EAST MOLINE - A bill introduced by GOP Congressional candidate Bobby Schilling when he was in Congress has been signed into law by President Obama.
The bill, which allows veterans the ability to use their own doctors in their own hometowns when VA wait lists prevent veterans from getting immediate access to care, has been long in coming. Schilling initially introduced the Enhanced Veterans Health Care Experience Act in 2011 and worked throughout his term to pass the bill through committee.
The bill languished until the recent VA scandal when Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Florida) picked up Schilling's bill and got it passed through the House of Representatives unanimously. The Senate passed a similar version of the bill 93-3. The compromise legislation passed both chambers and was signed into law by President Obama last Thursday.
"While there is still much work to do, this bill—now law—is a monumental step forward for veterans in this country who have been needlessly burdened with wait lists and backlogs from the VA for far too long," said Schilling. "Now veterans have the right to use their own doctors in their own hometowns, rather than wait extended periods of time for the VA when they need care immediately."
"There are still additional reforms we need to pass to improve our veterans access to health care, but this is a monumental first step and I'm pleased to see this bill signed into law. Working on this veterans issue was a passion of mine while serving in Congress, and it's great to see our work pay off to help our heroes."