Tuesday, February 28, 2017
New VA Secretary Proposes Lifting Restrictions on Veterans Seeking Private Care
Weekly Standard by Tatiana Lozano
On Sunday, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin told the Disabled American Veterans conference in Arlington, Virginia that he was thinking about lifting restrictions on veterans who wish to receive private medical care.
The program that already allows certain veterans to receive non-VA care, the Choice Program, was originally instituted in 2014 after it was found that many VA facilities had long waiting times, even to the point that people awaiting care died in some cases. As the law now stands, however, the program allows veterans to receive private care only if they live 40 miles from a VA facility or if they have waited more than 30 days for an appointment. Shulkin proposed doing away with those requirements, as reported by Stars and Stripes.
"We know that this program, even though it was well-intentioned, was extremely complex and bureaucratic, and it was too hard to get the care that you all deserve to get when you need to go into the community," he said. "So, we want to simplify it. We want to make it easier to use to work better for you, and we're going to work hard to do that."