Veterans Can Find Health Care Closer To Home Under New Senate Bill

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tennessee veterans will find health care closer to home under new legislation passed by the Senate, according to Senator Lamar Alexander. Among the many benefits of the legislation, veterans in Tennessee will now have the ability to seek medical care outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regardless if they are able to get into a VA facility within 30 days or live more than 40 miles away from a VA health care facility.

Senator Alexander said, “This bipartisan legislation is good news for veterans in Tennessee and across the nation. It is our responsibility to ensure the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to serve our nation have timely access to more health care choices, and this bill will do just that. I applaud Chairman Phil Roe for his leadership on this legislation and hard work on behalf of our nation’s veterans, and I look forward to President Trump signing this legislation into law.”

The John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka, and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act yesterday passed the Senate by a vote of 92-5. It passed the House of Representatives last week by a vote of 347-70 and is supported by President Donald Trump and Acting Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie. In addition, 38 veteran and military advocacy groups wrote a letter to both chambers of Congress in support of the bill.

Specifically, the bill:

  • Provides $5.2 billion for the Veterans Choice Fund.
  • Ends the arbitrary “30/day, 40-mile rule” that prevented veterans from seeking medical care outside the VA if they were able to get into a VA facility within 30 days or lived within 40 miles of a VA health care facility.
  • Expands the VA Caregiver Program to pre-9/11 veterans and their families.
  • Creates a new system of community care, enabling veterans to have access to walk-in community clinics outside the VA system.
  • Incentivizes the use of telemedicine to help treat veterans.
  • Modernizes VA facilities and provides additional resources for the hiring of new doctors, nurses and staff.

Senator Alexander has supported additional legislation to help Tennessee’s veterans including:

 


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