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house Bill H.R. 4561

Healthcare for Rural Vets: Laying Out a VA To-Do List

Argument in favor

Rural populations of every kind are historically underserved in regard to healthcare. The more reform the VA can get thrown at it, the better.

Argument opposed

A do-nothing bill. Uses the words “goals” and “strategies” repeatedly without offering a single specific goal or strategy. Invites a broken system to fix itself.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    IntroducedMay 1st, 2014

What is House Bill H.R. 4561?

This bill would require the Veterans Administration (VA) to develop a plan to improve its efforts to serve rural veterans. Areas of focus would include emergency services and women's health. According to its sponsor in the House, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH),  the bill would direct the VA to set goals and objectives for: 

  • Recruiting and retaining Veterans Health Administration (VHA) health care personnel in rural areas.
  • Ensuring timeliness and quality of care by VHA in rural areas through contract and fee-basis providers.
  • The implementation, expansion, and enhanced use of telemedicine in rural areas.
  • The full and effective use of the VA's mobile outpatient clinics.
  • The modification of ORH funding allocation mechanisms so that the funds actually go to initiatives and projects that improve access to and quality of care for rural veterans.


The bill would most directly affect veterans living in rural areas--roughly 40% of the overall veteran population.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4561

A CBO cost estimate is currently unavailable.

More Information


Of Note:

-Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and John Boozman (R-AK) originally introduced this legislation in the 112th Congress (the current Congress is the 113th). On that occasion, the bill made its way out of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, but never received a full vote. They have since re-introduced it. 


Rural Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2014

Official Title

To specify requirements for the next update of the current strategic plan for the Office of Rural Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs for improving access to, and the quality of, health care services for veterans in rural areas.

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