Today, President Donald Trump signed the VA Accountability Act, a proposed bill that passed in Congress, that went to the president’s desk. The President had a large ceremony, spoke at great length about the importance of quality healthcare for wounded warriors and veterans. This new bill gives more authority to VA officials to remove employees for poor performance, take away bonuses, and hold more accountability to doctors and hospital staffers to make sure that veterans get the care they need in time. This bill came as a reaction during the Obama era, when reports showed that veterans were dying in large amounts because they did not receive the care they needed in time. This new law seeks to end the legacy of corruption at the VA, and fulfill the president’s promise to treat American veterans with the care and support they deserve.
There is however, concern that this could result in mass layoffs of employees that do not necessarily fit the criteria layed out in the law for removal. Unions have expressed major concern over the law, understandably as it will limit their ability to influence how the VA hires, pays and removes employees in the healthcare segment. The president and Republicans addressed these concerns, saying “poor performance by employees when it comes to Health care for veterans who risked everything for this country is not an area where there is room for dispute”. New law will go into effect immediately, and VA administrators are expected to make changes as soon as Monday with the new law in effect.