Smucker, Emmer Introduce Bipartisan VA Billing Accountability Act
Washington, D.C. – Continuing his record of working across the aisle towards commonsense solutions, U.S. Rep. Smucker (PA-16) teamed up with Reps. Collin Peterson (MN-07) and Tom Emmer (MN-06) to introduce legislation to relieve veterans of financial burdens caused by delays at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District is home to more than 10,000 veterans. The bipartisan VA Billing Accountability Act sets forth specific and immediate billing requirements so our nation’s veterans are not receiving unbilled co-payments for VA care from years past.
“Our nation’s service men and women should not have to pay for delays or errors made by the VA,” said Rep. Smucker. “They and their families have sacrificed so much in defense of our homeland. We should be doing all we can to make their transition to civilian life as easy as possible, and this bill will help bring more stability and financial security to their post-military lives. I am glad to join Reps. Peterson and Emmer in this bipartisan effort to advance commonsense legislation on behalf of veterans.”
“I have heard from many veterans that have been billed by the VA and it's frustrating to hear their situation. This bill is intended to hold the VA accountable,” said Rep. Peterson. “With this bill, I hope we can restore the faith to our veterans that they will receive the care they were promised without getting stuck with unexpected bills.”
“The men and women who dedicate their lives to defend the safety and freedoms of this nation deserve nothing but the best once they return home,” said Rep. Emmer. “It is our duty to make their lives easier, not more difficult and the VA Billing Accountability Act will help do just that. Through clearly defining timing and other VA billing requirements, we can bring more certainty and assurance to our nation’s veterans after they’ve returned to their civilian lives. I am proud to work with Congressmen Smucker and Peterson on this legislation and look forward to working with our colleagues towards its passage.”
The VA Billing Accountability Act authorizes the VA to waive the requirement that a veteran make co-payments for medication, hospital care, nursing home care, and medical services if:
- an error committed by the VA or a VA employee was the cause of delaying copayments notification to the veteran; and
- the veteran received such notification more than 120 days (18 months in the case of a non-VA facility) after the date on which the veteran received care or services
Additionally, this legislation grants authorizing power to the VA Secretary to get rid of the requirement that veterans make a co-payment if the VA does not abide by the billing timing mandates.