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Cramer supports passage of the VA Mission Act

Sep 20 2018

Legislation includes $5.2 million for the VA Choice Program and improves community care programs

Congressman Kevin Cramer praised Congressional passage of a major piece of legislation to improve veterans’ care. The measure passed the House on May 16, the Senate on May 23, was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on June 6th 2018.

The VA Mission Act strengthens and improves the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system for the benefit of the nation’s veterans. The bill consolidates VA’s multiple community care programs and authorities and provides further funding for the Choice Program.  
“The VA Choice Program is a vital service for many of our veterans, particularly those in rural states like North Dakota,” said Cramer. “We owe it to the men and women who have served to make sure this program is running effectively to meet their needs. The VA Mission Act passed today will fund the Choice Program while providing timely access to care.
The legislation includes $5.2 billion for the VA Choice Program to keep it running and improves community care programs while creating a fair process for reviewing the Department’s assets to ensure veterans are receiving the care they have earned.    

The legislation, passed as an amendment to S. 2372, consists of three bills that have been considered by the House or Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs and are supported by major veterans service organizations. They include the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, The American Legion, AMVETS (American Veterans), the Vietnam Veterans of America, and 33 other groups who signed a letter of support. 

Cramer has consistently supported improving the Choice Program and funding for vital health services. Since being elected to Congress, Cramer has had a Veterans Advisory Board, made up of North Dakota veterans organization leaders who provide guidance on important issues for retired service members.

Additional Highlights in the Legislation
  • Removes arbitrary 30-day/40-mile barriers to veterans’ care in the community.
  • Consolidates seven VA community care programs into one streamlined program.
  • Authorizes access to walk-in community clinics for enrolled veterans who have previously used VA health care services in the last two years.
  • Requires the VA to grant veterans access to health care in the private sector if they and their VA doctor agree it’s in their best interest or if their closest VA is determined “deficient” compared to other VA and non-VA facilities.
  • Creates a commission tasked with reviewing VA buildings nationwide and recommending which ones to keep and where the VA could invest.

VA Mission Act of 2018 Summary: U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Congress sends massive veterans bill to Trump, opening door to more private health care

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