Senators crack down on unlicensed VA doctors


Senator Marco Rubio (R) is trying to ensure that only licensed health care providers are designated to conduct medical disability examinations (MDEs) on behalf of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

In a bipartisan proposal introduced by the South Florida Republican to crack down on unlicensed VA doctors, the legislation would “prohibit contract health care providers who have had their licenses revoked in any state from carrying out MDEs on behalf of the VA.” In addition, the legislation also calls for the VA secretary to make sure that “only licensed health care providers are conducting MDEs.” Finally, an annual report would have to be provided to Congress to ensure that veterans are receiving the adequate care that they deserve.

To make sure that all of these demands are follow through, Senator Rubio teamed up with Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D) to unveil the “Better Examiner Standards and Transparency for Veterans Act (BEST for VETS Act) after being informed of reports of physicians who had their medical licenses revoked but still conducted MDEs for the VA.

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Speaking on the issue, Senator Rubio commented that “health care providers who have had their medical licenses revoked have no business performing exams on our nation’s veterans, but a loophole in current law allows this to happen.” So, “this bill closes that loophole and ensures that only health care providers who meet the VA’s requirements are able to treat our service men and women.”

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Senator Sinema echoed in the Florida Senator’s remarks, adding that “our veterans have earned the highest quality care, and it’s unacceptable for the VA to deliver anything less. Our legislation protects veterans from unlicensed medical providers and helps ensure they receive disability examinations from providers they can trust.”

The bill was directed to the U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and it does not have a counterpart bill in the House.

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Daniel Molina was the Opinion Editor of his high school’s newspaper, and he was also Editor-in-Chief of Miami Dade College’s Urbana literary and arts magazine wherein he also won the 2013 FCSAA Best Fiction Story in the State of Florida Award. He’s currently pursuing his Bachelor’s in English Literature. Hobbies in his free time include reading, writing and watching films and basketball.