A bill that would repeal a law that would require smoking areas in VA healthcare facilities has received its first hearing in the House of Representatives, according to an article on the Stars and Stripes website.
“VA strongly supports this,” VA Deputy Undersecretary for Health Jennifer Lee told a House subcommittee. “We have proposed legislation for many years to reverse the requirement. We believe veteran patients have a right to be protected from secondhand smoke exposure when seeking healthcare.”
Citing VA estimates, Rep. Brad Wenstrup said the department would save about $1.2 million each year spent on maintaining the areas, some of which are climate-controlled.
The American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars took no firm stance on the bill but warned of unintended consequences, such as forcing a lifestyle change and eliminating a form of stress relief and social interaction for veteran patients.
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