Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is introducing a bipartisan bill to reduce VA wait times.
The bipartisan SCHEDULES Act, which Sen. Ossoff introduced this week with Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), would require the VA to establish a time standard between medical referrals and appointment times at VA hospitals and community care centers.
The bipartisan bill would require the VA to submit both a quarterly and annual report to document their success or failure in meeting the established time standards and would also publicly rank VA Medical Centers on how well each facility met standards.
“Georgia veterans are still having to wait way too long to get health care through the VA. This bipartisan bill will help hold the VA accountable to meet clear and transparent targets for reduced wait times,” Sen. Ossoff said.
“Millions of veterans rely on the VA, and it is critical that our VA providers are accountable and responsive in delivering essential, and often life-saving, health care. My bill, the SCHEDULES Act, will increase transparency within the VA to require uniform standards across the board so veterans have more insight into when their appointments will be scheduled. As a Navy veteran myself and the son of a WWII veteran, I know that our veterans have sacrificed so much for our freedoms, and they should never be forced to play a guessing game of when they will be taken care of,” Senator Rick Scott said.
Congressman Scott Franklin (R-FL-18) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“As a veteran, I understand how challenging the VA can be to navigate, especially while experiencing a health crisis. Far too often, vets suffer in painful or threatening situations waiting for a scheduled specialty care visit. That’s unacceptable. Veterans have earned the highest quality care, and Congress must hold the VA accountable to provide it quickly and reliably. This important bill would ensure the VA swiftly provides, not just schedules, needed care. I thank Senator Scott for leading this effort in the Senate,” Congressman Scott Franklin said.
The bipartisan bill is endorsed by the Blinded Veterans Association, Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Wounded Warrior Project, and Disabled American Veterans.
Sen. Ossoff continues to advocate on behalf of Georgia’s veterans and their families.
In December, Sens. Ossoff and Kevin Cramer (R-ND)’s bipartisan Military Families Mental Health Services Act to help more military families access vital mental health care services became law as part of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act.
In October, Sen. Ossoff launched an inquiry with the VA into excessive delays with the VA Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA), which decides whether or not veterans are entitled to claimed veterans’ benefits and services.
Click here to read Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan SCHEDULES Act.
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