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 June 29, 2015

News: SpaceX Falcon 9 explodes moments after launch – A SpaceX rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station blew up June 28 shortly after liftoff.   Business: How serious a setback is SpaceX rocket explosion? – Elon Musk had never come face to face with that rule before — at least not in space travel —...
 
 

News Briefs June 29, 2015

Iraqi pilot in Arizona plane crash found dead Officials say the body of an Iraqi pilot who had been training in the United States and crashed in southern Arizona has been located. Iraq’s Defense Ministry said June 26 that search teams found the body of Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sadeeq at the crash site five...
 
 
Huntington Ingalls Industries photograph

PCU John Warner delivered to Navy

Huntington Ingalls Industries photograph A dolphin jumps in front of the Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John Warner (SSN 785) as the boat conducts sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean. The U.S. Navy ac...
 

 
navair-helo

HX-21 completes first flight with developmental electronic warfare pod

On June 8, 2015, a UH-1Y from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 completed the first test flight with a developmental electronic warfare pod.  The pod would represent a new tactical capability for U.S. Marine Corps rotar...
 
 

Northrop, Navy celebrate legacy of EA-6B Prowler

Northrop Grumman photograph by Edgar Mills The U.S. Navy’s last operational EA-6B Prowler, designed and built by Northrop Grumman, lifts off from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash. in a ceremonial fly-away June 27 from its long time operational base. The Navy is retiring the Prowler after nearly 45 years of service.   The U.S....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Capt. Tania Bryan

NORTHERN EDGE provides environment for testing new capabilities

Air Force photograph by Capt. Tania Bryan Aircraft from test and evaluation squadrons across the Air Force line up on the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson flightline. Northern Edge is Alaska’s premier joint training exercise d...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>