U.S. House passes legislation to improve safety at Veterans Affairs Medical Centers; bill still needs Senate approval

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WASHINGTON – The United States House of Representatives has passed the Veterans’ Camera Reporting (VCR) Act.

The bill was introduced by Reps. David McKinley, R–W.Va., Alex Mooney, R–W.Va., and Carol Miller, R–W.Va.

According to a press release, the VCR Act will improve patient safety and increase transparency by requiring the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to complete and submit a report to Congress regarding the use of cameras in VA medical facilities and how they can be better utilized to provide the best quality healthcare possible to veterans.

“I was proud to stand alongside my West Virginia colleagues as this crucial legislation passed the House of Representatives. America’s veterans embody the best of this nation – a sense of service, unyielding patriotism, and devout determination to protect the freedoms we all enjoy every day. Veterans are heroes, and they deserve the best care possible. The passage of the Veterans’ Camera Reporting Act is a momentous step forward in our effort to ensure they are safely taken care of, and that another tragedy like we saw in Clarksburg and Beckley never happens again.”

Rep. Miller

“If we’ve learned anything from what happened at Clarksburg, it’s that we need more transparency and oversight in our VA system. Greater use of cameras is one step towards that. It will provide an additional safety measure for veterans, staff and visitors. We owe it to our veterans to restore their confidence in the VA and ensure they receive the quality care they deserve.”

Rep. McKinley

“Following the heinous murders at the Clarksburg VA Medical Center, I am proud to join Congressman McKinley and my West Virginia colleagues in cosponsoring H.R. 1510. Together we are ensuring that VA medical centers are upheld to the highest standards of patient safety, transparency and accountability for our nation’s heroes. Those who served our nation in the military deserve not only our utmost respect, but also continued care.”

Rep. Mooney

The Veterans’ Camera Reporting Act is also cosponsored by House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Mike Bost, R–Ill., as well as Reps. David Trone, D–Md., and Guy Reschenthaler, R–Pa., the release states.

Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R–W.Va., and Joe Manchin, D–W.Va., introduced the companion bill in the United States Senate.

The passage of this bipartisan legislation comes a week after the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General issued a report faulting the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg for failures that resulted in employee Reta Mays murdering multiple veterans.

A judge recently sentenced Mays to seven consecutive life sentences, plus 20 years, for murdering seven veterans.

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