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Rubio, Sinema Introduce Preserving Access to Patient Reimbursement Act

Feb 29, 2024 | Press Releases

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has rolled out a web-based travel reimbursement program to replace its paper claim system used to reimburse veterans for travel expenses to and from medical appointments. However, veterans nationwide are experiencing issues with the new computerized system due to a lack of computer accessibility or experience. 

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) introduced the Preserving Access to Patient Reimbursement Act to ensure veterans have a paper option for travel reimbursement.

  • “While the intention of the VA’s new web-based travel program may have been good, the computerized system has missed its mark and created a barrier for many of our veterans. My Preserving Access to Patient Reimbursement Act would ensure that our nation’s veterans continue to have access to paper forms.” – Senator Rubio
  • “Our brave veterans risked everything to keep us safe – they shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get the benefits they’ve earned. That’s why we’re making it easier for veterans to get reimbursed for medical travel.”  – Senator Sinema

U.S. Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Chris Pappas (D-NH) introduced companion legislation in the House. 

  • “It is simply unconscionable that the VA would implement a nationwide policy that threatens to leave many of our most vulnerable Veterans behind. By effectively eliminating access to the travel reimbursement program for some Veterans, the VA is jeopardizing their ability to get the healthcare they’ve earned and deserve. While we are working to expand broadband connectivity throughout the country, there are still swaths that do not have access, including parts of my district. Also, many elderly Veterans and those with physical impairments do not have the capability to navigate the online portal. All of these Veterans deserve access to care and to the reimbursement program. I will not stop fighting until a commonsense solution to this manufactured problem is implemented.” – Congressman Bilirakis
  • “For many New Hampshire veterans, seeking VA care means traveling long distances across our state to reach a community-based outpatient clinic or VA hospital. We ought to make it easier for these veterans to receive the travel reimbursements they are owed, and I’m glad to partner with Congressman Bilirakis to introduce this legislation in the House, as well as with Senators Rubio and Sinema in the Senate. This commonsense legislation will ensure reimbursement forms are available via mail and at all VA facilities and continue to work to meet veterans where they are and provide them the best care and support.”  – Congressman Pappas