Lance Votes To Bring Much-Needed Reforms To Vets Medical System
Legislation Includes $5 billion for the Veterans Choice Program
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today backed the VA MISSION Act of 2018 – legislation to provide much-needed reforms to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical system, including allowing veterans the choice to opt-in for community care.
“Four years ago, news reports of hundreds of veterans being put on secret waitlists at VA facilities shocked the Nation,” Lance said. “Congress then quickly passed the Veterans Choice Program (VCP) to ensure those veterans suffering from substandard care at the VA had timely access to care in their local communities. Today Congress moved to fund fully and permanently reform the VCP to deliver high quality health care to veterans of all eras.”
The VA MISSION Act seeks to give greater decision-making power to our veterans and provide clarity regarding eligibility standards for veterans to receive health care in at non-VA facilities. The legislation also improves reimbursement and record-sharing systems for community providers while also mandating that the VA conduct a much-needed assessment of its outdated medical infrastructure.
In addition, the reform measure corrects an injustice for older veterans by expanding eligibility for the VA’s comprehensive caregiver program to all generations of seriously disabled veterans while maintaining the caregiver benefits currently available. Full comprehensive caregiver assistance is currently only available to veterans injured on or after September 11, 2001. Lance and other lawmakers have supported allowing all veterans to be eligible, including those injured during World War II and the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars.
A separate bill, voted along with the MISSION Act, would expand Agent Orange benefits and care to an estimated 90,000 ‘Blue Water Navy’ veterans of Vietnam.
The most respected veterans and military service organizations — including the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Paralyzed Veterans of America – support this historic legislation.
“Today the House voted to keep the promise to all those American veterans who have ‘borne the battle’,” concluded Lance.