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Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) reintroduced the Same-Day Accountability Veterans Enhancement (SAVE) Act to ensure the Veterans Administration (VA) has the mechanisms in place to successfully offer same-day physical and mental health treatment to veterans in need. 

Specifically, this legislation will help establish performance measures for the VA’s Same-Day Service program, ensuring that the implementation of this initiative is properly documented for oversight and accountability. The bill would also require follow-up from the VA on the progress of same-day services, with special attention paid to mental health services and veteran suicide rates.

"Our veterans deserve immediate care," Emmer said. "Their sacrifices have earned them the respect of their fellow Americans, and the obligation for our country to support them. While the VA has tried to ensure same-day services, accountability is necessary. For veterans facing debilitating physical ailments or struggling with an invisible mental illness, their treatment must be immediate." 

"Oversight of this important program is vital to ensuring our veterans receive timely care. I look forward to working with my colleagues to serve our nation's heroes," Emmer concluded. 

Background:

In 2014, Congress conducted hearings to address the high volume of complaints from veterans nationwide who were experiencing prolonged delays in care at VA medical centers. The VA proposed an initiative to provide same-day services as a solution to this unacceptable pattern.

While this is a noble effort by the VA, a 2019 U.S. Government Accountability Office report showed that the Veterans Health Administration lacked documented objectives and performance goals, leaving progress difficult to track. The lack of documentation has complicated the implementation and oversight of this initiative.

The SAVE Act would apply these accountability measures, and ensure the implementation of same-day delivery, including an emphasis on veterans struggling with mental illness who are in need of immediate crisis care.

This legislation has received the support of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Disabled Veterans of America, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Read the text of the Same-Day Accountability Veterans Enhancement (SAVE) Act here

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