WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) voted in favor of several pieces of bipartisan legislation improving care and services for America’s veterans that passed the U.S. House of Representatives this week. The bills establish a pilot program for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), provide a boost for veterans’ cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), and streamline the disability claims appeal process at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“With the Memorial Day Weekend approaching, we must remember the men and women that have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation,” said Latta. “At the same time, it also reminds us that there is more to be done in support of our living veterans in order to ensure that we keep the promises that were made to them. The bills passed this week in the House will put in place important reforms at the VA, establish new pilot programs for PTSD, and increase COLAs — all necessary steps to improving care and quality of life for our nation’s veterans.”
The legislation passed by the House this week:
H.R. 2288 – Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act – Allows veterans the choice to opt-in to a system that has ‘three lanes’ for appeals of disability claims; one which examines the original claim evidence, one where new evidence is presented for review and a hearing, and one where the appeal immediately transfers to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. The new system would allow appeals to be streamlined through the process.
H.R. 1162 – No Hero Left Untreated Act – Requires the VA to establish a pilot program that provides access to magnetic EEG/EKG-guided resonance therapy to veterans with PTSD, a Traumatic Brain Injury, Military Sexual Trauma, and chronic pain or opiate addiction.
H.R. 1329 – Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act – Increases the rates of compensation for veterans to bring it in line with the Social Security COLA.
H.R. 467 – V.A. Scheduling Accountability Act — Requires VA medical center directors to certify annually that their facility is in compliance with scheduling directives and report to Congress on compliance.
H.R. 1005 – Directs VA to enter into an agreement with state veterans homes to pay for adult health care for a veteran eligible, but not receiving, nursing home care.
H.R. 1545 – VA Prescription Data Accountability Act – Clarifies current law to stipulate that the Veterans Health Administration is required to disclose information to state controlled substance monitoring programs.
H.R. 1725 – Quicker Veterans Benefits Delivery Act – Seeks to reduce unnecessary disability examinations by requiring information to be provided to Congress regarding VA’s use of private medical evidence in support of VA claims.