Arlington, VA – Yesterday Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) joined a group of military and veterans’ organizations in calling on Congress to continue funding the Veterans Choice Program in an efficient and fiscally responsible manner. On Monday, the House failed to pass a practical solution to funding the program and time is running out for Congress to address the budget short fall it currently faces.
CVA joined the Air Force Association, the Association of the US Navy, The Flag and General Officers Network, the Military Order of the World Wars, the National Defense Committee, Square Deal for Veterans, the Travis Manion Foundation, and VetsFirst to launch a joint statement calling on Congress to, “quickly pass the crucial VA Choice funding legislation.”
CVA Executive Director Mark Lucas issued the following statement:
“We are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with other veterans’ organizations in calling on Congress to save the Veterans Choice Program and stand up against those attempting to block choice. If Congress does not fix this problem immediately, lapses in care and wait times will increase across the board for veterans who use the program successfully. The choice plan isn’t perfect, but for now, it’s better than leaving veterans around the country with no health care alternatives outside of the VA. After this funding situation is solved, we will work with Congress on more permanent solutions to expanding veterans’ health care choice.”
In the letter, the groups point out that the VHA’s provider network already received significant funding increases of more than 35% since 2010, and is slated for another $3.9 billion increase under the House VA Appropriations bill, likely to be considered by the full House this week.
The Veterans Choice Program, which was enacted under Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act, was implemented in response to the wait list scandal of 2014. It was passed as a stop-gap measure and was never intended to be a permanent solution.