Sending Office: Honorable Michelle Lujan Grisham
Request for Cosponsor(s)
We invite you to be an original cosponsor to the bipartisan Ensuring Fair Access to Veterans Healthcare Act. For too long we have heard about the serious issues that our veterans are experiencing at Department
of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities. One of the most common complaints is that it is hard for veterans and their families to navigate the massive VA bureaucracy.
This bill would give our veterans and their families a separate, independent resource to resolve issues about the health, safety, welfare, and rights of veterans. The Ensuring Fair Access to Veterans Healthcare
Act creates an Office of the Ombudsman within the VA. The Ombudsman would be appointed by the Secretary but will be independent of the VA and will have a similar relationship that the VA Office of the Inspector General has with the Secretary. The Office
of the Ombudsman will hire and train local ombudsmen as well as volunteers at each VA medical facility. This bill has no budgetary impact and requires the VA to use existing funds to create this much needed Ombudsman position at each VA facility.
The Ombudsman would be responsible for identifying, investigating, and resolving veteran’s complaints by giving veterans and their families a place to turn to receive assistance on any issue that they might
be experiencing. Ombudsman will also assist veterans and their families in finding and identifying patient advocates, VSO’s, or other organizations to advocate for the health, safety, welfare, and rights of veterans.
The Ombudsman would also be responsible for establishing a reporting system for collecting, organizing, and managing issues reported by veterans and their families. The Ombudsman would be required to analyze
these complaints and work with the Secretary to resolve systemic issues at VA medical facilities. The Office of the Ombudsman will report to Congress with recommendations on how to improve the quality of care for veterans.
This innovative approach will ensure veterans and their families have a way to resolve health care access and safety issues that is independent from the bureaucracy of the Veterans Health Administration, and
I invite you to cosponsor this needed legislation. For more information or to be an original cosponsor, please contact Rachel Hugman (Lujan Grisham) at Rachel.Hugman@mail.house.gov or Lou Hrkman (McKinley) at Lou.Hrkman@mail.house.gov.
Michelle Lujan Grisham David B. McKinley, P.E
Member of Congress Member of Congress
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