‘More Choice And Fewer Barriers To Care’ For Veterans

The VA Mission Act ‘Fulfills The President’s Commitment To Provide Veterans With More Choice’


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “The VA MISSION Act is a major milestone in an ongoing effort by Chairman Isakson and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs to ensure our nation fulfills its promises to our men and women in uniform … What Sen. Isakson and his colleagues have put together is one of the most comprehensive reform packages for veterans’ healthcare since the VA was created in 1930. It builds on the substantial success of the Veterans Choice Act and harnesses provisions of fifteen different Senate-introduced bills. This bill streamlines support systems, expands access to care, and provides new tools for attracting and re-training top caregivers.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 5/21/2018)

SEN. JOHNNY ISAKSON (R-GA), Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman:This bicameral, bipartisan legislation is truly a testament to what can be accomplished when Congress works together…. These reforms are some of the most significant changes proposed to-date to improve the VA’s current healthcare delivery system to help provide veterans with more choice and fewer barriers to care.” (U.S. Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, Press Release, 5/16/2018)


Bipartisan Bill Will ‘Extend And Reform The Veterans Choice Program’

The legislation would “extend and reform the Veterans Choice Program to allow more private care options. The ‘VA Mission Act,’ would also lift the restrictions on family caregiver benefits, which are now limited to post-9/11 veterans, and extend them to the caregivers of veterans of all eras.” (“House Passes Major Overhaul of Veterans Choice Program,” Military.com, 5/16/2018)

  • “More than a million veterans annually rely on a Department of Veterans Affairs program [Choice program] to get private-sector medical care at VA expense … In all, 2 million veterans have used the program since its inception, including 550,000 this year.” (USA Today, 5/17/2018)
  • SEN. ISAKSON: “This legislation consolidates the VA’s seven community care programs into one streamlined program to improve efficiency and help remove barriers to care for veterans. This bill also makes important reforms to the VA caregivers program while expanding access to veterans of all eras.” (U.S. Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, Press Release, 5/08/2018)

The VA MISSION Act passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, by a vote of 347-70. (S. 2372, Roll Call Vote #189: Passed 347-70: R 231-0; D 116-70, 5/16/2018)


Veterans’ Organizations Offer ‘Strong Support’ For VA MISSION Act

THIRTY-EIGHT VETERANS & MILITARY SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS: “On behalf of the millions of veterans, service members and family members we represent and advocate for, we offer our strong support for the ‘VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018,’ also known as the ‘VA MISSION Act of 2018.’” (Veterans and Military Service Organizations, Letter to Sens. Isakson and Tester and Reps. Roe and Walz, 5/07/2018)

  • “As leaders of the nation’s veterans and military service organizations, we … call on all members of Congress to seize this historic opportunity to improve the lives of veterans, their families and caregivers by swiftly passing the ‘VA MISSION Act of 2018.’” (Veterans and Military Service Organizations, Letter to Sens. Isakson and Tester and Reps. Roe and Walz, 5/07/2018)


Acting VA Secretary: ‘Our Nation’s Heroes Deserve A Big Win, And This Bill Does Just That’

ROBERT WILKIE, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs: “This long-awaited legislation streamlines VA’s community care programs, strengthens health care options for our nation’s Veterans, whether in the VA or in the community, and, most importantly, centers those decisions on what is best for our Veterans. With this strong bipartisan showing in the House, I urge the Senate to bring the bill across the finish line as soon as possible so that President Trump can sign it by Memorial Day. Our nation’s heroes deserve a big win, and this bill does just that.” (Statement, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs, 5/17/2018)

WHITE HOUSE: “The Administration strongly supports House passage of S. 2372, the VA MISSION Act of 2018. This legislation would fundamentally transform elements of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system, fulfill the President’s commitment to provide veterans with more choice in their healthcare providers and prevent a funding shortfall in the current Veterans Choice Program (Choice Program). The bill is the product of months of work between the legislative and executive branches, and reflects an agreement reached between the Administration and key leaders in the House and Senate.” (Statement of Administration Policy, S. 2372, Executive Office of the President, 5/15/2018)



Related Issues: Veterans