Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne is fighting to ensure that the Department of Veteran’s Affairs will never again be in a position to prevent veterans from receiving quality healthcare.
As the sponsor of the Full Choice for Veterans Act, Rep. Byrne says that every veteran deserves the option to seek private care. His bill would expand access to all veterans under the current VA Choice Program, which is currently only available to those who have waited longer than 30 days for care from a VA hospital or live more than 40 miles away from a VA facility.
“Veterans should not be forced to remain in a VA system that is dysfunctional and broken,” he said. “This is why Congress created the Choice Card program a few years ago to give veterans greater access to private medical care in their local community. Sadly, the VA created roadblocks to limit veteran access to the Choice Card program. Our veterans deserve better.”
In a statement, Byrne added that he believes the measure has potential to save taxpayer dollars “by cutting down on the bloated VA bureaucracy.”
“Under the Full Choice for Veterans Act, we will give veterans the choices they need and access to timely medical care,” he said. “This is a win-win situation, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this legislation.”
Rep. Byrne’s proposal tracks closely with promises made by President Trump, who said on the campaign trail that he would allow veterans to receive government-paid care in the private sector if they choose.
It’s not the Alabama Representative’s first attempt at passing a bill aimed at expanding options for veterans. He sponsored similar legislation in 2015 that aimed to clarify holes in the 40-mile distance provision of the VA Choice Program.