Barletta Supports Bill to Improve Quality of Care at VA
WASHINGTON – Today the House of Representatives passed S. 1266, the Enhancing Veteran Care Act, by a bipartisan vote of 423 to 0. Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) supported the legislation which would authorize the Veterans Administration (VA) to investigate, assess, and report deficiencies at VA medical centers.
“Thursday marks the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, drawing the United States into the costliest war in history,” Barletta said. “The war was fought and won by the selfless sacrifice of Americans who dutifully served in defense of the freedoms we hold so dear. Our veterans should be treated with nothing less than preeminent respect and honor by all. It is why Congress must continue to move on measures like the Enhancing Veteran Care Act to reform the deteriorating bureaucracy and healthcare system within the VA. Aggressive oversight and accountability must be maintained, and I’m pleased the Enhancing Veteran Care Act continues to move the VA in a better direction.”
Veterans Integrated Services Networks (VISNs) are responsible for the planning, budgeting, and service delivery in the provision of healthcare to veterans within a geographic region that include multiple VA medical centers and may stretch across multiple states. Overall, there are 18 VISNs in the Veterans Health Administration.
S. 1266 authorizes VISN or VA medical centers’ directors to contract with outside entities to conduct audits and investigations of VA medical facilities to equip them with the additional information needed to drive improvements in care. The bill also requires VISN or VAMC directors to inform the VA Secretary, the VA IG, and GAO of the investigation prior to starting it to prevent duplicative investigations.
Congressman Lou Barletta’s district offices provide a wide variety of services for our veterans, including help with VA benefits and the restoration of misplaced medals for veterans. Barletta frequently presents medals which were lost or never awarded for a variety of reasons, including fire, lost records, or discovery of old records. Veterans and their families looking for assistance for themselves or loved ones can contact the Congressman’s offices in Washington, DC (202-225-6511), Hazleton (570-751-0050), Harrisburg (717-525-7002), Carlisle (717-249-0190), or Sunbury (570-988-7801).