With Memorial Day approaching, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY4) has announced her cosponsorship of a package of bills to help recent veterans, with a focus on reducing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) claims backlog.
"The best way we can honor our active and retired service men and women -- for Memorial Day and every day of the year -- is by helping them cut through the red tape of government so they can transition to civilian life in the quickest, safest and healthiest ways possible," Rep. McCarthy said. "My caseworkers are helping veterans from my district who ask for it and I'm taking steps in Washington to get the VA to cut down on its backlog and help our troops as well."
Rep. McCarthy is cosponsoring bills aimed to help reduce the VA claims backlog by transitioning from a largely paper-based claims process to a more digital one; they include the Veterans Claims Efficiency Through Automation Act (H.R. 1805).
She is also cosponsoring the Disabled Veterans Red Tape Reduction Act (H.R. 1521), to speed up the disabilities examination process by making more use of contracted medical professionals in the private sector outside traditional VA facilities.
Later this week, Rep. McCarthy will also sign on to a letter imploring President Barack Obama to get directly involved in reducing the VA claims backlog.
Rep. McCarthy is also cosponsoring legislation to ensure proper health care for returning veterans, with a focus on female veterans.
One upcoming bill will require the VA to pay for medical conditions as they are adjudicated in an electronic system, and she is currently a cosponsor of the Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvements Act (H.R. 958), which would give veterans with service-connected disabilities access to advanced fertility counseling and treatments, end the VA's ban on in vitro fertilization, provide adoption assistance for severely injured veterans, and expand child care programs at VA health facilities.