Rep. Smucker Continues Fight for VA Accountability

February 5, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC- Today, Rep. Lloyd Smucker announced the reintroduction of the VA Billing Accountability Act, H.R. 845. Rep. Smucker first introduced the VA Billing Accountability Act in the 115th Congress where it passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Reintroduced in the 116th Congress and now the 117th Congress, Rep. Smucker continues to fight for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be accountable to our nation’s brave veterans.

The VA Accountability Act would require the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to set specific and clear billing requirements, so veterans do not receive outdated co-payments from the VA.

“Our veterans and their families have sacrificed so much to protect our country and we should be doing all we can to make their transition to civilian life as easy as possible. Forcing them to pay for bureaucratic errors and delays is no way to treat those who have sacrificed to protect our country,” said Smucker. “I encourage my colleagues in the House to pass this legislation again so we can bring our veterans peace of mind, stability, and financial security.”

Pennsylvania’s Eleventh District is home to nearly 40,000 veterans. Over the last decade, federal oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs has uncovered thousands of cases where the VA delivered delayed or inaccurate co-payments to veterans, causing financial stress and debt for military families. In one instance, more than 1,500 veterans were blindsided when they received co-payment bills for VA care dating as far back as five years.

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 caused 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 they received care or services

This legislation also grants authorizing power to the VA Secretary to eliminate requiring veterans make a co-payment if the VA does not abide by the billing timing mandates.

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