Sam Graves Introduces Legislation to Improve Veterans Access to Quality Healthcare and Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sam Graves today introduced the Improving Veterans Access to Quality Care Act, which addresses the current healthcare provider shortage at VA hospitals and high unemployment rates for returning veterans.
“The men and women who selflessly serve our country in the military have earned the right to quality care, and their families deserve the peace of mind in knowing they will get it,” said Rep. Graves. “I am proud to introduce the Improving Veterans Access to Quality Care Act. This common sense bill increases the number of health care providers who treat our veterans, but also addresses the unacceptably high unemployment rate for many of our returning heroes. By streamlining the recruiting process for former active duty servicemen and women into careers at the Veterans Health Administration, we are able to increase care and create good-paying jobs. “
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently identified a need for over 26,000 new health care providers. Meanwhile, the January unemployment rate for veterans was 5.6% overall and 7.9% for post-9/11 veterans.
In response to these problems facing our veterans, Rep. Sam Graves introduced the Improving Veterans Access to Quality Care Act:
- Streamlines the hiring of former military healthcare providers into the VA by recruiting combat medics, medical technicians, and corpsman straight from active duty service into positions as Intermediate Care Technicians (ICT).
- Grants the VA the authority to quickly hire former Department of Defense (DoD) medical professionals by transferring credentials between agencies.
- Brings VA medical practice up to modern DoD standards by expanding the role of advanced nurses. Advanced Practicing Registered Nurses (APRNs) will be allowed to utilize their knowledge and experience by practicing independently.