Recently there has been much debate surrounding the ability for veterans to receive proper health care at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics. These hospitals and clinics are specially designed for military veterans and service members, Unfortunately, long wait times have prevented many service members, both past and present, from getting the medical attention they seek.
According to CBS News and and a recent Veterans Affairs audit, “more than 57,000 veterans have been waiting up to three months for medical appointments.” Furthermore, 64,000 people who originally enrolled in Veterans Affairs health care coverage haven’t seen a doctor in the past ten years. This audit process and uproar began after two patients died while waiting months for an appointment.
Last week, the Senate developed a bill to expand veterans’ abilities to get health care. The bill would enable: “veterans who experience waits of 30 days of more for VA appointments or who live at least 40 miles from a VA hospital or clinic to use private doctors enrolled as providers for Medicare, military TRICARE or other government health care programs.” In addition, this bill would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire almost 450 hospital administrators for poor performance.
The end goal of the bill is to improve patient care and encourage greater use of non-Veterans Affairs doctors to decrease waiting times.