Representative Collins Introduces Expanding Veterans’ Access to Choice Act

Congressman Doug Collins recently introduced the Expanding Veterans’ Access to Choice Act to improve the ability of veterans to receive private health care options when their access to VA services is limited.

The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 gave veterans the option of receiving VA-covered care through certain private providers. However, they had to meet one of three criteria, including living more than 40 miles away from a VA medical facility, not being able to schedule an appointment with the VA within 30 days or excessive burden in traveling to the VA location.

The VA also chose to use distance alone to determine whether a veteran is approved for Choice care, which resulted in blocking many legally eligible veterans from receiving that care.

Collins said that he introduced this new Choice act because it’s unacceptable that veterans face opposition when looking for medical care. He hopes that through introducing the Expanding Veterans Access to Choice Act that it will clarify eligibility.

This bill establishes that veterans who live within 40 miles of a VA location, but cannot access effective care through that location, remain eligible to receive Choice care through approved private health care centers.