DeFazio Votes to Improve Health Care for Wounded Vets
March 28, 2007
Press Release | Contact: Danielle Langone (202) 225-6416
WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) today voted in favor of a
bill that streamlines and improves the military health care system so that
wounded returning veterans receive the care they deserve. The bill, the Wounded
Warrior Assistance Act, was introduced in response to the appalling conditions
at Walter Reed Army Medical Center that were recently brought to light.
The bill, H.R. 1538, passed today by a unanimous vote.
"Ensuring the health and well-being of those who risk
their lives on a daily basis in service of their country is a top
priority," DeFazio said. "The conditions that our men and women in
uniform faced at Walter Reed were totally unacceptable. But the problems go
beyond just Walter Reed, and that's why I am pleased this bill takes a
comprehensive approach to reducing bureaucracy and improving all aspects of the
care our wounded veterans receive upon returning home."
The bill would:
access to quality medical care for wounded service members who are
outpatients at military health care facilities;
the process of restoring the integrity and efficiency of the disability
evaluation system and taking other steps to cut bureaucratic red tape;
the transition of wounded service members from the Armed Forces to the VA
a new system of case managers, advocates and counselors for wounded
service members to monitor progress, track cases and ensure proper care;
a toll-free hotline for service personnel and family members to report
problems with care of facilities;
an amendment introduced by Rep. Darlene Hooley that ensures wounded
members of the National Guard and Reserves can receive medical care at the
military treatment facility closest to their home rather than the base
they deployed from, which can be thousands of miles from home;
mental health care services; and
the reimbursement for veterans who have to travel to receive medical care.