Many veterans have had similar experiences and have shared healthcare challenges as a result. That’s why it’s so critical for the VA to establish and maintain expertise in providing our unique healthcare needs.

I know from personal experience that many of the VA employees are hard-working and dedicated. Unfortunately, far too many VA facilities have lost their hunger to provide our care. A passion to meet the individual needs of veterans has become too much of a rarity, and a vast bureaucracy of regulations have hurt care for veterans.

I want to update you on some real action we took to help veterans this week:

In the past several years, bureaucratic red tape has obstructed the VA’s ability to fire employees that engage in conduct that hurts veterans, including a nurse who participated in a surgery while drunk and a psychiatrist who was watching porn on his iPad while meeting with a veteran. These kinds of incidents are simply unacceptable and it’s exactly why we passed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. Our bill improves critical whistleblower protections so we can ensure veterans are getting the best possible care, and when the system fails veterans, we can hold those people accountable.

We also passed the VETERAN Act, which ensures our nation's veterans can access the health care that's right for them. The bill puts an existing regulation into law so there's no question about whether veterans will continue to have access to tax credits and subsidies that are in place to help them purchase health insurance.