Removing Extraneous Loopholes Insuring Every Veteran Emergency Act

Floor Speech

Date: March 7, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the RELIEVE Act. I introduced this bill after a veteran from Spokane reached out for my help. She had recently retired from service and was days away from her first VA appointment when she had a heart attack.

She was rushed to the ER, where she made a full recovery, but the VA refused to pay for her care.

Why? Because she hadn't seen a VA doctor in the last 24 months.

It didn't matter that she had just enrolled or that many VA facilities have 30- to 60-day delays. They denied her the coverage she needed, and her bills were piling up.

The RELIEVE Act would make this right. It waives the 24-month rule for 60 days, giving veterans time to establish care and ensure that they qualify for outside emergency coverage.

I am grateful to the leadership of the committee, as well as my colleagues, Jack Bergman and Chris Pappas, for helping lead this bill to help eliminate the emergency coverage gap. I urge my colleagues to join in giving veterans the treatment that they have earned.