8th District Congressman and Former Army Captain Votes to Improve Access to Quality Health Care and Decrease Bureaucracy for Wounded Service Members
(Washington, D.C.) - Today, Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-8th district) voted to improve health care for our nation's wounded veterans. The Wounded Warrior Assistance Act, which passed unanimously, seeks to improve access to quality medical care for wounded service members, cuts through bureaucratic red tape and improves the transition of wounded soldiers from the Armed Forces to the Veterans Affairs system. Spurred by recent reports that shined a light on serious problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and other military health care facilities, this measure will make it easier for veterans to get the quality care they deserve without the headaches and hassles that have created record difficulties and delays in treatments. The reports about Walter Reed and other facilities reveal disgraceful truths and the measure voted on today will go a long way toward righting those wrongs.
"American servicemen and women shouldn't have to face challenges in getting proper treatment and care after they face challenges abroad. The system needs to be fixed immediately," said Congressman Patrick Murphy. "Our troops are doing an almost impossible task at every corner of the globe and we owe them the best care possible. I am proud that every single one of my colleagues joined me in voting to truly honor the service of our soldiers by being committed to their continued well being."
Prior to being elected to Congress, Patrick Murphy served as a Captain in the U.S. Army. He was deployed to Bosnia and to Iraq. In Iraq he served with the 82nd Airborne where he was awarded the Bronze Star for service. He is the first and only Iraq war veteran to serve in Congress.
The Wounded Warrior Assistance Act
This bill came about after the media uncovered shocking living conditions and administrative carelessness at Walter Reed and other facilities. These conditions point to systematic problems that need fixing - especially with a new generation of veterans returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The key provisions include:
- Improving the system of case managers for wounded service members by improving training and reducing caseloads.
- Creates a system of patient advocates who are there to fight for proper treatment.
- Establishes a toll-free hot line for reporting deficiencies in facilities.
- Establishes independent medical advocates.
- Calls for improved training of health care professionals, medical care case managers, and patient advocates to increase their effectiveness in assisting recovering wounded warriors.
- Specifically improving training in the identification of post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal tendencies, and other mental conditions among recovering service members.