Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) September 7, 2017 – The Senate unanimously voted to approve a bill that would provide funding for the almost depleted Veterans Choice Program. The legislation provides a temporary fix to what has been a looming problem for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The $2.1 billion emergency spending package would prevent the interruption of health care for countless veterans. The program would have enough money to sustain it for six more months.
“The Veterans Choice Program was established to reduce appointment wait times for veterans seeking quality medical care,” commented Jim Fausone, a Michigan veterans attorney. “The bill’s passage is a key step forward as the VA cannot afford to let the program expire and have our veterans struggling for health care once again.”
The Veterans Choice Program enables veterans to venture outside the VA system to seek private-sector health care. Patients who do not have access to a nearby VA facility or who face wait times of more than 30 days can benefit from it. The program was set up following the 2014 appointment wait times scandal at VA hospitals nationwide.
House and Senate lawmakers negotiated the bipartisan funding deal in response to recent warnings from the VA. In June, VA Secretary David Shulkin cautioned that the program would run out of money by mid-August without action from Congress. Congress ignored his request to authorize the VA to transfer funds around in order to keep the program operational.
“It is critical that the Veterans Choice Program has the funding to continue offering timely appointments for veterans in their own communities,” Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee chairman, said in a statement.
The House unanimously passed the legislation in late July after incorporating new language. Democrat lawmakers had demanded a revision to allay the concerns of several veterans organizations. They feared that the Veterans Choice Program neglected VA services in favor of private-sector medical care.
The $2.1 billion spending package is viewed as an effort to keep the Veterans Choice Program running while the VA, veterans groups and Congress consider how the agency approaches private-sector medical care.
Learn more at http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800
- VA launches technological upgrades to mobile health care system for veterans
President Trump announced a new initiative to improve veterans’ access to health care using technology. Several tools will serve to expand the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) existing telehealth services, including a new application that allows patients to schedule appointments from their mobile devices. Veterans can use their smartphones or computers to connect with their […]
- Lawmakers want answers about slow VA reimbursements that are hurting veterans’ credit
A bipartisan group of 40 House lawmakers wrote a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin. They criticized the VA for slow reimbursements to private medical providers, which are damaging the credit reports of veterans who use the Veterans Choice Program. The Veterans Choice Program allows eligible veterans to seek health care […]
- Memphis VA Broke Protocols Regarding Veteran Wait List
Kristina L. Derro, Esq. After complaints from Congress and special counsel, a government audit found that 140 veterans who were seeking specialized service at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Memphis were wrongly booted from wait lists. Some of these veterans had already been waiting months. The complaints asserted that the VA was attempting […]
- VA discloses employee firings and disciplinary actions online to public
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in July posted an online list of adverse actions taken against employees this year including demotions, suspensions and removals. It marked the first time such information was shared publicly. VA officials described the list as an effort to increase transparency in the department. The list shows that disciplinary actions […]