans’ Compensation COLA Act of 2017 (H.R. 1329) would provide a cost-of-living increase for wartime disability compensation; compensation for dependents; clothing allowance; dependency and indemnity compensation to surviving spouses; and, dependency and indemnity compensation to children paid to our wounded warriors and their families for injuries they suffered while serving our nation in uniform. This increase would begin December 1.
  • The Veterans Appeals Improvement Modernization Act of 2017 (H.R. 2288) would create three "lanes" for veterans’ appeals and give the Secretary the authority to test the new system prior to full implementation and would allow some veterans already going through the appeals process to opt into the new system. It would also require VA to provide a comprehensive plan for how the new system will be implemented and a subsequent certification by the Secretary that the department is prepared to roll-out the reform. Lastly, the bill would require the Secretary to submit periodic reports to Congress, including information on how many appeals are pending in both the modernized system and the legacy system.
  • The VA Prescription Data Accountability Act (H.R. 1545) would clarify current law to stipulate that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is required to disclose information to state controlled substance monitoring programs for anyone – veteran or non-veteran – who is prescribed these medications through VA. Currently the VA only does so for Veterans, but not their dependents.
  • The Quicker Veterans Benefits Delivery Act of 2017 (H.R.1725) would seek to reduce the number of unnecessary disability examinations by requiring additional information be provided to Congress regarding VA’s use of private medical evidence in support of claims for disability compensation.
  • The PRIVATE Act (H.R. 2052) gives the military the tools to protect troops from nonconsensual sharing of intimate media by other military members, crack down on the perpetrators and prevent this behavior in the future by defining when private photo sharing is a military criminal act—which is not clear in current law— while protecting whistleblowers.
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