Rounds Introduces Legislation to Gain VA Financial Accountability

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today introduced legislation requiring the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to produce an annual report to Congress detailing the cost of the health care it provides. The Veterans Health Administration Spending Transparency and Oversight Act of 2016 authorizes the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to enter into an agreement to produce the report, due no later than March 1st of each year. It is similar to other reporting requirements for federal agencies. An example is an annual requirement for the Defense Department to produce a report detailing the costs of its Tricare health care benefits program.

“Veterans across the country continue to experience problems with health care delivery at the VA, including backlogs, long wait times and frequent billing errors,” said Rounds. “As we seek to address these issues, the oversight role of Congress is as important as ever. Having accurate cost accounting by the VHA will help Congress identify legislative options aimed at better health care for our nation’s veterans, who have selflessly defended and protected our freedoms. We owe it to them to make certain they receive the best care possible.”