July 31, 2014

Manchin Applauds Passage of Legislation to Reduce Wait Times at VA Facilities and Fix Problems at the VA

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today issued the following statement on the Senate passage of the Veterans Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act, which will improve veterans’ access to medical services at Veterans Affairs facilities across the United States and will take steps to fix the problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Senate voted 91-3 to pass the legislation.

“Our nation asks a lot of our military personnel, and it is because of their bravery that all Americans enjoy the greatest liberties and freedoms in the world. As committed as our veterans are to protecting this country, we must uphold our commitment to them. We have a responsibility to our veterans to make sure they receive accessible, high-quality health care in a timely manner. That is why I am encouraged that both the Senate and the House have worked together in a bipartisan way to enact this legislation, which will help reduce wait times for our veterans at VA medical care facilities across the country. We owe it to our veterans to make sure our VA facilities can provide the services they need, as well as the staff and resources necessary, to operate these medical centers efficiently and effectively. I will continue to closely monitor the VA’s progress to make appropriate reforms and implement the laws passed today.”

The Veterans Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act will:

• Reduce wait times for medical care at VA facilities;

• Establish a Veterans Choice Fund program to allow veterans who have been unable to obtain timely care, or who live too far from VA care, to receive care from certain private and federally sponsored health providers;

• Authorize the VA to expand, consolidate, or upgrade major medical projects throughout the country, and

• Provide real accountability for incompetent or corrupt senior managers.