Maintaining Veterans’ Freedom and Flexibility for Health Care

April 5, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - This afternoon, the House of Representatives passed legislation extending the Veterans Choice Program. This program gives veterans who live too far away from a Veterans Affairs facility or who cannot schedule an appointment within 30 days, the ability to receive medical care in their community.

After passage, Congressman Gibbs released the following statement:

“In 2014, the scandals of secret wait lists and veterans dying waiting to see a doctor rocked the Department of Veterans Affairs. It exposed the deep level of incompetence and the reality of what government-run health care looks like.  I’ve been committed to improving the care our veterans receive, whether it’s from the Veterans Hospital Administration or a medical professional outside the VA system.  That’s why I supported legislation in 2014 allowing veterans living 40 or more miles away from a VA facility to see a private doctor of their choice.  The Veterans Choice Program provided resources for the VA to pay for these visits.  The program was set to expire in August of this year but the legislation passed today eliminates that sunset provision.

“When it comes to veterans’ health care, they should be given the freedom and flexibility to see any doctor they want.  We should be increasing options and encouraging competition to ensure those who bravely served our nation can get the best care possible at their convenience, not that of a VA bureaucrat.”