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House passes Veterans Access to Care Act

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Some good news out of our nation's capital for veterans, as the House of Representatives passed HR-4810 also known as the Veterans Access to Care Act. The measure authorizes the Department of VA to enter into contracts with non-VA hospitals and clinics to allow veterans to receive hospital care and medical services while the VA works to improve wait times at VA facilities. The bill also requires the VA to contract with an independent entity to conduct an assessment of healthcare provided by VA medical facilities. Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, who was an original co-sponsor of the bill, says she has been very concerned that Guam veterans have some of the longest wait-times in the countries with stories of some veterans having to wait 60 days for their first appointment with a doctor. She says this bill will allow them to use their medical benefits at other facilities on the island and help reduce overcrowding at the veterans clinic. She says "the problems at the VA are extensive and prolific. It will take significant oversight by congress and further action to address these systemic problems. HR-4810 is a step in the right direction." The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
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