Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Thompson Bill Aims to Expand Access to Veterans Health Care

Rep. Thompson VETS Act
     WASHINGTON, DC (WENY) -- As the debate over health care reform continues on Capitol Hill, there’s one aspect Democrats and Republicans can agree on –health care accessibility for veterans.  Northern Tier Congressman Glenn Thompson recently introduced legislation to expand vets care.  
     His bill is called the Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support Act – VETS Act for short.  He says telemedicine is a great way to help treat vets who are struggling with mental health conditions. 
     “It really came out of my discussions with my son who’s in the Army when he was telling me about some of his friends that had committed suicide following a return from a deployment,” explained Thompson.
     Thompson says right now, VA health care professionals who use telemedicine have to be licensed in the state they reside in and in the state where the veterans they’re treating live.
     “That’s almost impossible.  That’s so cumbersome, and it limits the amount of providers out there to provide the care that these men and women have earned and deserve.  And my bill addresses that,” said Thompson.
     Thompson says his VETS Act makes telemedicine more cost effective too.  Thompson says he’s proud he can use his professional experience in the health care field to help make a difference in the lives of those who’ve served our country.
     “It’s an honor to be working with the frontline service members like my son and daughter-in-law, but also the command at the Pentagon who’ve been wonderful to work with on these types of issues,” he said.
     The VETS Act already has bipartisan support.  In fact, Thompson introduced the bill alongside Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York City.