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Amata introduces VA amendment passed by subcommittee

Congresswoman Aumua Amata
Source: Cong. Aumua’s Washington D.C. office

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Aumua Amata offered an amendment to the VA COST SAVINGS Act that was passed with bipartisan support.

In an active week centered on veterans’ legislation, she voted Wednesday in support of seven bills passed by the Subcommittee, including one on which she was an original cosponsor, and participated in a Tuesday hearing of the full Veterans Affairs’ Committee examining the urgent need to improve VA Electronic Health Records.

“I am pleased to vote for these bipartisan efforts to continue improving the VA,” said Aumua Amata. “Ultimately, efforts to reform the VA are made with the veterans themselves in mind, whether the focus is on better medical records, sensible reduction of waste or duplication, or creating new choices. We want veterans to know how to access services, feel confident in their VA services and have the ability to get the health care they need.”

Specifically, her amendment to the VA COST SAVINGS Act, H.R. 5974, would give the Department of Veterans Affairs the flexibility to deliver on-site medical waste management via a contract or other agreement as the existing blanket purchase agreement expires. Developed with technical input from the VA, the adjustment would allow the Department to seek improved service and cost savings and passed with bipartisan support.

Among the legislation, the Long-Term Veterans Choice Act, H.R. 5693, on which she was an original cosponsor, was introduced by Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA). It also passed with bipartisan support.

Tuesday’s hearing of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee was titled, VA Electronic Health Record Modernization: The Beginning of the Beginning. Congresswoman Amata posed her question to a key witness testifying on the panel, Vice Admiral Raquel Bono, Director, Defense Health Agency, U.S. Department of Defense.

Additionally, she supported the following bills:

  • •          The Veterans-Specific Education for Tomorrow’s Medical Doctors (VET MD) Act, H. R. 2787, introduced by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH);
  • •          The Wounded Warrior Workforce Enhancement Act, H.R. 3696, introduced by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-MI);
  • •          The Veterans Serving Veterans Act of 2018, H.R. 5938, introduced by Rep. Jenniffer González Colón (R-PR);
  • •          To improve the productivity of the management of Department of Veterans Affairs health care, H.R. 6066, introduced by Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), a doctor and veteran; and
  • •          The VA Hospitals Establishing Leadership Performance (VA HELP) Act, H.R. 5864, introduced by Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL), another veteran.