Trump signs bill allowing veterans to seek care outside broken VA system
This is a good idea. Vets should not have to depend on a universal heath care system.
The Veterans Choice Improvement Act removes barriers that Congress placed around the original "choice" initiative and eliminates an expiration date that would have shuttered the program in August.
Lawmakers created the choice program in 2014 after a massive scandal involving wait time cover-ups at more than 100 VA facilities around the country. It was initially structured as a two-year pilot program that limited when and where veterans could choose to see private doctors. Patients could only use the choice program if they lived more than 40 miles from the nearest VA hospital or if they could not get an appointment from their local VA facility within 30 days.
The choice program has proven controversial since its inception three years ago. Critics have questioned whether increasing veterans' reliance on private doctors might move the VA toward privatization, while proponents of such efforts have accused the VA of resisting steps to implement the program in order to protect the status quo.