Health Care

New VA health care choices ignite spending fight between White House, lawmakers

New VA health care choices ignite spending fight between White House, lawmakers”

President Trump has signed the VA Mission Act into law, cementing the agency's plans to overhaul the Veterans Choice Program and other community health programs across the country.

The Veterans Choice Program originated in response to the VA wait time scandal during which VA leaders falsified wait times.

The proposed bill would allow veterans to seek care from a private physician, with the approval of a VA health care provider, when they think that VA's health care systems can't provide the care they need.

The caregiver portion of the legislation will expand an existing program for those who take care of disabled veterans from post-9/11 conflicts.

"On the anniversary of D-Day, we're reminded of the sacrifices of our courageous veterans and that we owe our service members a debt that can never be repaid". "Our veterans fought for our freedoms, they shouldn't have to fight the system to receive the care they need and deserve".

"Many, many veterans and their families as a result of this bill will certainly live a much, much better life", said Haynes. That's when a TV news investigation found that veterans were waiting so long for care that in some cases they were dying before they ever were seen by a doctor.

The goal of AIR is to help the VA become more nimble and better able to provide care for veterans, the congressman said.

"Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend the historic signing of the VA MISSION Act at the White House, which will greatly improve care by giving veterans more flexibility and choice", Mast noted on Thursday.

Veterans groups cheered the legislation as major step toward improving veterans care.

A bipartisan group of senators is seeking to pay for the law by adding new funds to cover the VA private care program, but the White House has been quietly working to block that plan, saying it is "anathema to responsible spending".

Bergman sits on the VA Committee and Chairs the VA Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

The act establishes standards for veterans to consult with the private sector for "timely and effective care".

"Some degree of community care is necessary, because no one should have to wait three months or drive 200 miles to get a flu shot", said John Hoellwarth, communications director for AMVETS.

He added, "You shouldn't have to ask Congress every year for money to take care of veterans".

The new law also aims to support the renovation of VA facilities, as well as an initiative that intends to monitor controlled substance prescriptions of VA providers to avoid opioid addiction among veterans.

The legislation would create a presidentially appointed commission to review the closure of underperforming VA facilities.

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