Let’s just call it like it is. Our United States Military service men and women put their all on the line for this country and at times, they may not get the same treatment in return. It is just flat-out wrong. After they come home from being on the front lines or their stations, many of them sometimes have difficulty finding work or receiving the proper care health care they need. That is where the Veterans Access Program kicks in. The VA program allows veterans to receive the proper health care needed when they finish serving in the military. Most recently, a vote was carried out to decide on the future of the Veterans Choice Program.

This past Friday the White House carried out the vote on the Veterans Choice Program resulting in a vote of 414-0. According to Federal News Radio, the new bill will give the Veterans Choice Program over $2.1 billion dollars to aid veterans across the country. The money will be allocated to improve the current veteran care facilities and allow veterans to receive the proper care outside of these facilities. The overall goal of the bill is to move towards modernizing their programs and facilitates as well as improving the care of veterans which has been an issue in the past. Back in 2014, the program came under a bevy of criticism of the outlandish waiting times veterans had to endure. According to WSET, the Salem Medical Center can take about to 30 days for some of their patients to receive care and about 93% of their patients fall under this category. Although the passing of the bill was a success, this wasn’t the first time this bill was voted on.

On Monday, a bill similar to this one failed to get approved. According to the Washington Examiner the bill was rejected with a vote of 219 to 186. The bill that was passed recently holds many similarities and differences, which explains the breadth between the numbers of the vote. Differences in money, agendas, facility improvement and whether or not the bill would help veterans, all played a part in the bill being changed. According to The Washington Examiner, the bill is expected to be passed by the Senate sometime next week and that a longer and more improved program takes place and can be maintained. The bill is still waiting to be signed by the president but is expected to receive approval from the White House.

This bill is a major stepping stone for a multitude of reasons. Veterans can now receive better access to health care not just in their local cities but outside of them as well. With better facilities and more improved training of facility employees, veterans can now have a piece of mind when it comes to their health. We have both parties to thank for this. If there is a silver lining in the passing of this bill, the Republican Party worked with the Democrats to get this bill approved which is huge considering the lack of support they gave Obama during his two terms. The fact that both parties worked together and voted unanimously to help this get approved sends a bigger message and hopefully, this will continue.

Photo By: Jeff On Wire

Sources:

https://federalnewsradio.com/veterans-affairs/2017/08/more-funding-accountability-for-va-choice-program-proposed-now-what/

http://wset.com/news/local/va-choice-and-quality-employment-act-passed-both-houses-unanimously

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/senate-votes-to-boost-va-healthcare-funding-by-21-billion/article/2630367

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/house-approves-21-billion-more-for-va-health-program-on-second-try/article/2630008