WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today commended the Senate’s passage of the Veterans Mobility Safety Act (H.R. 3471) with provisions from Sen. Moran to improve the quality and safety of mobility equipment for disabled veterans. The legislation, which was spearheaded by Sen. Moran in the Senate, also includes language to improve the accessibility of hearing aid services for veterans seeking treatment at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care facilities.
“More than 1 million American veterans live with disabilities connected to their service,” said Sen. Moran. “We must uphold our promise to provide quality care to those who sacrificed for our country. That care extends to the installation of equipment like wheelchair lifts and reduced-effort steering systems, which allow disabled veterans greater mobility and independence. This legislation makes certain the VA adheres to and enforces the highest quality and safety standards for mobility products.”
Current eligible disabled veterans may access automotive mobility products and benefits through the VA’s Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) program. This legislation would require the VA to implement comprehensive quality standards for the providers of AAE mobility equipment. This will ensure that disabled veterans, their families and other drivers stay safe on our roads with properly-installed equipment from certified providers.
Sen. Moran continued, “I am also pleased this legislation includes common-sense improvements to increase veterans’ access to hearing specialists. Approximately 60 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans experience hearing loss and should not be forced to wait weeks or months to receive the care they deserve. There is a growing demand of veterans in need of services related to hearing loss, and this provides the VA with greater flexibility to treat our heroes.”
The language addressing hearing specialists is based on standalone legislation Sen. Moran introduced last year, the Veterans Hearing Aid Access and Assistance Act (S. 564).
H.R. 3471 is supported by numerous veterans’ organizations, including Paralyzed Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, Blinded Veterans Association, Military Order of the Purple Heart and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Full text is available here.