With McSally Leadership, House Votes to Save & Improve Veterans Access to Community Care
WASHINGTON, DC – With U.S. Representative Martha McSally’s support, the House passed critical legislation today to save and improve veterans’ community care programs so Arizona veterans can access the care they have earned when and where they need it. The VA Choice Program—landmark legislation that allows veterans to access alternative care when the VA cannot provide them the timely care they need—will run out of funding this month without Congressional intervention. This legislation will ensure seamless care for veterans and strengthen the VA Choice Program by consolidating the VA’s community care programs into one cohesive program that is simpler for veterans to use. The VA Mission Act is strongly supported by President Trump and the administration has urged Congress to send it to the President’s desk before Memorial Day.
“Our heroes deserve access to the quality care they have earned, regardless of whether they live in a city or a small town. No veteran should be unable to access care just because of their zip code. This bill strengthens and improves the speed and accessibility of care for our veterans by consolidating multiple VA community care programs into one program that will make it easier for veterans to understand and access. When I was a caregiver myself for someone requiring complex cancer care at the VA and in the community, I experienced first-hand the complexity and confusion with the multiple VA care community programs. Streamlining these programs into one will provide better efficiency, clarity, and care tailored to each veteran’s unique medical needs,” said Congresswoman McSally. “We must uphold our responsibility to care for the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our country and our freedoms—and this bill doubles down on the covenant we made with our troops. The President appropriately pressed Congress to act, and I urge the Senate to take this up as quickly as possible.”
Funds for the VA Choice Program are expected to run out as early as May 31, 2018. The VA Mission Act continues funding for the program and enhances it through three main provisions.
First, the bill would streamline the department’s duplicative community care programs into one cohesive program. Second, it creates an independent process for reviewing VA’s assets to ensure veterans can access the care they have earned. Third, it expands the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Post-9/11 Caregiver Program so that family caregivers and veterans injured during World War II, the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars are also eligible for full comprehensive caregiver assistance.
Congresswoman McSally has regularly met with leaders of VA’s across Arizona, including the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System and the Phoenix VA Health Care System. As a veteran who receives care from the VA herself, she understands the difficulties veterans often face when trying to access care, especially if they live in rural areas. That’s why Rep. McSally has been hard at work in Congress to improve the VA Choice Program so that Arizona veterans can receive quality care faster and closer to home.