WASHINGTON – DAV’s National Legislative Director Joy Ilem, today put out the following statement in response to VA’s announcement and briefing on proposed regulations for health care access standards and a new urgent care benefit mandated by the VA MISSION Act. The law requires VA to stand up a new Veterans Community Care Program by July 6 and today’s VA briefing provided preliminary information about these two proposed regulations. Additional regulations for the VA MISSION Act are expected to be released in the coming months.
“Based on the information provided today about proposed VA MISSION Act access standards, there are too many unanswered questions to evaluate whether the plan will improve veterans health care outcomes or whether it will be another false promise to ill and injured veterans.
“We need more detailed information about how these proposed access standards will affect veterans who choose and rely on VA for their care, whether they are realistic and feasible, and whether sufficient new funding will be provided, without diverting resources from existing VA programs or modernization plans.
“We are pleased with VA’s announcement of a new urgent care benefit for veterans – a policy DAV has long advocated for – which will help provide veterans with additional local access for non-emergency care.
“Moving forward, it is imperative that VA work closely with Congress, VSOs and other veteran stakeholders to ensure the law is fully and faithfully implemented in the best interest of veterans, particularly those injured and ill from their service.”