Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, spoke on the House Floor in support of proposed legislation to implement necessary reforms at the VA to address the backlogs for veterans in need of medical care.
Higgins urged swift action to address issues such as access to timely medical care, upgraded facilities, and consequences for misconduct and poor performance by VA employees. Higgins also encouraged his colleagues to commit to further reforms in the months ahead, including a unified electronic health records system between the VA and the Department of Defense.
The text of Higgins' remarks is below:
"Mr. Speaker, our nation's obligation to our veterans should go far beyond simply thanking them for their service. We must also make sure they are being properly cared for and supported when they return home. That's why I, like so many others, was outraged by the news that the VA health system had broken down.
"I am pleased that House and Senate leaders have come together and drafted legislation to address some of the most fundamental issues to this crisis, like access to timely medical care, upgraded facilities, and consequences for misconduct and poor performance.
"I am hopeful that future reforms to our VA medical system will include a unified electronic health records system between the VA and the Department of Defense.
"In today's hyperconnected world, we ought to be doing much better than shuffling large paper files between facilities.
"Mr. Speaker, I call on my colleagues to put partisanship aside and take action to correct this crisis at the VA now."