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Chairman Roe: It’s No Coincidence The First Thing the President Said About Serving Veterans Was Giving Them Choice in Their Health Care

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Washington, January 31, 2018 | Tiffany Haverly (202-225-3527) | comments

Chairman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) released the following statement after President Donald J. Trump called for more choice for veterans during his State of the Union address:

“President Trump hit the nail on the head in last night’s State of the Union address. I was proud he took a couple moments to tout the progress we’ve made on behalf of our nation’s veterans. It’s no coincidence the first thing the president said about serving veterans was giving them choice in their health care. This is a priority the president and I share, and it’s precisely why I’ve worked to reform VA’s community care programs since the day I began serving as chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Last March, the committee held a hearing on the future of VA health care and examined ways we can ensure the men and women who serve have access to the very best care available. They deserve nothing less.

"I’m proud that, as a result of the work we’ve done since then, I introduced H.R. 4242, the VA Care in the Community Act. This legislation is cosponsored by every member of the committee – Republican and Democrat – and while my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have raised some concerns about how to best pay for this legislation, the fact they signed their names to my bill highlights the policy merits of the legislation. The VA Care in the Community Act will return decision-making power to veterans and their primary care providers, remove the current barriers to community care access and empower the men and women who receive care from VA to shop with their feet if VA isn’t meeting their needs – just as my patients had the opportunity to do in private practice. I thank President Trump for his commitment to providing the best care for veterans, and I look forward to getting a bill to do just that to his desk soon.”

H.R. 4242 was favorably reported by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on December 19, 2017. This legislation would consolidate VA’s existing community care programs into one cohesive program and would modernize VA’s medical claims processing system to ensure that community providers can expect to be paid on time for the care they provide to veterans on VA’s behalf. It would further require VA to conduct periodic local capacity and market assessments to identify how gaps in care can be addressed through improvements to both internal and external capacity, standardize the rates VA pays to community providers and authorize VA to enter into provider agreements for needed care when contracts are not available or achievable. You can read more at veterans.house.gov/communitycare.

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