Veterans Choice Legislation Progressing Through Senate

Montana Public Radio


Legislation aiming to fix the troubled Veterans Choice healthcare program made progress in the Senate today.

“Veterans Choice” was supposed to make it faster and easier for vets to get care close to home if they live more than 40 miles from a VA health facility, or if they’ve had to wait more than a month for a healthcare appointment.

But, more than a year after it was launched, there’s widespread agreement that Veterans Choice isn’t working as intended. Montana Senator Jon Tester, who is on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, has been pushing to change Veterans Choice.

In March he told MTPR that he wants the Veterans Administration to rely less on government contractors, and more on the Veterans Administration itself, to make Choice work.

“All I want to do is make sure the VA has the ability to provide the healthcare that their veterans need. We’ve talked to the VA extensively, we think this is a solution, I think the VA thinks this is a solution.”

Tester said he’s confident the VA reform bill will pass the Senate before the end of the month. His office says its prospects in the House are less certain.