October 14, 2009 Veterans, particularly those who have experienced long waits and difficulties in accessing certain medical procedures and services with the Veteran's Administration will be happy to hear an announcement today by Sen. Richard Burr's office that H. R. 1016 has passed both the House and the Senate. It now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign the legislation.
Essentially what HR 1016 does is get Federal money to veteran's faster. In the past the money for many of the VA's medical services had to wait on the budget process in Congress to grind itself out. According to VA administrators this often resulted in a delay in the money actually getting to them and they have often had to embargo certain services until the money arrived.
Under this law the budget process is changed to send the money first and then have the Comptroller General's office monitor how it is actually spent, making such records available to the public. The idea is that when Congress authorizes certain medical services being provided to vets then the bureaucratic process should not delay those services being delivered.
Sen. Burr's press release said: "I am pleased the full Senate acted yesterday to pass advanced appropriations for VA medical care, and I hope that the President will sign this important bill soon," Senator Burr said. "Too often, critical funding for veterans' health care is held hostage to political gamesmanship, which is unacceptable. In a time of war and an aging veteran population, we have an obligation to ensure that veterans can get the health care they need when they need it."