Washington – Congressman Jack Bergman, Chairman of the VA Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, released the following statement following House passage of the VA MISSION Act:
“For years, Veterans in rural communities of northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula have struggled to access the care they’ve earned in a timely and convenient setting. While the VA Choice Program was meant to provide Veterans with flexibility in receiving care, its results were far from acceptable. From Veterans not receiving care, to providers not receiving reimbursement for the care provided, the shortfalls and red-tape of the Choice Program have been problematic for years. The VA MISSION Act addresses these shortcomings, and if signed into law, will provide rural Veterans the flexibility needed to receive the care they’ve rightfully earned,” said Bergman.
Congressman Bergman continued, “One of my top priorities on the VA Committee has been not only replacing this broken system, but making sure we get it right this time. Today’s vote in the House to pass the VA MISSION Act was a monumental step towards making healthcare accessible for our rural Veterans.”
The bipartisan VA MISSION Act passed the House Wednesday and must now pass the Senate before heading to President Trump’s desk for final approval.
The MISSION Act replaces the VA Choice Act and:
- Consolidates seven duplicative community care programs into one cohesive program;
- Removes the arbitrary 30-day, 40-mile barriers in the Choice Program;
- Expands Veteran choice and access to timely, quality care;
- Allows for a one-year “funding bridge” to ensure Veterans have continuity of care while the Choice Program is phased-out;
- Creates a fair and transparent process for a comprehensive audit of VA’s assets that is insulated from politics;
- Transitions VA from a reliance on outdated and inefficient facilities to a more modern infrastructure based on current and future medical models;
- Creates equity between seriously injured pre-9/11 and post-9/11 veterans by allowing pre-9/11 caregivers to receive a monthly stipend and other support; and
- Contains numerous provisions that would expand VA’s internal capacity to care for veterans in VA medical facilities.