06.28.16

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Cosponsors Legislation to Address Ongoing Problems with VA Choice Program

Reform would provide VA with the flexibility it needs to improve care by streamlining and consolidating community care programs, and eliminating many of the bureaucratic hurdles that prevent veterans from accessing care

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today cosponsored legislation that would address ongoing problems with the VA Choice Program. The Improving Veterans Access to Care in the Community Act (S.2633) would provide the VA with the flexibility it needs to improve care by streamlining and consolidating community care programs, and eliminating many of the bureaucratic hurdles that prevent veterans from accessing care.

“Wisconsin veterans have made it clear that the Choice Program is not working as well as it needs to work for them to access the care they need,” said Senator Baldwin. “We need to do all that we can to these fix problems and put solutions in place. This legislation will make the necessary changes to improve the Choice Program, allow the VA to reimburse veterans for emergency and urgent care, and make the VA work more effectively for our veterans.”

The Improving Veterans Access to Care in the Community Act will:

  • Give VA the spending flexibility it needs to quickly provide veterans with non-VA care when necessary. 
  • Simplifies the rules so that private health care providers are better able to serve veterans. 
  • Consolidates the VA's multiple community care programs into a single, efficient program with straightforward eligibility criteria and a single set of clinical and administrative systems.
  • Expands access and reimbursement to emergency treatment and urgent community care for veterans.

The legislation is sponsored by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and cosponsored by Senators Baldwin, Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Tom Udall (D-NM).