Bipartisan Kaptur Bill to Improve Healthcare for Veterans is Introduced in Senate
Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), released the following statement after her bill H.R. 1271, the Veterans’-Specific Education for Tomorrow’s Health Professionals Act of 2019 (VET HP Act), was introduced on a bipartisan basis in the Senate by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Thom Tillis (R-NC).
“I am deeply grateful to Senators Tammy Baldwin and Thom Tillis for their bipartisan effort to advance this important legislation in the Senate,” said Rep. Kaptur. “Earlier this year, the House passed the VET HP Act unanimously. This legislation will help create a pilot program that would establish a pipeline of future medical professionals into the VA system, reducing the number of medical vacancies within VA and improving care for veterans. I am glad to see this bill overcome a major hurdle on its path to becoming law.”
The VET HP Act would direct the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) to create a one-year pilot program in at least five VA medical centers for pre-med students to gain clinical observation experience, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of veterans’ specific health needs and experiences, while creating a viable pipeline of future medical professionals in the process.
The shortage of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) physicians and medical professionals has been a major problem for medical centers across the country, including in Northern Ohio, forcing VA facilities to provide care with fewer staff than are medically necessary to properly care for our nation’s veterans. According to a recent VA report, the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center in Cleveland currently has 188 medical vacancies, VA Healthcare System in Ann Arbor has 163 medical vacancies, and the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit currently has 145 medical vacancies.
The VET HP Act has been endorsed by the American Legion and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA).