Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved 14 pieces of legislation that will better serve American veterans and improve operations at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Alaska Congressman Don Young issued the following statement of support for the bills:
“Today, the House voted to prioritize the needs of our veterans and continue our efforts to reform the VA,” said Congressman Young. “These bills all seek to remedy the different challenges our veterans face when they return home. I’m proud to support these bills that will ensure that our veterans have access to reliable health care services, fight the growing homelessness crisis among veterans and deliver much needed oversight to the VA. We thank all of the brave men and women who have given so much to defend our freedoms.”
All 14 bills passed out of the House with bipartisan support.
1) H.R. 1972 - VA Billing Accountability Act
This bill would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to waive the requirement of certain veterans to make copayments for hospital care, nursing home care, medical services, or medications if 1) a VA error caused delayed notification of payment to the veteran and 2) the veteran received such notice more than 180 days after receiving the care at a VA facility or more than 18 months after receiving care at a non-VA facility.
2) H.R. 3642 - Military SAVE Act
This bill directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a three-year pilot program to improve access to private health care for veterans who are survivors of military sexual trauma.
3) H.R. 3832 - Veterans Opioid Abuse Prevention Act
This bill requires medical providers at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) who prescribe controlled substances to veterans to seek information regarding those veterans from state programs that monitor prescription drug use.
4) H.R. 3946 - To name the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Statesboro, Georgia, the "Ray Hendrix Veterans Clinic"
5) H.R. 4245 - Veterans’ Electronic Health Record Modernization Oversight Act of 2017
This bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to submit to Congress documents related to managing the Electronic Health Record Modernization program and quarterly updates to certain documents.
6) H.R. 4830 - SIT-REP Act
This bill would amend 38 U.S. Code § 3679 so that a school is not eligible for GI Bill benefits unless it adopts a policy that protects eligible student veterans, survivors, or dependents from policies that penalize these students for their inability to meet the institution’s financial obligations because of a delayed GI Bill payment.
7) H.R. 4958 - Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2018
This bill increase the rates of Wartime Disability Compensation, Compensation for Dependents, Clothing Allowance, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation to Surviving Spouse, and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation to Children by the same percentage as the increase in benefits provided under title II (Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) of the Social Security Act.
8) H.R. 5044 - Service-Disabled Veterans Small Business Continuation Act
This bill would amend 38 U.S. Code § 8127(k)(3) so that a surviving spouse of a less than 100% service-disabled veteran small business owner can maintain their priority status following their spouse’s death for three years, the date on which the surviving spouse remarries, or the date on which the surviving spouse relinquishes an ownership interest in the small business, whichever occurs first.
9) H.R. 5215 - Veterans Affairs Purchase Card Misuse Mitigation Act
This bill requires the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to revoke the purchase card or approval authority from any employee who is found to have knowingly misused their card.
10) H.R. 5418 - Veterans Affairs Medical-Surgical Purchasing Stabilization Act
This bill would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), under the Medical Surgical Prime Vendor program, to award procurement contracts to multiple regional vendors, rather than one nationwide vendor, when procuring medical supplies.
11) S. 1282 - To redesignate certain clinics of the Department of Veterans Affairs located in Montana
12) H.R. 4334 - Improving Oversight of Women Veterans’ Care Act of 2017
This bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to submit reports to Congress on the availability of gender-specific services in the community to women veterans and environment of care standards for women veterans in VA medical facilities.
13) H.R. 3663 - To designate the medical center of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Huntington, West Virginia, as the Hershel "Woody" Williams VA Medical Center
14) H.R. 4451 - Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act of 2018, as amended
This bill as amended, would amend U.S. Code to provide a five-year extension, through Fiscal Year 2022 of both the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Programs and the Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans with Children Reintegration Grant Program.