DOING RIGHT by America’s Veterans requires providing more freedom and flexibility for their health care options. Unfortunately, some in Congress, including U.S. Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH), are moving in the opposite direction and pushing misguided legislation that would restrict rather than expand Veteran choice.
Here’s the backstory. Last year’s PACT Act was a watershed moment, expanding eligibility for health care at the Veterans Affairs (VA) for millions. PACT also increased the strain at the VA, which was already struggling with two decades of war and COVID-19. Last spring, the VA predicted the backlog of claims could balloon as high as 400,000.
Simply throwing more money at the VA will not solve the problem. In fact, the $1.7 trillion dollar omnibus bill passed by Congress earlier this year increased the VA budget to $303 billion — the highest ever in the agency’s history.