Concord Patch: Kuster Provides Oversight on Implementation of Veterans Bill
This morning during a House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing, U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, NH-02, questioned Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials about the implementation of the bipartisan Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act that she helped pass into law earlier this year. A Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Kuster continues to provide strict oversight of the VA in order to ensure that all veterans across the country can receive timely access to care.
During this morning’s hearing, the Congresswoman heard testimony from VA officials about new measures to ensure accountability at the VA, decrease wait times, and provide immediate access to health services for our nation’s veterans. Kuster also questioned officials about the rollout of a new Veterans Choice Card, a measure she fought to have included in the VA reform legislation, which allows veterans to be reimbursed for private medical care if regional VA services are not available in a timely manner or veterans have to travel long distances to the closest VA medical facility.
“As we celebrate Veterans Day and continue to honor the brave service of our military men and women, we must provide every veteran with access to the resources and health services he or she needs to make a successful transition back to civilian life. I was proud to help pass into law a bipartisan, comprehensive VA reform bill this summer to help ensure that no veteran ever has to wait for care, and I was very pleased with the inclusion of a Veterans Choice Card, which is particularly helpful for New Hampshire veterans who do not have access to a full-service VA medical hospital in the state,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I was encouraged to receive this update on the implementation of these crucial reforms during today’s hearing, but I continue to urge the VA to act quickly to overhaul their system, immediately hold negligent employees accountable, and quickly implement these new reforms so we can provide every American veteran with the high quality level of care they deserve.”
A Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Kuster has fought for timely access to services for veterans both in the Granite State and across the nation. She helped lead the investigation into the scandal at the Phoenix VA and other VA centers, and pushed for new reforms that were ultimately included in the bipartisan VA reform bill. A strong advocate for veterans in New Hampshire, Kuster also successfully fought for the opening of two new VA clinics in Colebrook and Berlin, to help ensure North Country veterans would have easier access to care, and she advocated for the inclusion of the Veterans Choice Card in the bipartisan reform bill.