House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement after the House passed legislation (S. 544) to eliminate the sunset of the Veterans Choice Program. The House version of the legislation was introduced by House Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN).
“If veterans are happy with the health care services at their local VA clinic, they should be able to continue seeing their doctors there. But those who have to travel long distances to reach a VA facility or who are facing excessive wait times shouldn’t feel trapped by a system that isn’t meeting their needs. The Choice Program provides these veterans with additional choices and access to medical professionals outside of traditional VA care. I’ve heard from Eastern Washington veterans who are unfamiliar with the options the Choice Program provides and those who have experienced long wait times on the phone or dropped consults. By eliminating the sunset date of the Choice program, we’ll preserve care options for veterans and enable Congress to reimagine how the VA operates. It’s time to make meaningful reforms so our veterans can get the care they earned and need when, how, and where they need it. I’m grateful for Chairman Roe’s leadership and advocacy for our nation’s veterans.”
NOTE: Chair McMorris Rodgers represents Fairchild Air Force Base in Eastern Washington and has long been an advocate for our nation’s veterans. Last week, she sat down with VA Secretary David J. Shulkin to discuss their shared priorities. In December, the Faster Care for Veterans for Veterans Act, which she introduced with Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), was signed into law.