- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
- The house has not voted
Committee on Veterans' AffairsIntroducedJune 27th, 2019
- house Committees
What is House Bill H.R. 3527?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 3527
In-Depth: Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) introduced this bill to elevate POWs in the queue for VA care:
“We owe every veteran who wears the uniform our steadfast gratitude and commitment to delivering timely, high quality care. Prisoners of War not only answered the call of duty, but they endured unthinkable hardship and made unquestioned sacrifice in service to our country. We will never forget those who did not return home. For those who did, after facing such adversity, one way we can recognize their valor is to ensure former POWs are moved to the highest priority slot when it comes to their care at the VA.”
Original cosponsor Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) adds that POWs should “go to the front of the line” for VA care:
“Our veterans risked all they had for our nation, and our former prisoners of war bore the burden of that service through unimaginable sacrifice. In recognition of their valor and unique hardship, it’s fitting that we ensure that former POWs are able to go to the front of the line to receive the care they need through the VA.”
Original cosponsor Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) adds that POWs’ current lower priority is inexplicable:
“Prisoners of War have gone through the unimaginable. They should have top priority when receiving VA medical care, but right now, they are inexplicably given lower priority. I was proud to introduce the POW Priority Care Act with Reps. Walberg, Krishnamoorthi, and Rush to right this wrong.”
This bill has three bipartisan cosponsors, including two Democrats and one Republican.
Of Note: In a letter to his Congressional colleagues seeking cosponsors for this bill, Rep. Walberg’s office observes that veterans have a comprehensive medical benefits package administered by the VA. The VA’s system has eight Priority Groups, which were established to ensure that certain groups of veterans are able to enroll in the VA health care program before others. POWs are currently in Priority Group 3, along with Purple Heart awardees, Medal of Honor recipients, veterans discharged because a disability was either caused or aggravated in the line of duty, veterans with service-connected disabilities (SCDs) of 10-20% and veterans with a special eligibility classification.
Ahead of Priority Group 3, Priority Group 1 includes veterans with SCDs rated 50% or more and veterans who the VA determines are unemployable due to SCDs. Priority Group 2 includes veterans with SCDs at 30-40%.
- Sponsoring Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) Press Release
- Sponsoring Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) Dear Colleague Letter
- ConnectingVets (Context)
Summary by Lorelei Yang(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / JannHuizenga)