Hatch votes to reform the VA to improve veterans care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch voted Thursday to significantly reform the Department of Veterans Affairs. The bill, the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act, provides funding to hire more health care providers, build new health clinics, support veterans and their families with more educational and psychological benefits, and give the Secretary of the VA the authority needed to fire senior executives at the agency as the Secretary sees fit. The legislation was passed by the Senate merely days after the Senate confirmed a new Secretary of the VA, Robert McDonald, who Hatch voted to confirm. He said:

Our veterans and their families are heroes who deserve our very best, but sadly, the system in place and some of the senior leadership at the agency in Washington was preventing that. I recently visited the VA hospital in Salt Lake City and it’s staffed by some of the most caring staff anywhere, but they can only do so much without strong leadership from Washington. These new meaningful reforms and a new Secretary of the VA are important first steps to provide that foundation so our veterans and their families can receive the care they deserve.

The reforms passed Thursday come after widespread misconduct and malfeasance at some VA facilities around the country that led to the deaths of veterans waiting for medical care and the resignation in May of Eric Shinseki, former Secretary of the VA.

Submitted by the Offices of Orrin Hatch

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1 Comment

  • Allie August 4, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Throwing money at a problem for a fix is the American way. But, action needs to be taken instead. People from the bottom up should have been interviewed and asked if they were told to “adjust” the scheduling. If so, by who. Did they feel it was wrong? Why didn’t they blow a whistle? ANYONE who had ANY hand in this should be immediately terminated. If they held a medical license of any kind, the license should be taken away permanently. They should also be banned by being employed by any state or federal agency. People like this who are not severely punished will breed more who will try to get away with it. People today do not want to take responsibility for their actions. Those people who were told to do it will cry, “I was afraid to lose my job if I didn’t”. Well, make sure people know they will lose their job if they don’t stand up to do the right thing. So their only choice is to stand up for the right thing. How can we tell children not to be afraid to stand up to bullies when we don’t stand up to or punish adult bullies who hold higher positions?

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