The VA MISSION Act transformed health care options for the millions of veterans who utilize the VA health care system. It provided overdue flexibility for veterans to get care when and where they need. However, after the pandemic hit, we saw the VA limiting access to community care and too often veterans were left on long wait lists unable to access care.
New reports indicate the administration is again looking to limit access to community care further by rolling back the access standards, trapping veterans in a broken, top-down bureaucratic system that led to extreme wait times, secret wait lists, and veterans dying while waiting to get the care they need.
The GHAPS Act will provide much needed updates and reforms to VA health care delivery to improve outcomes for our veterans.
The bill includes the following provisions:
- Access to Community Care. The VA established access standards for community care under the VA MISSION Act. This legislation will codify those standards so veterans will know community care access is here to stay.
- Wait Time Transparency. The bill requires the VA to publish the average wait times at each VA medical center based on the date of request. This will equip veterans to readily know if they are eligible for community care.
- Empowering veterans through innovation. This bill increases ease of access by creating a pilot program to allow veterans to self-schedule care with local providers. It also puts procedures in place to make expansion and utilization of telehealth easier – a critical tool for veterans everywhere, especially rural veterans.
Better access to care must continue to be a priority for the VA. Our country’s veterans can’t wait any longer to get the care the have earned.
Tell your elected officials to support and pass the GHAPS Act today!