Right now, many of our local lawmakers are in their districts for the holiday weekend. A lot of work awaits them when they return to Washington.
Congressman Scott Taylor participated in several events for Independence Day, but we wanted to talk to him about the issues that mean the most to you. Health care is on the minds of many taxpayers in our area as lawmakers work to hash out a plan to reform Obamacare.
Taylor updated us on where the issue is right now. Before the holiday recess the House passed a health care bill, but now the Senate is working on its version. The debate over repeal and replace, or repeal now, replace later continues.
Still, the Congressman is confident lawmakers can get a bill to the President's desk.
“Health care is not going to be fixed like that [snaps] in one piece of legislation,” he explained. “It will be an ongoing process that will have to be tweaked and worked out in a bipartisan way. I think it is important that it is bipartisan. Now, you're not seeing that. I think eventually you will, but leaders must act to be able to give relief and help folks.”
As someone who served as a Navy SEAL, Taylor said veterans' issues are also particularly important to him. Taylor told us he is working on several issues targeting the veteran population and their families.
We recently investigated a challenge many in the military community are facing--a gap in care during the time service members get out of the military and before they head to the VA system. Taylor explained he is working closely with the VA secretary on a public-private partnership on this very issue. The goal is to get vets care and prevent suicides.
We asked the Congressman how long it will take before that program is up and running.
“As fast as it can happen, it's going to happen,” he responded. “We want to save lives. We want to save families We know in this area specifically, there's a huge need there and there's obviously a need across the nation. So we're going to work very hard to make sure we can get a pilot program here and then potentially export that to other areas of the country.”
According to Taylor, the first meetings with stakeholders are scheduled in the next couple weeks.
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