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Marco Rubio: Only Licensed Providers Should Conduct Medical Disability Exams for VA

April 15, 2019 - 9:00am
Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wants only licensed health care providers to conduct medical disability examinations (MDEs) on behalf of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Last week, Rubio paired up with U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., to bring out the “Better Examiner Standards and Transparency for Veterans Act" (BEST for Vets Act) after reports surfaced that physicians with revoked medical licenses were conducting MDEs for the VA. 

“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,” Rubio said. “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.”

“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,” Sinema said.

The bill has the support of the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

“We are pleased with the introduction of the proposed legislation to ensure that only licensed health care providers furnish disability examinations. We support its swift passage,” said Heather Ansley, the associate executive director of government relations of PVA.

Rubio’s proposal would “prohibit contract health care providers who have had their licenses revoked in any state from carrying out MDEs on behalf of the VA" and make the VA secretary ensure “only licensed health care providers are conducting MDEs" and submit an annual report to Congress on the matter. 

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. So far, there is no counterpart in the U.S. House. 


Please support and/or sponsor needed legislation that will correct the inequities directed at Blue Water Veterans while serving during the Vietnam War, as noted from the February 2019 ruling that VA erred in policy.

Ms Sinema: Recently (February 2019), a US District Court ruled that the VA had overstepped boundaries by excluding Blue Water Navy Veterans who had served aboard US Navy ships In Vietnam from being compensated for disabilities as a result of their exposure to Agent Orange (Dioxin). As a retiree who served aboard USS Saint Paul (CA-73) in the coastal waters of Vietnam (1966-1969),

If this true that is not right at all. No wonder we get poor services.

Thank you for really caring about our Veterans!! My husband is a DV and hoping he can get a100% Disability! He has gotten worse with his TBI and now need more help from From VA.

I put in for an increase for both knees, I was sent to a contracted physician and he spent maybe 5 minutes with me didn’t listen to me at all and wrote very little down. I believe the VA contracts these Doctors for the very purpose of writing a negative report and there by denying a claim. They in essence are told what to say and what to write by the VA because they aren't licensed to practice and it’s the only way they can draw a paycheck. If they aren't licensed to practice they don’t have any business doing these exams they were suspended for a reason. It’s a crooked system that only works for some but not all of us. I can assure you both my knees are a mess and I’m getting injections every 3 months for chronic pain. It’s all bs.

My husband’s PTSD disability was rejected because (the examiner said) his alcoholism caused his PTSD. Stupid doctors. Thanks to the DAV for getting70% disability rating for my husband.

I suspect that's a good idea that helps no one. The only way that adds value for a veteran would be (1) publish a list of approved veterans, with their cost and fees, and (2) have the VA subsidize those costs The only reason anyone would have a need to go elsewhere is because the VA isn't getting the job done in that particular case.

I suspect you don’t know what a VA disability exam’s not for treatment purposes.

This is just of the many reasons our veterans are committing suicide in parking lots and lobbies. Substandard care for those who put their life on the line for this country should not be allowed and Congress should be ashamed of themselves for letting this happen. If any of you had served in the military you would understand the needs of our veteran community. A tour of base is not going to give you that info. You need to get into the nitty gritty of it and talk to the real troops, not the ones hand picked to speak to you. Bit since that will never happen, you will never know the truth of what we need.

Not only licensed but QUALIFIED for the C&P exams! My last exam was done by a nurse practitioner for an ortho (knees) and was compared to an entirely different process done the year before and the VA used this to drop my rating by 20%!!!

Run for the Republican nomination in 2020, Marco! Kasich and Weld, too! Maybe even David Jolly!

Thank you Senator we veterans need that so bad . Please help us with being able to go outside drs

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