WASHINGTON DC – Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) have introduced the ACT Now for Veterans bill (H.R. 5131) to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to reimburse non-VA medical providers who provide care to eligible veterans. According to Kinzinger, this legislation will ensure that veterans, who are lost in the VA bureaucracy, and who have been sitting on long waiting lists, are able to get medical care immediately.
“Our veterans have been failed by the system, and it is our responsibility to make things right,” said Kinzinger. “Fixing the VA is no small task, and this bill will give veterans an opportunity to temporarily seek private care until we can make the necessary reforms. Frankly, keeping our promise of timely and quality care is the least we can do for the men and women who volunteered to defend our country.”
“Our veterans need care now, and shouldn’t have to wait for Congress, or the VA bureaucracy, to make the systemic changes necessary for the VA to fulfill its mission once again,”said Congresswoman Gabbard. “Since the first VA audit, average primary care wait times at the VA have only improved by 11 percent – even tripling in one case. We cannot wait any longer to get our veterans access to medical care. That’s why I am introducing ACT Now for Veterans with my friend and fellow veteran, Adam Kinzinger. Our bill will give veterans across the country the flexibility they need to seek care from a doctor in their community immediately, with the assurance that the VA will cover the bill, as a temporary solution to this urgent crisis. I know firsthand the sacrifices our veterans and their families make in service to our country; they deserve far better than to have their service dishonored by the VA’s bureaucratic red-tape or blatant negligence.”