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Time is Running Out for Congress to Save The Choice Program

By Concerned Veterans for America

Arlington, VA – Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) is urging Congress to fund the Veterans Choice Program, which is currently facing an urgent budget shortfall. On Monday, the House failed to pass a practical solution to funding the program and time is running out for Congress to address the short fall.

Despite the program’s imperfections, Secretary Shulkin recently testified before Congress that failing to fund the program would be a major blow to the VA, specifically by increasing wait times.

CVA Policy Director Dan Caldwell issued the following comment:

“The clock is ticking and Congress must act immediately to prevent lapses in care for those who are using the Veterans Choice Program successfully. Failing to fund this program would have severe consequences for veterans currently utilizing the program and would lead to a surge in wait times. Not only should this program be saved, it should be expanded and reformed to allow veterans greater choice outside the VA. This is all about making sure those who served receive the care they were promised. It is never acceptable to play games with veterans’ health care.”

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.

CVA launched a digital campaign urging citizens to utilize a digital tool allowing them to sign a petitioncall their officials, or send emails to Congress in support of saving the Choice Program. The group will continue to utilize their nationwide base of activists to put pressure on legislators to extend the Choice Program and eventually deliver a more comprehensive choice plan.