WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), member of the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee, today attended the White House signing ceremony for the VA MISSION Act. Signed into law, this legislation improves the quality of health care at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and ensures veterans have access to timely care whether inside the VA system or from local providers.
“As a doctor, my first priority is the patient,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This breakthrough legislation puts veterans first and ensures they have access to the quality care they deserve.”
Cassidy provisions included in the VA Mission Act include:
- Section 502, which recognizes podiatrists as physicians within the VA and allow the VA to hire and maintain well qualified, board certified podiatrists in order to ensure veterans receive quality podiatric care. The VA currently has serious recruitment and retention problems because its podiatric compensation package has not been updated since 1976. This provision is based on Senator Cassidy’s legislation, S. 1871.
- Section 101, subsection l, which provides greater access to certain eligible veterans who would like to seek transplant care outside the VA system. Senator Cassidy has legislation, S. 2473, that would allow all veterans to access transplant care outside the VA system. Senator Cassidy will continue pushing the VA to open up non-VA transplant care to more veterans, but sees this provision as a step in the right direction.
- Section 105, which ensures veterans have access to walk-in care from non-VA providers. An official from the VA indicated in a recent congressional hearing that this could include access to urgent care. Senator Cassidy’s legislation, S. 1261, would provide coverage of urgent care for veterans.
The VA MISSION Act has received broad support from leading veterans groups that represent millions of veterans in the United States. A group of 38 veteran and military advocacy organizations wrote to the House and Senate in support of the VA MISSION Act.