On Tuesday, the House passed H.R. 4810, the “Veteran Access to Care Act of 2014,” by a vote of 426-0.
On Wednesday, the Senate passed S. 2450, the “Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014,” by a vote of 93-3.
Both bills now move to a conference committee to iron out their differences. Both bills would allow VA to enter into contracts with non-VA facilities to provide hospital care and medical services for veterans who have waited too long for an appointment or live more than 40 miles away from a VA facility. They also require an independent assessment of VHA which is responsible for running VA medical facilities.
Where the bills differ is in how best to address holding VA employees accountable and giving VA authority to expedite the hiring of new medical care staff.