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Collins Supports VA Reform and Choice Program Through VA MISSION Act

May 16, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) voted in favor of the VA MISSION Act, S. 2372, which would strengthen the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) community care programs and expand access to quality care throughout the veterans’ health care network.

“American veterans deserve high-quality health care, but the current VA system has proven that it’s unable to deliver those services consistently. The VA MISSION Act takes significant steps towards making health care more accessible to veterans through both the VA and private providers.

“We also need to grapple with the fact that the Choice Program could run out of funds at the end of this month, so it was crucial that the House passed this bill to improve the VA’s community care program and extend Choice funding until the VA MISSION Act can take effect. This bill reflects our commitment to those who have defended our liberties and will improve care for veterans in Georgia and across the nation,” said Collins. 

Currently, the VA operates several community care programs, making it difficult for veterans, their caretakers and health care providers to navigate the system. The VA MISSION Act, originally introduced by Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), would streamline the VA's redundant community care operations into a single cohesive program so that veterans can locate the care options that best serve them.

Veterans in rural areas like Northeast Georgia can find it especially difficult to obtain adequate care at VA facilities in a timely manner. Collins previously introduced the Expanding Veterans' Access to Choice Act, H.R. 2478, to ensure that even veterans who live within 40 miles of a VA medical facility can pursue private health care options through the Choice Program if the facility in their area is unable to render service appropriately. The VA MISSION Act encompasses the goal of the Expanding Veterans' Access to Choice Act by ensuring that geography and cost don’t become barriers between veterans and the health care resources they need.