From the Office of Congressman Jeb Bradley
(Washington, D.C.) - First District Congressman Jeb Bradley introduced legislation in the House of Representatives this week that would give Congress ample opportunity for oversight on any proposal that would curtail hours of operation at emergency rooms within the Department of Veterans Affairs' Health Care System. Second District Congressman Charles Bass has signed on as an original cosponsor of Bradley's bill.
Bradley will also meet next week with Deputy Secretary of the VA Gordon Mansfield about the Department's proposal to close the emergency room at the Manchester VA Medical Center between the hours of 10 PM and 6 AM and possibly on the weekends. During a March meeting with the Network Director of the VA New England Health System, it was revealed that the proposal to reduce ER hours is not limited to New Hampshire or the rest of New England, but is part of a national proposal to curtail emergency room hours across the country.
"Curtailing emergency room hours of operation will hurt New Hampshire veterans," stated Bradley, a member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee. "There has been no public debate and little Congressional input on this proposal. My legislation will halt this process for six months until it has been thoroughly examined. It will also only allow it to be implemented if theVA establishes a policy that allows qualified veterans to be treated at other facilities with the VA assuming responsibility for payment of that care."
Last week, Bradley introduced legislation that requires the VA to provide chiropractic care to veterans. He also introduced the "Vet Center Enhancement Act," which would enhance bereavement and readjustment counseling at vet centers.
All three bills have been referred to the House Veterans' Affairs Committee.