On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced a proposal to “ensure that only licensed health care professionals conduct medical disability examinations (MDEs) on behalf of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).”
Rubio brought out the “Better Examiner Standards and Transparency for Veterans Act” (BEST for Vets Act) with U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., as a co-sponsor. They have been working on the proposal since 2019.
“The men and women who have so bravely served our country deserve access to high-quality health care providers through the VA,” Rubio said on Tuesday. “Health care providers who have had their medical licenses revoked should not be able to perform exams on our nation’s veterans, but a loophole in current law allows this to happen. This legislation would strengthen current law and ensure that only health care providers who meet the VA’s requirements are able to treat our service members.”
“Our veterans have earned the highest quality care, and it’s unacceptable for the VA to deliver anything less,” Sinema said. “Our legislation protects veterans from unlicensed medical providers and helps ensure they receive disability examinations from providers they can trust.”
The bill would have the VA use only licensed health care providers to conduct MDEs and report to Congress on the matter.
Rubio’s bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Tuesday. So far, there is no companion bill over in the U.S. House.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.