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PVA Encouraged by Agreement

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News October 2014

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) says it’s heartened by the compromised “Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014” (HR 3230) signed into law by President Barack Obama on Aug. 7.

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Following several weeks of negotiation, the Senate and House agreed on the bill that is designed to help fix problems in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system.

Among the law’s main items is expanding private care options for veterans, hiring of new clinicians, leasing more medical space, and easing rules for the dismissal of VA senior officials for poor performance.

“Paralyzed Veterans is encouraged by the compromise agreement,” says PVA National President Al Kovach in a statement issued when the compromised deal was announced in late July. “The legislation will address the broad range of problems that veterans face trying to access care in the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system.

“While our concerns about the ‘veterans choice’ provisions of the [then-]proposed agreement remain, we appreciate the fact that the legislation also takes initial steps to strengthen the internal capacity of the VA by hiring more doctors, nurses and other health care providers.” Kovach continues.

He also emphasizes PVA’s belief that the VA is the “only truly viable” health care option for veterans with spinal-cord injury or disease because there are no similar options in the private sector.

“We recognize the benefits that veterans without service-connected disabilities or with service-connected disabilities that are not catastrophic will receive by having greater access to care in the best location (whether within the VA or in the private sector),” Kovach says. “We also understand that it is a delicate balancing act to provide timely, quality care to veterans who rely solely on the VA for services, and those veterans who have options. We believe this legislation does a good job of striking that balance.”

Kovach says more needs to be done to provide more physical infrastructure in the VA. Saying recent money increases to help with the issue aren’t good enough, he says the agreement doesn’t address that very well.

To read the full statement from Kovach, visit pva.org.

 

 

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PVA Encouraged by Agreement

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