06.11.14

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Votes for Bipartisan Legislation to Bring Accountability to Department of Veterans Affairs, Hire Additional Doctors and Nurses to Cut Down on Wait times, and Update the VA’s Scheduling System to Improve Access to Health Services

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today applauded her colleagues for their support for the bipartisan bill she cosponsored to bring accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs and to expand access to veterans’ health care. The legislation, put together by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) passed the Senate 93-3.

“Our brave men and women in uniform make great sacrifices on our behalf. I believe we have a shared responsibility to ensure that when they return home, they have access to the care they need and the benefits they’ve earned and deserve,” said Senator Baldwin. “By putting politics aside and coming together today we have taken steps to keep that promise and make needed improvements to the delivery of veterans’ health care.”

The Sanders-McCain legislation holds the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable by allowing the VA to quickly remove and replace officials found to have been involved in any mishandling of veteran medical care or exhibiting poor job performance.

It also includes common sense solutions that can help reduce wait times and improve the delivery of care to our veterans, including:

  • Updating the VA’s scheduling system to improve access to health services.
  • Hiring additional doctors and nurses to cut down on wait times.
  • Allowing veterans to see private doctors outside of the VA system if they experience long wait times or live more than 40 miles away from a VA facility.

In addition, the bipartisan compromise also provides in-state tuition for all veterans at public colleges and universities, Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition eligibility for surviving spouses of troops killed in the line of duty, and improved access to health care for military sexual assault victims.