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Legislative Update

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News September 2014

An update on bills that are of importance to veterans and working their way through Congress. Visit govtrack.us to find the latest information on where these bills stand in Congress.

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HR 3230 (also S 2450): “Veterans’ Access to Care Through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act.”

This legislation is a compromise between Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would address the immediate access problems that veterans are experiencing nationwide to access care.

The legislation would expand access to care provided to veterans in the private sector if they have sought care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), but not been seen, or if they reside more than 40 miles from a VA facility.

The Senate has approved this bill.

HR 4810: “Veterans Access to Care Act.”

This legislation was introduced by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. It closely mirrors the contract care provisions included in HR 3230.

The bill will be considered by a formal conference committee with HR 3230 to address the access problems in the Department of Veterans Affairs. It has been approved by the House.

“Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” (WIOA).

This legislation was introduced by the Chairman and Ranking Members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, the House Education and Workforce Committee and Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training.

The bill would reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act and Rehabilitation Act. It’s a compromise between the House-passed “Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act” (HR 803) and Senate committee-approved “Workforce Investment Act of 2013” (S 1356).

Its provisions aim to improve employment opportunities and economic prospects for all Americans, including those with disabilities.

 

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