“The secret waiting lists in Arizona and other VA facilities aren’t isolated incidents – they are indicative of widespread problems at the VA in delivering care to veterans when they need it, where they need it,” Rooney said. “I have heard from veterans across my district who have been forced to wait months to see a doctor or begin needed, life-saving treatment. Veterans in Florida’s heartland have to travel long distances for simple examinations and procedures. This is unacceptable.
“Just like veterans can take their GI benefits and go to any accredited school of their choosing, they should be able to take their health care benefits and go to any licensed doctor, especially when the VA can’t treat them in a timely manner. By allowing the VA to contract with non-VA providers, we can ensure that our veterans get the care they need, when they need it.”
The Veteran-Centered Access to Coordinated Health Care Act would:
• Clarify existing authorities of the VA by directing the VA Secretary to enter into contracts with non-VA providers when it is not capable of providing services for geographical, capacity or timeliness reasons; and,
• Reauthorize and expand the VA pilot program Project ARCH (Access Received Closer to Home). Currently, the pilot program, which determines eligibility based on driving time from a VA facility, involves limited facilities in five states. H.R. 3858 would expand Project ARCH to all Veteran Integrated Service Networks across the country.
Food for thought: Several years ago my father passed away from COPD while waiting for an initial screening at the Atlanta VA. Its going to require more than introducing a bill or appointing a new VA Secretary to resolve the internal issues of the VA health care crisis. If we focus on Peace initiatives, vice war, it will lessen the burden of our failing VA healthcare system. But lets not fool ourselves, the military helps to line the pockets of Big Pharma and our veterans are "lab rats" to assist with the advancement of the the medical community...