In the News

From his perch on the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee, U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn,  R-Fla., who served more than a decade as an Army surgeon, will get a chance to focus on his “Veterans Increased Choice for Transplanted Organs and Recovery (VICTOR) Act” this week. 

Dunn’s proposal would give veterans needing organ transplants more access, allowing those who live 100 miles or more from VA transplant centers have their procedures done at other medical facilities though it would need to be federally certified and cover Medicare patients. Noting the current policy, Dunn pointed to his own district, which includes parts of the Big Bend, as an area where veterans would benefit from his legislation. For veterans in Dunn’s district, the nearest VA facility that performs organ transplants is in Nashville 

The North Florida Republican congressman, who was elected to Congress for the first time back in November, brought out his bill back in May. Dunn will get his chance to reel in support for his bill on Tuesday when it’s scheduled to go before the Veterans Affairs Committee. 

On Friday, Dunn made the case for his bill. 

“The VICTOR Act is a commonsense solution to a problem that is quite literally hurting our veterans and preventing them from receiving timely organ transplants,” Dunn said. “A veteran in Ocala would have to travel more than 600 miles to receive a new liver, despite having seven federally certified transplant centers in Florida. Many veterans are forced to sit on waiting lists for organs they may never receive. This needs to change.”

So far, Dunn has reeled in 25  co-sponsors including three from the Sunshine State as  Republican U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, who is the vice-chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Dennis Ross and John Rutherford are backing his proposal.  So far, there is no similar proposal over in the Senate.