Palazzo Backs New Bill to Cut Down VA Wait Times
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Steven Palazzo, (MS-4), released the following statement today after voting in favor of H.R. 4810, the bipartisan Veteran Access to Care Act of 2014, for which he is an original cosponsor.
“This week’s troubling reports provide even more detail of the widespread failures within the VA system. I will continue pushing for answers from our local VA health centers as we pursue substantial, institutional reforms within this troubled agency. That starts by removing all bureaucratic barriers to ensure veterans have timely access to quality care. I am proud to join House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller in support of today’s bill as the necessary next step in righting the wrongs with the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
The Veteran Access to Care Act of 2014 would give veterans who have been subjected to extensive wait times - and those living more than 40 miles from a VA facility - the option to seek private care at the expense of the VA. The bill would also suspend all bonuses for VA employees for the next two years. Palazzo also recently joined House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller in support of the House-passed Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014, which would expedite the firing of high-level officials from the agency.
In addition, Palazzo has questioned the level of care at local VA facilities in a letter sent with Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-1), asking for detailed reports on wait times at VA medical centers in Biloxi and Jackson that serve veterans across the Gulf Coast.