Choice Care Update

Public Law 113-146, the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act (VACAA) of 2014, established a “Commission on Care” to examine the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system and make recommendations for change. The Commission is composed of membership selected coequally by the President and House and Senate leadership.

The Commission has completed its fourth meeting and has issue a statutorily required interim report. As a partner organization in the Independent Budget, DAV has been invited to meet with the Commission on Care staff and to submit our views on the future of VA to the Commission. In its public sessions, some members of the Commission have made statements about the advisability of moving VA from its current status as a direct provider of care to that of insurer.

Meanwhile, VA has released its plan to consolidate all community care programs into one plan for referral and payment. These existing seven programs, including the “choice” provisions from the VACAA, operate using different rules and procedures related to both eligibility and utilization. In order to consolidate these programs, VA will need authorizing legislation. Congress is considering VA’s proposal at this time.

DAV is closely monitoring these events to ensure that the rights and benefits of wounded, injured and ill veterans are protected.

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