VA Reform Bill Receives Mixed Reviews from Veterans
ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Veterans are voicing skepticism about the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reform bill signed into law by President Barack Obama.
The bill passed last week by Congress provides $16.3 billion for the VA to hire thousands of doctors, nurses and other health professionals, and it makes it easier to fire senior VA executives found negligent or underperforming.
“What I’m hearing is that a lot of people think this is an OK bill, but they want to be very clear. This is nothing close to a solution to the scandals and the deep-seeded problems that have been plaguing the VA for years,” says former Navy Seal Eric Greitens, who is head of the group The Mission Continues.
But, it’s a step in the right direction, he says.
“What this bill does is that it should allow veterans who live more than 40 miles away from a VA facility, or veterans who can’t get a timely appointment, it should allow them to seek private care,” Greitens says.
Greitens also says it’s unclear how the VA will manage the processing of those veterans who need faster care elsewhere. And, he says, it’s not clear whether the plan will get the VA out of the “paper age” and into the computer age for handling its patient load.
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