Flake, McCain Introduce VA Reform Bill

June 03, 2014

Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake have introduced legislation they said will reduce wait times for Veteran’s Administration health care patients. The measure is a response to an unfolding scandal at the Phoenix VA hospital where up to 40 people allegedly died while waiting months to see a doctor.

An Investigator General’s report confirmed that wait times were falsified in Phoenix and at other VA hospitals so managers could get performance bonuses. 

Meanwhile, McCain, Flake and two other senators have unveiled a bill called “The Veteran’s Choice Act” which will allow some vets to receive medical care from a private doctor. 

Flake said that means people in his hometown of Snowflake won’t have to make a three-hour drive to the VA hospital in Phoenix.

"If this legislation passes that will no longer be the case. Veterans will be guaranteed that if the wait time is longer than it should be they’ll be able to see somebody else. That’s what we’ve got to do to fix this system,” Flake said.

McCain said the measure would also make it easier to fire incompetent VA managers. He’s confident the Republican-backed measure will receive bipartisan support.  Vermont’s Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders has introduced a similar bill.