Amata Focuses on Telehealth and Access Needs in Questions to VA Secretary

October 25, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Tuesday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata focused attention on the healthcare needs of American Samoan veterans in a hearing of the Committee on Veterans Affairs to examine draft legislation of nine bills that propose a variety of upgrades and reforms at the VA.

“I’m encouraged that this legislative work is taking steps in the right direction,” said Aumua Amata. “I appreciate Secretary Shulkin’s commitment and candor, along with his response that although there are no easy answers, progress must continue to be made on these efforts to expand the reach of services. My colleagues on this Committee, Chairman Roe, and Secretary Shulkin are determined to improve access for our veterans, and I’d like to thank each of them for their leadership and dedication.”

Amata speaking to VA Secretary Shulkin during Veterans Hearing.

Specifically, the legislation under consideration would seek to improve the Veterans Choice Program, expand VA authority to enter agreements at the state level to provide nursing home care, strengthen graduate medical education residency positions and broaden community care options through the Veteran Coordinates Access and Rewarding Experiences (CARE) Act.

The hearing included testimony from Dr. David Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, followed by representatives of the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), along with Statements for the Record contributed by more than 20 health and veterans organizations.

“I see these legislative proposals as incremental progress toward better care in remote areas, changes that can serve as a good foundation for more work toward the readily accessible care we need in American Samoa,” continued Congresswoman Amata. “Improving access through telehealth, and encouraging more medical specialists remains a priority, so that our veterans have lower costs and better choices.”

More detail about these VA bills is available from the Committee and Chairman Roe here.