ARLINGTON, Va.— Following House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC) passage of the MISSION Act (H.R. 5674) on Tuesday, Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) applauded committee members for their swift action on behalf of veterans, singling our Chairman Dr. Phil Roe for championing the legislation. The grassroots group also expressed disappointment that Ranking Member Rep. Tim Walz once again failed to vote for language that has enjoyed broad, bipartisan support among members of Congress and veterans’ groups.
The committee action comes on the heels of news from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that funding for the Veterans Choice Program is set to run out around May 31.
CVA Executive Director Dan Caldwell is available to comment on the vote today. To schedule an interview, reach Chris Neefus at CNeefus@cv4a.org or (703) 517-4504.
Click here to read the grassroots group’s letter of support for the VA MISSION Act.
Caldwell had this to say:
“The Veterans Choice Program has given nearly two million veterans access to the care they need. Letting it fail is not an option, and we are thankful to the Representatives who have worked to make this bill happen and pass it out of committee today. We urge the full House and their counterparts in the Senate to urgently get this bill across the finish line- our veterans deserve nothing less.”
“With a critical funding deadline approaching, it’s unfortunate that Rep. Walz once again failed to support this legislation that has been stalled for months despite broad agreement among veterans groups, the White House, and members of Congress.”
The group has commended House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC) Chairman Dr. Phil Roe for scheduling HR 5674 – the MISSION Act (Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Network Act of 2018) – for a full committee mark-up this morning. The group is now urging the full House and Senate to take up and quickly pass the legislation, as these compromise reforms have languished for several months.
The MISSION Act stabilizes and reforms the VA’s health care system by consolidating the VA’s community care programs, defining clear standards for when a veteran can access care outside of the VA, and initiates a review of the department’s infrastructure. The legislation also aims to reform the VA’s reimbursement and record-sharing systems for community providers.
For years, CVA has advocated for substantial health care reforms at the VA. In CVA’s Fixing Veterans Health Care Taskforce, the group advocates that veterans should have the option to take their earned health care benefits and use them to access care at the VA or in the private sector.