On November 11th, Americans will recognize and celebrate our nation’s service members who placed their lives on the line to protect our freedoms. As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I find great privilege and interest in working to better the lives of our nation’s most courageous citizens, and I work hard to ensure these veterans receive the care they need and deserve.
Throughout my tenure in the Senate, I have made it a priority to increase transparency and accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Whether it be through sponsoring legislation, writing letters to VA executives, or attending important Senate committee hearings, I have continuously advocated for better treatment of America and Nevada’s heroes.
For years, the VA has struggled to meet the demands of veterans in Nevada and our nation. I take pride in the fact that over 300,000 veterans call Nevada home, which is why I fought to ensure Nevada’s VA hospitals and claims processing center have quality leadership to serve veterans best. However, veterans still experience doctor shortages, long wait times when seeking medical care, and a disability claims backlog that breaks the VA’s promise to provide timely access to benefits.
In my role as your United States Senator and in my position on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I have highlighted and sponsored bipartisan measures addressing issues that affect veterans most. Specifically, I have proposed legislation that would hire medical scribes so VA doctors can spend more time with their patients, as well as a bill to improve the VA’s care for our women veterans. Additionally, I have introduced the VA Bonus Transparency Act, requiring the VA to provide an annual report on the bonuses awarded to critical positions within the VA, including VA hospital directors. Both of these measures are a step in the right direction to solving issues that plague the VA health care system.
Furthermore, as Co-Chair of the VA Backlog Working Group, I recently wrote a letter to the VA to follow up on its progress in reducing the detrimental wait times and disability claims backlog. In my letter, I asked the VA what more can be done to eliminate the remaining backlog of claims impacting thousands of veterans, including Nevadans.
The VA must be held accountable for the services it promises veterans. I have found the VA’s lack of efficiency in certain areas inexcusable and will continue working to solve these shortcomings.
Finally, on this Veterans Day, I join my fellow Nevadans in taking time to appreciate the many sacrifices that have been made by our nation’s heroes as well as their families. Their service will never be forgotten.
As always, I want to be of help to any and all veterans who face difficulties in dealing with VA services. Either my staff or I would be happy to assist you. To reach my Las Vegas office, please call (702) 388-6605.