Grassroots veterans group puts agency on notice for key VA MISSION Act deadline
ARLINGTON, Va.—Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) on Tuesday marked the 30-day countdown to a key deadline laid out in the VA MISSION Act, which was signed into law on June 6, 2018. By the deadline – October 4, 2018 or 120 days following enactment of the law – the VA must report to Congress on the progress it has made toward implementing key parts of the law: establishing the new Veterans Community Care Program and access and quality standards.
“The MISSION Act was passed to replace the temporary Veterans Choice Program (VCP), a program that caused confusion and headaches for too many veterans who relied on and needed the options it provided,” said Dan Caldwell, CVA Executive Director. “With the VCP being phased out and replaced under the law, it is far too important to let the VA and Congress rest on their laurels. We need to stay on top of this, and we are committed to utilizing our grassroots army to make sure key deadlines are met and this law is implemented correctly.”
In a tweet sent Tuesday, the group asserted “We’ll be keeping a close eye on the VA over the next 30 days as the first progress report deadline draws near…”
The tweet, which was followed by another on Wednesday, links to a blog post explaining the passage of the bill, its signing into law, and the importance of being a watchdog as this law is implemented and rolled out.
“Those drafting these regulations need to know we are watching,” Caldwell continued. “They need to know how important this is to veterans everywhere. This is critical.”
The October 4 deadline marks the first in a series of key dates the group will be tracking as the law is implemented. The current program, the Veterans Choice Program, is set to expire on June 6, 2019. On that day, the necessary regulations governing walk-in care, strategic plans for health care demand, and a report on prompt payment must be completed. CVA will be discussing the facets of the bill and working with lawmakers and regulators to mitigate any delay in proper implementation of the law to ensure the smooth rollout of a new community care program for veterans going forward.