VA looks to overhaul pay, ‘antiquated’ hiring processes in major veteran care bill

The Department of Veterans Affairs is preparing to transform its workforce and health care facilities in anticipation of legislation that would deliver a historic expansion of health care to veterans.

The Senate on Thursday passed the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (Honoring Our PACT) Act. The bill now heads back to the House for final approval before heading to President Joe Biden’s desk.

The legislation, at its core, would expand disability compensation and health care benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service.

VA Secretary Denis McDonough told the Senate VA Committee on Tuesday that the PACT Act, combined with the agency’s fiscal 2023 budget request, will give the VA the resources it needs to prepare its health care workforce to treat up to 3.5 million additional veterans.