With encouragement from the administration, the republican-controlled house has passed a bill seeking to make the Veterans Administration more accountable.
Stung by stories of employees getting bonuses while veterans waited months for treatment, the house bill gained additional support.
When hundreds of thousands of young Americans were call to duty in the nation’s wars, part of the deal was medical care for life.
It’s one thing to see that promise on paper, it turned out to be another thing when it came down to claiming that benefit.
The house has just passed legislation to change the system.
REP. TOM GRAVES, 14TH DISTRICT OF GEORGIA “That was the, uh, legislation we voted on last week that process that streamlining uh, the agency for ineffective employees be terminated. ”
The news was welcomed by long-suffering vets..especially those with medical issues.
BILL NORTON, PRES. CHAPTER 203, VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA “That was a huge bill for veterans, huge bill for veterans. Everybody in all walks of life should be held accountable for their actions in some method or another and with the VA you couldn ‘t be fired. You couldn’t lose your job no matter how bad you messed up, you could come to work drunk and still be ..they’d just move you to a different location…relocate you or something like that. But now they can be removed.”
The bill still has to clear the senate—but veterans’ groups are pressing for passage.
BILL NORTON “It’s a real true slap in the face for all veterans. We have veterans who wait months and months to get…just to get seen for medical issues. We have veterans who get turned away from V-A clinics that go out to the parking lot and shoot theirself.”
Bill Norton heads the second largest Vietnam Veterans of American chapter in the country…and he says this bill could change the game completely.
BILL NORTON “If they shorten the wait period times for veterans to get seen for medical issues..with this step and they do that , it’d be the biggest thing for veterans that’s ever had since we’ve had the v-a clinics.”