U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Press Release

Bipartisan VA Reform Passes Senate, Prevents Doctors Once Fired or Suspended by VA from Treating Veterans

Bipartisan amendment authored by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin, Jerry Moran and Thom Tillis closes loophole

By - May 20th, 2016 10:11 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan VA reform to ensure veterans receive care from trusted doctors in their communities passed the U.S. Senate today. U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced the amendment to protect veterans seeking care though VA community care programs, like the Choice Program, from being treated by doctors who have been fired or who are suspended from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The amendment, based on the Veterans Acquiring Community Care Expect Safe Services (ACCESS) Act, was included in a larger VA funding bill passed today by a vote of 89-8.

“No matter where our veterans are receiving their care, we should do our best to ensure that they are receiving the best care possible,” said Senator Baldwin. “It’s commonsense that if a doctor is suspended or has been fired from the VA, they shouldn’t be able to serve veterans seeking care within their own communities, and certainly shouldn’t be doing so with taxpayer dollars. I’m proud to work across the aisle on this bipartisan reform to help ensure our veterans receive the quality health care they need, deserve and have earned.”‎

“This is a common-sense principle – VA healthcare providers who have failed to provide quality care for our veterans should not be given another opportunity to participate in a community healthcare program that would still give them access to veterans,” said Senator Moran. “Those who put veterans’ health at risk and were fired from the VA, violated state license requirements or broke the law are clearly unable to provide the very best care our nation has to offer veterans, which is what they deserve.”

“Health care providers who are unfit to treat veterans at VA facilities should not be allowed to continue their practice in VA community care programs,” said Senator Tillis. “This commonsense, bipartisan amendment will close that loophole and help ensure that veterans using the Choice Program are receiving care from trusted providers.”

Currently, there is nothing explicitly in law or VA regulation that stops fired or suspended VA providers from participating in VA-administered community care programs. To close this dangerous loophole, the amendment requires the VA Secretary to deny or revoke the eligibility of a healthcare provider to participate in community programs if that provider was removed from employment with VA, violated his or her medical license, had a Department certification revoked, or broke the law.

In addition, the bipartisan reforms would ensure that when a provider is suspended from VA care, the provider is also suspended from non-VA care. The amendment would also give VA the ability under certain circumstances to deny, revoke, or suspend a provider’s eligibility if that action is necessary to immediately protect the health, safety, or welfare of veterans.

Mentioned in This Press Release

Recent Press Releases by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Tammy Baldwin Introduce Legislation to Defend American Workers Against China’s Cheating

"It’s time to hold bad actors like China accountable when they harm our economic interests and use unfair trade actions that disadvantage American workers."

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Calls on Republican Nominee to Join in Three Televised General Election Debates

"This election will be a choice between who stands up to powerful special interests, and who is in their pocket."

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement on Trump Administration Plan to Expand Junk Insurance Plans

We can’t let big insurance companies rewrite the rules on guaranteed health care protections that people depend on

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us