CRAMER: Veterans Deserve Better From Choice Program
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives today extending the Veterans Choice Program.
The Veterans Choice Program (Choice Program) allows veterans to receive care from non-Veterans Health Administration (VHA) providers when access to care isn’t nearby or readily available. Congress created the Choice Program in 2014 to solve long wait times at VHA facilities.
S. 544 amends the Veterans Access Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 by eliminating the termination date for the Veterans Choice Program, originally scheduled to sunset on August 7, 2017. The VA estimates that up to $1 billion of the original $10 billion will remain on August 7.
“I appreciate the extension of the Veterans Choice Program since it allows our veterans better access to health care. However, the program still needs improvement and we can do better,” said Cramer. “While I’m certainly grateful for the hard work the North Dakota VA has done to decrease appointment scheduling times, our veterans should be waiting hours – not days – for appointments to be scheduled. We owe them that level of responsiveness, and I intend to continue working with Congress and the Trump Administration to make it happen.”
Veterans seeking to use the Veterans Choice Program should call 1-866-606-8198 to confirm their eligibility and to schedule an appointment.