President Joe Biden is anticipated to sign a bill sponsored by US Rep. Frank J. Mrvan, D-Highland, into law soon to enhance health care for American war veterans.
After receiving unanimous Senate approval on May 26 and clearing the House without resistance in November, Mrvan's "VA Electronic Health Record Transparency Act" is on its way to the White House for passage.
US Department of Veterans Affairs will be held accountable to taxpayers as it undertakes a $16 billion project to update former military personnel's electronic health records.
As chairman of the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Technology Modernization, Mrvan responded to allegations made by the VA inspector general that the VA was not conducting reliable and complete estimates for infrastructure upgrades and expenditures under the Electronic Health Records Modernization (EHRM) program.
His new bill mandates that the VA provide quarterly reports to Congress detailing the total costs, performance indicators, and outcomes of its EHRM project.
"I've witnessed firsthand how important it is for Congress to conduct oversight and have accurate information to ensure that the Electronic Health Record Modernization program can satisfy the demands of our veterans," Mrvan added.
"I appreciate Senate leaders realizing the importance of this bill, and as we go forward, I look forward to getting the required information and continuing our effort to guarantee that all veterans receive the world-class health care they deserve."
Mrvan's bill will be the Democratic president's second veteran-related bill to be approved into law.
Prior to the expiration of several veteran benefits at the end of the fiscal year, Biden signed Mrvan's plan to extend transportation perks, as well as dental insurance for veterans, their dependents, and other VA health care members.
Mrvan's history of helping veterans dates back to his 16 years on a Lake County board before being elected in 2020 to succeed retired U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary, and represent Lake, Porter, and northwest LaPorte counties in Congress.
"I have had a robust and collaborative connection with veterans and veteran organizations in Northwest Indiana throughout my time at the trustee's office, and they have brought to my attention numerous critical concerns, particularly those relating to technology and health care," Mrvan said.
The general election will be on Nov. 8 between Mrvan and Republican Jennifer-Ruth Green, a US Air Force veteran.