Given the VA’s past performance, the House Veterans Affairs Committee said it’s worried about the implementation, timeline and budget for the new Veterans Choice Program. The VA said it will tap into the expertise of private medical providers to help meet the growing demand for veterans health care.
Congress is beginning to get a clearer picture of the Veterans Affairs Department’s new Choice Program, which lets veterans access private sector community care providers if they choose. But members on the House VA Committee question the department’s continued involvement in scheduling appointments for veterans.
Since 2014, when Veterans Affairs Department reform legislation became law, the VA has been expanding its network of outside health care providers. The Choice Program recently underwent a major review. Dr. Baligh Yehia, assistant deputy undersecretary for health at the Veterans Health Administration, talked about the changes and what’s still ahead on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Senators have two very different proposals to redesign the Veterans Choice Program. Both pieces of legislation represent very different ideologies and sides of a debate that Congress, the Veterans Affairs Department, veterans service organizations and federal employee groups have been having for the past three years.