U.S. Representatives Scott Franklin (R-FL) and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL) introduced their bipartisan bill known as the Scheduling for Community Health and Easy Data to Understand for Legislators to Evaluate Services (SCHEDULES) Act which looks to provide “timely treatment” for former military personnel at the VA (Veterans Affairs).
The legislation would establish a standard timeline for care immediately after a referral is made until the veteran patient is seen. It also requires a report to Congress four times a year (quarterly) on the progress of the new standard.
Rep. Franklin sits on the House Veterans Affairs Committee as well as the House Military Construction/VA Appropriations Subcommittee. He provided a statement upon the announcement of the bill’s introduction.
“As a veteran, I understand how challenging the VA can be to navigate, especially while experiencing a health crisis,” said Congressman Franklin. “Far too often, vets suffer in painful or threatening situations waiting for a scheduled specialty care visit. That’s unacceptable. Veterans have earned the highest quality care, and Congress must hold the VA accountable to provide it quickly and reliably.
“This important bill would ensure the VA swiftly provides, not just schedules, needed care.”
Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick (Pictured) commented as well.
“Florida veterans in desperate need of care simply cannot afford VA appointment delays,” said Congresswoman Cherfilus-McCormick, Ranking Member of the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Technology Modernization. “This bipartisan bill helps ensure that VA is responsive to the needs of patients and is swiftly providing the care that they earned serving our country.”
Furthermore, Senators Rick Scott (R-FL) and Jon Ossoff (D-GA) mentioned that this bill “increases transparency” inside the VA and enforces proper standards to save lives.
“Millions of veterans rely on the VA, and it is critical that our VA providers are accountable and responsive in delivering essential, and often life-saving, health care. My bill, the SCHEDULES Act, will increase transparency within the VA to require uniform standards across the board so veterans have more insight into when their appointments will be scheduled. As a Navy veteran myself and the son of a WWII veteran, I know that our veterans have sacrificed so much for our freedoms, and they should never be forced to play a guessing game of when they will be taken care of,” said Sen. Rick Scott.
Sen. Ossoff stated that this bill will “hold the VA accountable” and lead to a more efficient government institution.
“Georgia veterans are still having to wait way too long to get health care through the VA. This bipartisan bill will help hold the VA accountable to meet clear and transparent targets for reduced wait times,” said Sen. Ossoff.
The SCHEDULES Act is supported by the Blinded Veterans Association and the Wounded Warrior Project.