Gardner Announces VA Readiness Initiative
Includes 6 Bills to Help Veterans
Washington, D.C. – Today, Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced the launch of his VA Readiness Initiative. This new initiative includes a package of several bipartisan Gardner-authored bills that will ensure the federal government is always ready to assist veterans and prepared to fulfill the promises we have made to them.
Gardner’s VA Readiness Initiative consists of four pillars: Expanding Access to Services, Encouraging Innovation, VA Accountability, and Empowering Transitioning Service Members. Gardner has championed efforts, including through the introduction of legislation, that are pertinent to each one of these pillars and collectively constitute his VA Readiness Initiative.
“I’m thrilled to launch my VA Readiness Initiative and fight for the well-being of veterans and their families. The United States should always be ready to provide our veterans with the care they deserve,”said Senator Gardner. “We must honor the immeasurable debt we owe to past and present military members for their dedicated service by ensuring there are tools and support to navigate civilian life.”
Pillar One: Expanding Access to Services—reducing regulatory barriers and promoting expeditious care, both at the VA and in the community
- Supporting Homeless Veterans: The Gardner-authored CARE for Veterans' Dependents Act of 2019would help certain homeless shelters provide care to veteran dependents.
- Improving Access to Care: A Gardner-backed provision in the VA MISSION Act eliminates the 30-day/40-mile limit on community care, giving veterans more access to private and local medical care regardless of their situation or location.
Pillar Two: Encouraging Innovation—leveraging modern technologies and piloting inventive solutions to health care challenges
- Leveraging Big Data: The Gardner-led Department of Energy Veterans’ Health Initiative Act would promote innovative approaches to suicide prevention using high-performance computing at Department of Energy National Labs.
- Championing Hiring Process Reforms: The Gardner-authored Veterans Improved Access and Care Act would authorize a pilot program to expedite medical professional hiring at VA facilities experiencing shortages.
Pillar Three: VA Accountability—making bureaucratic incompetence and preventable mistakes a thing of the past
- Reforming VA Contracting: The Gardner-authored VA Procurement Efficiency and Transparency Act would improve contracting competitions to eliminate fraud.
- Increasing Medical Oversight: The Gardner-authored Department of Veterans Affairs Provider Accountability Act would require reporting of medical adverse actions committed by VA doctors to guarantee quality care for patients.
- Ensuring Complete Forever GI Bill Implementation: Following reports in 2018 that the VA failed to provide accurate GI Benefits, Gardner immediately demanded a fix and student repayment and introduced the Fix IOUs for Student Veterans Act to ensure student repayment. He remains committed to full, stable implementation of the Forever GI Bill.
Pillar Four: Empowering Transitioning Service Members—promoting civilian career success
- Encouraging Entrepreneurship—Gardner has been working with the Senate Small Business Committee on protecting, improving, and enhancing the Boots to Business program.
- Promoting STEM—Gardner is a cosponsor of the Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act, legislation that will encourage veterans to enter STEM fields.
NOTE: To download Gardner’s VA Readiness Initiative pamphlet click here.
Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.
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