Veterans could seek private health care with VA insurance




Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) has introduced legislation that would offer all US military veterans the ability to seek private health care paid for by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Opponents worry the bill is a path to privatization of care.

McCain’s bill, the Permanent VA Choice Card Act, would make permanent a three-year pilot program that was put into place in 2014 via another McCain-sponsored bill, the Veterans Access, Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act.

The program, called Choice Card, currently allows veterans who live more than 40 miles away from a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital or face unreasonable wait times to seek care at any private health facility using their VA insurance. The new legislation would offer the Choice Card option to all veterans.

McCain said the new bill is an attempt to recharge the program, which he claims was underutilized since its inception a year ago.

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