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Dan B.
Republican MI 1

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  • Conference Report on H.R. 3230, Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act

    by Representative Dan Benishek

    Posted on 2014-07-30

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    Read More about Conference Report on H.R. 3230, Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act

    BENISHEK. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the conference report to the Veterans Access to Care Act.

    As a doctor who served at the VA hospital in Iron Mountain, Michigan, for 20 years, I have seen firsthand how Washington bureaucracy can keep doctors and nurses from taking care of veterans. On its most basic level, this is the sacred mission of the VA, and the VA has failed.

    Today we take an important step toward reversing that failure. Most urgently, our bill will allow veterans suffering long waits for care the option to be seen by a local doctor at a private hospital. I believe every veteran should have a choice as to where they receive care, and this bill moves us closer to that goal.

    But this triage measure is not the long-term solution. That is why our bill directs the VA to tap the best health care minds that we have in this country to go step by step through the system and write us a blueprint for a lean, smart, 21st century VA.

    Our bill is not perfect, and the problems at the VA will not be solved overnight. However, this landmark effort is the best chance we have had in years to make fundamental changes to the way the VA operates.

    Make no mistake, our true test comes next. We must continue to keep the pressure on the VA long after the headlines have faded and the worst employees have been fired, because our veterans will still be there and they will still deserve to be at the top of our priority list.

    As the father of a veteran myself, I am committed to refusing to let this issue go. We will demand results, and we will demand swift and full implementation of this legislation. Anything short of that is not worthy of our veterans and is unacceptable.

    Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support the conference report.

    {time} 1530 Mr. MICHAUD. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes and 35 seconds to the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Brown).

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