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Miller Applauds House Passage of Veterans Bills

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Today the House passed six veterans-related bills, including:

H.R. 6416, the Jeff Miller and Richard Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2016, would make a number of improvements to VA health care, the disability compensation process and other veterans services. The bill would clarify VA’s responsibility to provide treatment to individuals seeking emergency care, expand the amount of time that certain widows and widowers may receive and utilize Post 9/11 G.I. Bill educational assistance benefits under the Fry Scholarship and require the secretary to notify Congress if an employee is placed on administrative leave for more than 14 days in a single year. It would also expand eligibility for medallions to mark the graves of our nation’s veterans and Medal of Honor recipients who are buried in private cemeteries.

H.R. 5399, the Ethical Patient Care for Veterans Act of 2016 would require VA doctors to promptly report unethical activities of other physicians to the applicable state licensing authority, in accordance with the American Medical Association Code of Medical Ethics.

H.R. 4352, as amended, the Faster Care for Veterans Act of 2016, would direct VA to carry out an 18-month pilot program of commercial patient self-scheduling software and establish capabilities standards for such a system.

S. 3076, the Charles Duncan Buried with Honor Act of 2016, would authorize VA to furnish a casket or urn for a deceased veteran laid to rest in a national, state or tribal cemetery if their family cannot afford it.

S. 3076 now awaits the president’s signature, while the other bills await consideration by the Senate. Following House passage of the bills, Chairman Miller released the below statement.

“These bipartisan bills are designed to help improve health care, benefits and services for those who are most deserving – our nation’s veterans. I’m especially proud of the provision in H.R. 6416 that brings transparency and accountability to VA’s often-abused administrative leave system. I applaud my colleagues for passing this meaningful legislation to improve care for our nation’s veterans and honor those who have fallen.” - Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs

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