In recent days, four members of the Florida delegation–U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., Shelia Cherifulus-McCormick, D-Fla., Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., and Dan Webster–have thrown their support behind U.S. Rep. Lisa McClain’s, R-Mich., “Patient Advocate Tracker Act.”
The bill, which McClain introduced in October, “would create a tracking system for veteran complaints through the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of the Patient Advocate for patients to easily access any updates to their filed paperwork.”
With the new backers, almost 100 members of the U.S. House have lined up behind the bill as co-sponsors. Other backers from Florida include U.S. Reps. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Bill Posey, R-Fla., and John Rutherford, R-Fla.
The bill cleared the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee last week and is now headed to the House floor.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to every individual who has served in the U.S. military. Improving VA accountability and transparency to ensure veterans are receiving the services that they have earned and need is one of my priorities,” said Webster. “The Patient Advocate Tracker Act is a step in the right direction by simplifying and giving veterans access to the tracking system when they have a complaint.”
The bill would “require the Department of Veterans Affairs to create an electronic system for veterans to submit complaints regarding healthcare services they receive” and the “system would allow a veteran to file a complaint electronically with the patient advocate and view the status of the complaint, including interim and final actions that have been taken.”
The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Student Veterans of America, Military Veterans Advocacy and Fleet Reserve Association are behind the proposal.
U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., introduced the companion bill in the U.S. Senate with the support of U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.
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