Education of amputee troops targeted by new legislation

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) on Thursday introduced the Injured and Amputee Veterans Bill of Rights, which would require that wounded veterans receive information and counseling on their rights to prosthetics and other healthcare.

The bill would require the Department of Veterans Administration to post a “list of rights” granted under law that apply to veterans who require prosthetic limbs and orthotic care.

“This bill educates veterans of their rights and expectations for quality care and empowers them to advocate for themselves in order to obtain the most appropriate care that meets their individual needs,” Ellmers said. “To ensure these rights are upheld, this legislation requires the VA to resolve all and any disputes filed against a VA clinic or healthcare provider. We must do everything we can to aid the brave men and women of our military who have sacrificed so much for our country, and this bill is just one step in the right direction.”

The bipartisan legislation would further educate veterans on their rights to new prosthetic technology, the ability to receive care from a practitioner of their choice and the right to a second opinion.

Although veterans have these rights under current law, Ellmers said that many veterans and VA officials are unaware of them.

“For far too long, our veterans have suffered prolonged hardships due to inconsistencies in the care they receive upon returning home from defending our country,” Ellmers said.