The United States Senate has voted in favor of funding the Department of Veteran Affairs’ Veterans Choice Program.
One of the biggest complains surrounding the care for U.S. veterans is healthcare. Veterans are often forced to wait months to receive treatment — and that’s simply not acceptable. As a result, lawmakers have passed legislation for a program to help veterans receive the healthcare they need.
Known as the Veterans Choice Program, it’s designed to reduce wait times while also providing veterans with more healthcare options from which to choose. The program authorizes the VA to lease more than two dozen new healthcare facilities, which will be used to provide services to veterans. One of these facilities will be an outpatient clinic in Hampton Roads, which VA officials say has one of the largest populations of veterans in need of healthcare services.
So, how much funding will the new Veterans Choice Program receive? Under the newly passed legislation, the VA will receive $2.1 billion for the development and deployment of its program. The ultimate goal is to improve healthcare treatment and services to our nation’s veterans by reducing wait times, expanding healthcare options and building new facilities.
The Veterans Choice Program has been around for several years now. However, it hasn’t made the type of impact that VA officials and veterans had hoped for. After it was initially created, veterans noticed few-to-no differences in the quality of their healthcare. After much debate, though, the U.S. Senate voted to fund the program with an additional $2.1 billion over the course of six months. These funds will be used to improve the program by constructing new facilities across the country.
“The Veterans Choice Program was meant to reduce wait times and give veterans a broader range of options to access quality health care in their communities. The legislation the Senate approved last night, which now heads to the President’s desk for his signature, provides $2.1 billion to continue funding the Choice program for six months. It also provides $1.8 billion to address longstanding staffing needs at V-A hospitals, including Hampton VAMC,” explained the VA.
Of course, funding of the Veterans Choice Program is just one of many ways that lawmakers are seeking to improve healthcare treatment and services for our nation’s veterans.
Veterans and their family members can learn more about the Veterans Choice Program by visiting the official VA website here.