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Rep. Cook Votes to Improve and Expand Healthcare for Veterans
Rep. Paul Cook (R-8th District-Apple Valley) recently voted to support a bi-partisan bill, S. 2372, the VA Mission Act, to provide major reforms to the Veterans’ Administration (VA). Rep. Cook summed up the legislation saying, “Too often veterans get lost in bureaucracy of the VA, without receiving the help they have earned. This bipartisan bill will improve and expand critical care for our nation’s veterans and ensure that there’s no lapse in funding for the Choice program. I hope this critical bill is swiftly signed into law.”
S. 2372 is intended to consolidate multiple community care VA programs, including the Choice Program, into one system that is easier to navigate for veterans, VA employees, and community partners. It will help to ensure that veterans are getting the right care at the right time with the right provider.
The legislation will strengthen and improve the VA healthcare system for the approximately nine million veteran patients who utilize the system. It will provide an increase in funding to sustain the Choice Program, which could otherwise be exhausted by the end of May. The Choice Program is one of several programs through which a veteran can receive care from a community provider (non-VA provider) if he or she cannot receive care in a timely manner from a nearby VA facility.
S. 2372 has also been written to expand the eligibility for the VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, which promotes and enhances veteran well-being for those who require the care and assistance from another individual. Post-9/11 veterans have benefited greatly from this program and S. 2372 ensures future veterans have and/or maintain access to it.
Rep. Cook is Yucaipa’s U.S. Congressman and is a member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees. A former U.S. Marine, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts during his time in combat.