On Day of VA MISSION Act Rollout, Tester Visits VA Montana

Senator will continue to hold VA accountable for quality and timeliness of veterans’ health care under new Veterans Community Care Program

(Fort Harrison, Mont.) – On the day of the highly anticipated rollout of the VA MISSION Act, U.S. Senator Jon Tester met with national VA leadership at Fort Harrison VA Medical Center, to ensure that VA is doing its part in properly implementing this landmark bipartisan legislation for veterans in Montana and across the country.

“Over the last few years, we worked across the aisle to pass into law a series of transformative reforms that will be the biggest change in VA healthcare in a generation,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “It is now the VA’s job to work with veterans and local health care providers to make good on the promises they have made. I look forward to seeing those promises put into practice beginning today, and I will continue to hold VA accountable to ensure this program is implemented correctly so that veterans across the country get the quality, timely care they’ve earned. Anything less is unacceptable.”

At today’s VA visit in Helena, Tester was joined by Dr. Richard Stone, the head of the Veterans Health Administration and James Gfrerer, Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology and Chief Information Officer. They met with local personnel and leadership to learn more about the program’s implementation on the ground, as well as the steps that are being taken to ensure the program will better connect Montana veterans to quality health care in a timely manner. Senator Tester held a media availability following his visit to speak to local reporters regarding the rollout of the new program.

Last Congress, Tester worked with 38 military and veterans groups to pass the VA MISSION Act, which aims to provide veterans with quality health care by streamlining the VA’s seven community care programs into one Veterans Community Care Program. This law overhauls the bungled Choice Act, and expands capacity within the VA to reduce wait times, recruit and retain better medical personnel, and increase the quality of care for veterans.

A one-page summary on the VA MISSION Act can be found here.