Tipton Pushing for Commonsense Veterans Measures

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Scott Tipton (CO) has co-sponsored two pieces of legislation that would improve access to health care for veterans, as well as protect the integrity of military awards and medals.

The Healthy Vets Act (H.R. 635) would enable local hospitals and physicians to contract with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide local health care for veterans, rather than requiring that they receive care exclusively at VA medical facilities, which can be geographically limited.

“Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District is blessed to have many veterans call it home. A good portion of the district is rural, and many veterans have to drive long distances to receive health care at VA facilities, passing other medical facilities along the way,” said Tipton. “This commonsense bill would expand veterans’ access to health care by allowing them to receive it closer to home.”

The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 (H.R. 258) is identical to the version that passed the House in the previous Congress with bipartisan support.

“America’s military heroes exemplify integrity, courage and selflessness, and one of the ways our nation recognizes their valor is through military medals and awards. It is appalling to think that there are individuals out there who would take advantage of the actions of these true heroes by falsely claiming to be award recipients for personal profit. There needs to be real consequences for these frauds,” Tipton said. “I was proud to support the Stolen Valor Act in the previous term and am committed to working to advance it once more in this Congress in order to uphold the integrity of our nation’s highest honors.”

In United States v. Alvarez the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 an unconstitutional abridgment of the First Amendment because it “sought to control and suppress all false statements on this one subject, without regard as to whether the lie was made for the purpose of material gain.” 

H.R. 258 seeks to address the Court’s concerns and specifically states: “whoever, with intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit, fraudulently holds oneself out to be a recipient of a decoration or medal shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than one year, or both."