House considers major changes to VA health care

By NIKKI WENTLING | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 24, 2017

WASHINGTON – Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin argued Tuesday that a House plan for veterans’ health care was too restrictive and wouldn’t offer enough veterans the choice of private-sector care.

House lawmakers and VA officials hashed out details Tuesday of two proposals outlining major changes to the VA’s community care programs. Both would effectively end the Veterans Choice Program that was created in 2014 following the VA wait-time scandal to extend VA care into the private sector. The plans do away with a rule that allows veterans to seek private sector care when they are forced to wait more than 30 days for an appointment or live more than 40 miles driving distance from a VA facility.

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