The law calls for billions for new programs to provide private care, but does not outline how they will be funded.
"I compared it to putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound", said Burch.
"If the VA can't meet the needs of a veteran in a timely manner, that veteran will have the right to go right outside to a private doctor". Of critical importance to PVA, the MISSION Act will finally expand the VA Comprehensive Family Caregiver Program to those veterans injured prior to September 11, 2001. President Trump's administration has lobbied Republicans to get the funding by cutting other spending.
Dunn's bill would direct the VA secretary to connect VA doctors and health care providers to a national network of state-based prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) which track prescribing data for patients prescribed drugs like oxycodone, morphine and hydrocodone to relieve pain. It also gets rid of restrictions limiting private and community care to veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA facility or have to wait more than 30 days for an appointment. "Veterans are now empowered to have more control over their health care and more quality choices within their own communities".
The Government Accountability Office reports veterans had to wait up to 64 days for an appointment with private doctors.
"It's getting better and better", he said.
The VA system structure is now based on the way medical services were provided from the 1960s to the 1980s, he said.
But traditional veterans groups, which oppose what they are suspicious is a White House strategy to privatize VA, were adamant Tuesday that if the spending caps aren't raised, the agency could be forced to take money from other valuable veterans' benefits to ensure that veterans have access to health care. This ambitious legislation will also set new standards in how providers are paid, provide continuing medical education for non-VA medical professionals, improve opioid prescribing practices, and sanction a VA asset and infrastructure review that will force legislators to contemplate the closure of costly, underused facilities in their districts. Previously, she worked at the Associated Press for more than 17 years, starting in the Los Angeles bureau and going on to cover the White House and Congress.