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Unless we act quickly, this Monday, July 24, the House plans to vote on unacceptable legislation that provides billions for private sector care, but nothing to modernize the VA health care system. We need to you contact your Representatives and urge them to vote “No” on S. 114, as currently written.
Earlier this year, VA informed Congress that the funding for the Choice program would soon run out, perhaps as early as August, and that without additional funding, many veterans might lose access to care. We have been working with Congress for weeks to find a solution that not only addresses the Choice funding shortfall, but also makes the investments to modernize and expand capacity at VA so that veterans who “choose” VA also have timely access to care.
Unfortunately, the legislation currently scheduled for a vote in the House on Monday, July 24 would provide $2 billion for private sector care through the Choice program, but make no comparable investment in VA-provided care. In addition, it would require that “savings” or “offsets” be made from other veterans benefits in the future to “pay” for veterans health care. That is simply unacceptable.
Veterans health care benefits have already been “paid for” through the service and sacrifice of the men and women who wore our nation’s uniform, millions of whom suffered injuries, illnesses and lifelong disabilities.
This past week we joined with leaders of almost every other major national veterans organization to share out strong opposition to this legislation, just as we did last month in a jointly signed letter to veterans leaders in the House and Senate.
Now we are calling on Congressional leaders to work together, and with us, to develop better legislation that will address funding gaps in the Choice program, while also making the investments necessary to modernize the VA health care system. After all, the reason that the Choice program was created in the first place was because veterans were unable to secure timely appointments inside VA facilities.
Please use the prepared letter to contact you Member of Congress to urge them to vote “No” on S. 114, as currently drafted. Thank you for standing up for veterans.
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