After six weeks of negotiation, and four days before recess, it appears as if we will be soon be seeing details of the new veterans’ bill. This provision as reported in the Washington Post, gets a thumbs up from me:
According to a draft summary of the measure provided by House aides, Congress would give eligible military veterans a “Veterans Choice Card” and allow them to seek health care outside the VA medical system from Medicare-eligible providers, other federally qualified health centers or facilities operated by the Defense Department or federal Indian Health Service centers….
Veterans eligible to seek care outside the system would need to be enrolled by Aug. 1, or enroll for VA care within five years of ending their military service in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the draft agreement. A veteran could leave the VA system if they’re unable to receive an appointment within 14 days — the current VA wait-time goal, or if they live more than 40 miles from a VA facility.
Kiedove update (Tuesday noon): To read Sander’s website updates from Monday night scroll down for the bill summary and bill. This summary says a 30-day wait period for non-VA care which is different from what the WP reported earlier. The conference committee report gives more information. This gives more information about the 40-mile rule which has some exceptions. C-span has video.
We’ll have to stayed tuned to see what was decided. Check it out- Update.
Editor’s note. Be prepared to see the VA definition of a mile revamped to measure 10,560 feet from it’s current 5,280 feet. Either that or the new metric will measure it directly as the crow flies. In fact, if you had an F-15, you’d be there by now.