Veterans

August 8, 2014

Obama signs act to give VA new money, authorities

Tags:
Jim Garamone
DOD News

President Barack Obama signs the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act into law at Fort Belvoir, Va., Aug. 7, 2014.

President Barack Obama today signed into law the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 during a ceremony at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

The bill provides the Veterans Affairs Department with additional resources to improve access and quality of care for veterans.

The impetus for the act came from revelations of “inexcusable misconduct” at some VA health care facilities, the president said. Some VA hospitals were cooking the books, and veterans were denied care they had earned. “This is wrong,” the president said. “It’s outrageous.”

The act helps VA to fix these problems, the president said. “We’ve already taken the first steps to change the way the VA does business,” he added. “We’ve held people accountable for misconduct. Some have already been relieved of their duties, and investigations are ongoing.”

VA also has contacted more than 215,000 veterans to ensure they are getting off waiting lists and into clinics for medical care.

While the act also provides for expanding survivor benefits and educational opportunities and improving care for veterans struggling with traumatic brain injury and for victims of sexual assault, the president said, he concentrated on getting veterans access to needed medical care.

The act boosts the VA budget and will allow the organization to hire more doctors, nurses and staff. “As a new generation of veterans returns home from war and transitions into civilian life,” Obama said, “we have to make sure the VA system can keep pace with that new demand.”

And for veterans who cannot get timely care through VA, the act allows them to get that care somewhere else. “This is particularly important for veterans who are in more remote areas and rural areas,” Obama said. Essentially, this allows veterans living more than 40 miles from a VA facility, or those for whom a VA doctor is not available, to use health care providers outside the VA system.

The act also gives the secretary of Veterans Affairs – now Robert A. McDonald – the authority to hold people accountable.

“If you engage in an unethical practice, if you cover up a serious problem, you should be fired, period,” the president said. “It shouldn’t be that difficult. If you blow the whistle on an unethical practice or bring a problem to the attention of higher-ups, you should be thanked. You should be protected for doing the right thing. You shouldn’t be ignored, and you certainly shouldn’t be punished.”

Caring for veterans is a solemn obligation of the country, “because in more than a decade of war, today’s men and women in uniform, … you’ve met every mission we’ve asked of you,” the president said.

“Today,” he added, “our troops continue to serve and risk their lives in Afghanistan. It continues to be a difficult and dangerous mission, as we were tragically reminded again this week in the attack that injured a number of our coalition troops and took the life of a dedicated American soldier, Maj. Gen. Harold Greene.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines May 29, 2015

News: U.S. Army chief opens door to embedding U.S. troops with Iraqi forces - After the fall of Ramadi, the Iraqi Security Forces need military and political leadership, Gen. Raymond Odierno says.   Business: No acquisition strategy yet for LCS frigates - Details of the new Littoral Combat Ship frigate program’s acquisition strategy are still being reviewed,...
 
 

News Briefs May 29, 2015

Finnish navy: Underwater intruder possible foreign submarine Finnish military officials say that an underwater object the navy chased last month in territorial waters and dropped several depth charges could have been a foreign submarine. A navy investigation released May 28 says that technical analysis did not provide sufficient proof of the presence of a submarine...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Chad Bellay

F-16 test pilots hit the ‘road’ to help train USAFE pilots

Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Kyla Gifford Three F-16s assigned to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, on a refueling mission last year. Two F-16 test pilots from the 416th Flight Test Squadron recently returned from a &#...
 

 
Navy photograph

Its reign in the fleet over, naval Sea King helicopter now rests at Pax Museum

Navy photograph At more than 54 feet in length with a 62-foot rotor diameter, the mighty SH-3A Sea King helicopter sits in its final spot at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum. Designed as an anti-submarine warfare helicopter,...
 
 
boeing-korea

New Boeing Avionics Facility to enhance ROKAF readiness, affordability

Boeing formally opened a new avionics maintenance and repair center in the Yeongcheon Industry District of Daegu-Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone May 28. The 10,000 square-foot facility will test and repair aircraft electrical syst...
 
 
Navy photograph by John F. Williams

ONR testing high-speed planing hulls

Navy photograph by John F. Williams A ship hull model attached to a high-speed sled moves through waves at the David Taylor Model Basin at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock, during Office of Naval Research -sponsored rese...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>