House Passes Bipartisan Smucker Bill to Help Veterans Transition to Civilian Life

May 21, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today the House passed U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker’s (PA-16) bipartisan legislation to help veterans transition to civilian life. Rep. Smucker’s VA Billing Accountability Act passed the House unanimously and would relieve veterans of financial burdens caused by delays at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

“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 great nation. 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 proud to have introduced this legislation on behalf of the veterans and military families that I represent, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get it through the Senate and signed into law.”

“Ensuring accountability throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs is one way we can provide veterans with the care and benefits they have earned,” said Veterans Affairs Chairman Phil Roe. “The VA Billing Accountability Act will bring accountability to the VA’s billing practices by clearly defining the department’s billing responsibilities and protecting veterans from undue financial penalties, and I thank Rep. Smucker for his work on this important topic.”

BACKGROUND

The VA Billing Accountability Act authorizes the VA to waive the requirement that a veteran make a copayment for medication, hospital care, nursing home care, or other medical services if:

  • An error committed by the VA or a VA employee was the cause of delaying copayment notifications to the veteran; and
  • The veteran received such notification more than 180 days (18 months in the case of a non-VA facility) after the date on which the veteran received care or services

Text of the legislation can be found here.

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