Contrary to popular belief, politicians can agree on things - including giving veterans an alternative to VA treatment.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that allows veterans to seek private care with government funds instead of having to wait for long periods to receive care from the Department of Veterans Affairs. It passed 426-0 (421-0 before absent representativesâ€™ votes were collected), largely due to support from both the left and right wing. This legislation is a result of inability by the VA to provide adequate care to veterans; Politico reports that â€œmore than 57,000 new patients are waiting at least 90 days for their first appointments,â€ and The Blaze reports that â€œ64,000 veterans had been denied appointments after requesting them.â€
The bill was sponsored chiefly by Jeff Miller, a Floridian Republican who serves as the chairman of the Committee on Veteransâ€™ Affairs. It was co-sponsored by California Republican Ed Royce, among others.
Politico also reports that this bill is eerily similar to a bill proposed by Senators John McCain and Bernie Sanders, which lets veterans seek private care if they live too far from a VA hospital or have to wait too long for appointments.