For Immediate Release

May 26, 2017

 

Dent Votes to Increase Quality, Expediency of Veterans’ Services

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) This week Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15) voted for eight bills to improve and modernize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The bills passed the House in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner.

“These pro-veteran initiatives show that the members of the House from both parties have a sincere desire to ensure that our veterans receive the quality care and attention that they deserve,” Dent said. “We must never grow complacent in our continuing efforts to make necessary reforms to the VA and fulfill the promises that our nation has made to our veterans. The innumerable sacrifices and the selfless dedication exemplified by the men and women in our armed forces can and should be met with a firm commitment to providing them with the highest standards of care and service. In my role as Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Other Related Agencies (MILCON-VA), my goal has always been to advocate on behalf of the men and women in uniform back home in Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District, as well as those across the country. The passage of these bills this week marks an important step in that direction.”

The bills are listed below:

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H.R. 467, The VA Scheduling Accountability Act, introduced by Rep. Jackie Walorski, would require VA medical center directors to certify annually that their facility is in compliance with the scheduling directive (or any successor directive that replaces it), prohibit VA from waiving certification, and require VA to report to Congress on individual medical facilities’ compliance. Click here for more information. Read the bill here.
H.R. 1005, introduced by Rep. Lee Zeldin, would direct VA to enter into an agreement or a contract with state veterans homes to pay for adult day health care for a veteran eligible for, but not receiving, nursing home care. Click here for more information. Read the bill here.
H.R. 1162, The No Hero Left Untreated Act, introduced by Rep. Stephen Knight, would require VA to carry out a one-year pilot program at up to two VA medical facilities to provide access to magnetic EEG/EKG-guided resonance therapy to veterans with PTSD, TBI, MST, chronic pain or opiate addiction for up to 50 veterans. Click here for more information. Read the bill here.
H.R. 1329, The Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2017, introduced by DAMA Chairman Mike Bost and Ranking Member Elizabeth Esty, would increase the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities as well as the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans as of December 1st, 2017. Click here for more information. Read the bill here
H.R. 1545, The VA Prescription Data Accountability Act, introduced by Rep. Annie Kuster, would clarify current law to stipulate that VHA is required to disclose information to state controlled substance monitoring programs for anyone – veteran or non-veteran – who is prescribed these medications through VA. Click here for more information. Read the bill here.
H.R. 1725, The Quicker Veterans Benefits Delivery Act of 2017, introduced by Ranking Member Walz, as amended, seeks to reduce the number of unnecessary disability examinations by requiring additional information be provided to Congress regarding VA’s use of private medical evidence in support of claims for disability compensation. Click here for more information. Read the bill here.
H.R. 2052, the Protecting the Rights of IndiViduals Against Technological Exploitation, or PRIVATE, Act will define when private photo sharing is a military criminal act—which is not clear in current law. Read the bill here.
H.R. 2288, The Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 would create three “lanes” for veterans’ appeals, including the “Local Higher Level Review Lane” in which an adjudicator reviews the same evidence considered by the original claims processor; the “New Evidence Lane,” in which the veteran could submit new evidence for review and have a hearing; and the “Board Lane,” in which jurisdiction for the appeal would transfer immediately to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. The bill would give the Secretary the authority to test the new system prior to full implementation and would allow some veterans already going through the appeals process to opt into the new system. It would also require VA to provide a comprehensive plan for how the new system will be implemented and a subsequent certification by the Secretary that the department is prepared to roll-out the reform. Lastly, the bill would require the Secretary to submit periodic reports to Congress, including information on how many appeals are pending in both the modernized system and the legacy system. This legislation was sponsored by every member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Click here for more information. Read the bill text here.

 CONTACT:  Emily Rauch (202) 225-6411