The Veterans Choice Program is in desperate need of reform. It’s arbitrary requirements and poor management are a testament to a past culture of failed VA leadership. But that could all change if Congress has the courage to overhaul the current choice system and give veterans the ability to access the health care they’ve earned.
Today, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) introduced the Veterans Empowerment Act. This piece of legislation would bring much needed updates to the VA, the Veterans Health Administration, and the way the VA administers health care. It would expand veterans’ access to private-sector doctors so they’re able to receive care when and where they need it. No more following the “40 mile/30 day” rule in the current Choice Program; this legislation would give much broader access for all veterans.
More choice is the best way to reform the VA and care for veterans. Choice over health care puts the veteran first, and allows the VA to focus its efforts on combat related injuries. Choice for veterans will serve to strengthen and preserve the VA so it can refocus on its mission, to care “for him who shall have borne the battle.”