Senator Wyden has worked to expand access to health care for all veterans.
In 2005, Senator Wyden successfully worked with Oregon and Washington’s Congressional Delegations to ensure that the Walla Walla, WA VA hospital was not closed as part of the Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services (CARES) process. In 2010, when the VA announced plans reduce services at its Roseburg facility, Wyden held a series of community forums and forced an outside review of the hospital which kept Roseburg’s VA emergency room open and expanded distance medicine programs for veterans in Oregon’s rural communities. Wyden’s advocacy also made a Community Based Outpatient Clinic for veterans in La Grande a reality as well as the creation of Bend’s Vet Center which opened in 2010.
In 2008, Wyden’s questioning of two Pentagon officials and subsequent follow-up with the Secretary of Defense revealed more than 39,000 cases of concurrent retirement and disability claims as well as combat-related compensation claims that had yet to be processed. As a result of Wyden’s intervention, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service quadrupled the number of staff processing claims and ensured prompt reimbursement for veterans. In 2010, Wyden’s advocacy resolved a two year backlog of reimbursements for Oregon veterans who paid out of pocket for service-connected travel and health care.
In 2012, Wyden introduced the Veterans Pension Protection Act aimed at ending abuses of a low-income veterans' pension program.
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