House Passes Veterans Bill That Includes Ribble Health Care Flexibility Concepts

Jun 10, 2014 Issues: Health Care, National Security, Veterans

Washington, DC ​- Congressman Reid Ribble announced that the House passed the Veteran Access to Care Act (H.R. 4810) today by a vote of 426-0.

This legislation would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to allow any veteran eligible to receive health care through the VA to receive non-VA care if they live more than 40 miles away from a VA medical facility or have been waiting longer than 14 days, VA’s wait-time goal as of June 1, for an appointment.

The following is a statement by Congressman Ribble on the passage of H.R. 4810:

“I was pleased the Chairman included my ideas on patient flexibility and allowing our veterans to more easily receive care outside the VA system. I’m proud to be an original cosponsor of this legislation, which will give veterans expanded heath care options at a time when health care throughout the VA is increasingly unreliable.  A recent audit of the Veterans Health Administration found that more than 57,000 veterans have been waiting 90 days for their first appointment at VA hospitals and clinics throughout the country.  This is a systemic problem throughout the VA and it is unacceptable.  Our veterans who sacrificed so much for our country deserve the best care possible, and this legislation will help veterans receive the care they need in a timely manner.”

Congressman Ribble had introduced his own legislation a few weeks ago, the Veterans’ Health Care Flexibility Act (H.R. 4760), which would address the backlog of veterans awaiting care by giving them the option to receive care from a private doctor for any condition that their VA health care coverage would normally provide.