Sen. McCain Wants VA Choice Care Program Permanent

It is no secret that the Veteran’s Administration (VA) has been under fire the last few years. Much of this criticism is warranted. More than a few vets have been treated unfairly and poorly when they sought out assistance from the VA. Much of the abysmal treatment has been directed at those who need assistance the most; namely, those with medical or emotional problems.

A program to help vets was passed through Congress. It is called the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was one of the first proponents of the legislation, which was drafted as a temporary measure. Now, McCain wants the program made permanent even though the program has not been without a variety of problems.

In a statement, McCain said of the program: “Unfortunately, the VA has been slow and reluctant to implement this program since the law’s enactment. It has failed to adequately distribute and educate qualified veterans about the Choice Card, restricted some veterans’ eligibility to receive it, and tried to move critical funds away from the program altogether.”

VA logoThe VA is on record as saying that they do not believe the 3-year-pilot program is working. The program, in simple terms, allows eligible veterans to find private medical care if they have been waiting more than 30 days for a VA-based appointment. The program also allows those who live more than 40 miles from a VA facility to get assistance closer to home through private medical care.

One of the most damaging accusations made against the VA by both veteran’s groups and members of Congress is that the VA has deliberately botched the program in order to make it appear that the program does not work. To make matters worse, the VA has asked Congress to allow it (the VA) to use up to $3.3 billion in program funds to help keep certain VA hospitals open. In what angered many supporters of the program, Congress complied with the request.

McCain’s new bill would make the program permanent and would also remove any distance requirements, thus making all veterans eligible for private care no matter where they lived. Current VA Secretary, Robert McDonald, does not like the idea one little bit. He said that his departmental officials are “not in favor of privatizing the VA.”

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Robert Partain

Robert Partain has been a professional writer for over 25 years. He spent ten years on active duty in the Army working as a medic and training NCO. While he covers any topic associated with military life, he specializes in writing about legislation that can affect active duty service members and veterans. Robert currently lives in the small town of Arab, Alabama.
Robert Partain
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