Some veterans love the VA and have no issue seeking care or staying at its facilities. Some have had bad experiences at the VA and would rather go somewhere else.
Veterans chose to serve our country. They should be able to choose how they receive their health care.
While a program exists that allows some degree of choice for veterans, it has been poorly implemented and does not offer the real freedom veterans deserve. Under the Veterans Choice Program, veterans can only seek care outside the VA if they can’t be seen within a month of requesting an appointment or if they can’t be seen at VA facilities within a 40-mile radius.
With the countless scandals occurring inside the Department of Veterans Affairs over the past three years and continue to this day, this program simply isn’t enough. Long wait times and inaccessibility of care are just the tip of the iceberg concerningthe VA’s woes.
Several scandals have surfaced in the past month alone:
- Missing veteran found dead in VA hospital parking lot
- Michigan VA unsafe blood transfusion practices prove near-fatal for veteran
- Opioid theft at VA facilities is a continuing problem
- OIG confirmed cockroaches in VA kitchen, veterans’ food
- Raw and expired food served at VA hospital
- Boston VA blunders continue to risk veterans’ information
These are just the scandals that don’t have anything to do with wait lists. Needless to say, we shouldn’t be forcing veterans to receive their care at hospitals like these when they could have alternatives.
In a hearing yesterday, VA Secretary David Shulkin began to outline his plans for VA health care choice reform. CVA has already proposed reforms to the Choice Program and veterans health care in general that would create real freedom of choice for veterans and access to quality care where that veteran chooses.
Read more about CVA’s policy reforms in the Fixing Veterans Health Care Task Force.
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