A new controversy is brewing about the allocation of these choice funds since use as been light. On the other hand, my Marine just got his card. I think we should keep an open mind to see what Sec. McDonald has to say on this subject. It is counterproductive to have funds sitting unused that could be used to say, house more homeless veterans and their families immediately. As we know, the financial, physical and emotional crises veterans are under are significant. On the other hand, it’s a brand new program and the roll out has been rough going for some:
A commenter to the WSJ and Am. Legion Hiiumaa wrote: “I am priority 1, I live 99 miles from the VA hospital I go to,I must make my VA doctor appts 45 days in advance, I am 100% service connected, and the last day of January, I received a card ‘Choice’ in snail mail. I have made several phone calls, for hours, to the phone numbers on the brochures that came with the card and ‘they’ are STILL trying to decide if I qualify for Choice benefits. I am at a loss! (To read more, go here. She doesn’t have a car.)
Here are a few miscellaneous links to opinions and news from around the web:
2/2/15 Rep. Jeff Miller, Miller Statement on The President’s VA Budget Request
2/13/15 Washington Post (blog): Far fewer veterans use choice card and private health care than expected, VA says
2/13/15 Exeter Patch: NH Reps. Work on Bi-Partisan Veterans Proposal, U.S. Reps. Ann McLane Kuster, D-NH, and Frank Guinta, R-NH, introduce legislation to stop cuts to Veterans Choice Card Program.
2/11/15 Washington Times: VA secretary: 24K vets have used Choice Card, Asks to reduce program funding
2/4/15 The Sun (CAL): Vets optimistic about new VA ‘Choice’ program
2/2/15 Wall Street Journal (blog). Barack Obama Plan to Shift Veterans Choice Act Funds Faces Shelling on Hill
2/2/15 Military Times.com, White House plan increases VA budget
Well, that’s all for now. Happy Valentine’s Day!