Walberg Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Protect Injured and Amputee Veterans
Washington, D.C.—Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-07) today introduced bipartisan legislation to help ensure veterans with injuries and amputations have access to high quality prosthetic limb and orthotic care. H.R. 2322, the Injured and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights, directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to prominently print and display a list of rights that apply to every veteran at prosthetic and orthotic clinics around the country.
“Far too many veterans are bogged down by bureaucratic red tape at the VA, often left unaware of available services or their rights to certain standards of care,” said Congressman Walberg. “This bipartisan bill will help educate and empower the veterans with amputations and physical disabilities as they make important health care decisions. Having a widely known ‘Bill of Rights’ will help institute uniform standards across the country and ensure veterans expect and have access to timely, high quality, and patient-centered care. The men and women who answered America’s call to service deserve nothing less.”
Original cosponsors of H.R. 2322 are Representatives Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Walter Jones (R-NC), and Robert Pittenger (R-NC). The following list of rights, as outlined in the Injured and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights, are long standing at the VA but often unknown to many veterans:
1. The right to access the highest quality prosthetic and orthotic care, including the right to the most appropriate technology and best qualified practitioners.
2. The right to continuity of care in the transition from the Department of Defense health program to the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system, including comparable benefits relating to prosthetic and orthotic services.
3. The right to select the practitioner that best meets their orthotic and prosthetic needs, whether or not that practitioner is an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs, a private practitioner who has entered into a contract with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide prosthetic and orthotic services, or a private practitioner with specialized expertise.
4. The right to consistent and portable healthcare, including the right to obtain comparable services and technology at any medical facility of the Department of Veterans Affairs across the country.
5. The right to timely and efficient prosthetic and orthotic care, including a speedy authorization process with expedited authorization available for veterans visiting from another area of the country.
6. The right to play a meaningful role in rehabilitation decisions, including the right to receive a second opinion regarding prosthetic and orthotic treatment options.
7. The right to receive appropriate treatment, including the right to receive both a primary prosthesis or orthosis and a functional spare.
8. The right to be treated with respect and dignity and have an optimal quality of life both during and after rehabilitation.
9. The right to transition and readjust to civilian life in an honorable manner, including by having ample access to vocational rehabilitation, employment programs, and housing assistance.