House Acts to Give Veterans More Choices in Health Care
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-Ala.) today applauded House passage of the Veterans TRICARE Choice Act of 2016.
“The Veterans TRICARE Choice Act of 2016 is a commonsense piece of legislation that offers veterans more choices in planning for their healthcare needs," Roby said. "This bill rightly enables veterans to choose the best health care options for themselves and their families, and I am proud to support it."
H.R. 5458, the Veterans TRICARE Choice Act of 2016, allows TRICARE-eligible veterans the ability to participate in employer-sponsored health savings account (HSA) programs. Under current Department of Veterans Affairs policy, veterans eligible for TRICARE, the military’s healthcare system, are not allowed to participate in HSAs unless they permanently opt-out of TRICARE benefits, limiting the choices of many veterans who enter the workforce after their military service. H.R. 5458 corrects this problem by allowing TRICARE-eligible veterans to simply pause their TRICARE benefits if they want to participate in HSA programs, which are popular and effective tools used to pay for medical expenses.
"I appreciate my colleagues, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), for recognizing this problem with the VA’s policy and sponsoring legislation to correct it. We need policies and services that properly serve the needs of all veterans, including the most recent generation. I’m pleased that the House has taken action this week on a slate of bills meant to modernize and streamline benefits to better serve veterans’ interests."
Additional veterans service or policy bills slated for a vote this week include:
· H.R. 5600 – No Hero Left Untreated Act, cosponsored by Roby, which calls for a pilot program to test the effectiveness of EEG/EKG-guided resonance therapy for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome;
· H.R. 5166 - WINGMAN Act, which enhances Congressional employees' ability to track cases on behalf of veteran constituents within the Department of Veterans Affairs;
· H.R. 5399 – Ethical Patient Care for Veterans Act of 2016, which aims to ensure VA doctors fulfill top ethical standards;
· H.R. 3286 – HIRE Vets Act, which encourages voluntary private sector investments to work alongside existing government-funded incentives to recruit, employ, and retain veterans in the workforce;
· H.R. 5047 – Protecting Veterans’ Educational Choice Act of 2016, which directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Labor to make those leaving military service fully aware of educational opportunities and requirements at institutions of higher learning;
· H.R. 4757 - To amend title 38, United States Code, to expand the eligibility for headstones, markers, and medallions furnished by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for deceased individuals who were awarded the Medal of Honor and are buried in private cemeteries.