Sens. Moran and McCain: A great day for veterans and Veterans Choice

Sens. Moran and McCain: A great day for veterans and Veterans Choice

President Trump took his first concrete step Wednesday to address chronic problems in the Department of Veterans Affairs, signing a bill that extends stopgap services for veterans to go outside the VA medical system for care.

Mark Lucas, executive director of Concerned Veterans for America, commended Trump for upholding a campaign promise to make veterans a priority, but said more needed to be done. "Congress now has some time to work with Shulkin on broader, more permanent choice reforms".

Veterans Choice is created to allow veterans who have waited more than 30 days for an appointment at a VA facility, or who live more than 40 miles from one, instead to get care from private providers who then bill the VA.

The Phoenix pilot program is a test-run by VA Secretary David Shulkin. Today, we made great progress in our mission to ensure every veteran who has served our country has access to high-quality health care. "And I think we'll get more providers jumping on board, and we'll get more veterans using it, if the time to set up those appointments is reduced dramatically".


Trump and Tester say the bill makes it less hard for veterans to get care.

The extension of the bill passed by Congress authorized the sharing of medical records to hospitals outside the VA and modifies the procedures for reimbursement for private hospitals.

Though the Choice Program has much room for improvement, and growing pains have certainly accompanied the law's expedited implementation, it has improved access to healthcare for our nation's veterans. Only 61 percent of veterans surveyed said they got an appointment for urgent primary care when they needed it, according to VA data. "The launch of this partnership will enable VA to provide more care for veterans in their neighborhoods".

Congresswoman Stefanik recently reintroduced her legislation, the Support Our Military Caregivers Act, to reform the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Family Caregiver Program to help better support family members caring for seriously wounded veterans.

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