New bill would allow veterans to seek health care outside VA

BY Ariel Min  June 3, 2014 at 5:51 PM EST
Photo by Ariel Min/PBS NewsHour

Photo by Ariel Min/PBS NewsHour

Four Republican senators, led by John McCain (R-AZ), introduced the Veterans Choice Act — a new bill aimed at providing better health care to veterans across the country as well as increasing accountability and transparency at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Senator McCain was joined by Sen. Flake (R-AZ), Sen. Coburn (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC) Tuesday to address the recent allegations of long wait times and inadequate service at Veterans Affairs hospitals and offered a solution that would allow veterans to have a choice in seeking help outside the VA.

“It would empower veterans who can’t schedule an appointment within a reasonable time or live too far way from the VA medical facility to exercise the choice, I emphasize the choice, of getting medical care from any doctor in a Medicare or tricare program,” McCain said.

The recent Veterans Affairs scandal led to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki last Friday.