Two years ago the VA and Congress came up with a plan to fix the long waits for veterans to get healthcare. Called Veterans Choice, this $10 billion program was supposed to fix all the problems and veterans complaints about not being able to see a doctor when they needed to. This program was supposed to end American veterans complaints about access to healthcare.
Sounds like a great idea, but unfortunately it’s not working. There are 70,000 more vets waiting at least a month for an appointment than there were at this time last year. So clearly this new plan has not fixed the problem. In fact, it has added more complexity to the system. Vets don’t understand it, doctors don’t understand it and even VA administrators admit they can’t always figure it out.
One of the provisions of this act is that a veteran in need of care who cannot get an appointment at the VA for more than 30 days can see a private doctor or health care provider. In reality, doctors are waiting far too long for authorizations for procedures and they’re not getting paid on time.
So now we have veterans complaining about long waits and doctors complaining about not getting paid when they do see the veterans. Legislation aiming to fix the problems with the Veterans Choice healthcare program has been introduced in the Senate.
“All I want to do is make sure the VA has the ability to provide the healthcare that their veterans need. We’ve talked to the VA extensively, we think this is a solution, I think the VA thinks this is a solution.” Montana Senator Bill Tester.
Hopefully this time they’ll get it right and actually end the American veterans complaints about the lack of medical care when they need it most.