The Veterans Access to Care Act would help improve veterans’ health care by allowing facilities with a need for additional health professionals to apply to be designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area
Once designated, these facilities could more competitively recruit health care professionals by offering them scholarships and loan forgiveness
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced bipartisan legislation to improve health care for veterans. The Veterans Access to Care Act would help improve veterans’ medical facilities by allowing facilities with a need for additional health care professionals to apply to be designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). Once designated, these facilities have access to National Health Service Corps, which provides service-obligated scholarships and loan forgiveness to health professional students who pledge to practice in a HPSA for at least two years. The bill would also require the Departments of Health & Human Services and Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish a process for veterans’ facilities to qualify as HPSAs.
“There wasn’t a waiting line when our men and women in uniform risked their lives to serve our country, and there shouldn’t be a waiting line when they return home and need our help,” Klobuchar said. “This bipartisan legislation would improve veterans’ health care by giving veterans’ medical facilities a competitive edge as they work to recruit additional health care professionals.”
“Veterans living in rural or other underserved communities deserve the same quality and timeliness of care as every other veteran in the country. When the VA can’t find medical professionals, especially with expertise in specialty fields, like mental health, that can result in longer waits for care,” Grassley said. “The VA ought to have every tool at its disposal to help recruit medical professionals wherever they’re needed. This bill will help the VA provide America’s veterans with the timely health care they’ve earned.”