Today, June 6th, Acting Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary Peter O’Rourke announced that President Trump signed the Mission Act into Law.
What does the Mission Act mean for our veterans and their health care?
The Mission Act expands access to healthcare for veterans.
The legislation gives $52 billion toward increasing heath care access for veterans to go outside of the VA system to get care, including walk-in clinics.
The VA Mission Act was passed with bipartisan support in Congress and is expected to be implemented in one year, replacing the VA Choice Program, which was passed in 2014 in the wake of the VA’s wait-time scandal.
But a recent government report revealed the wait times are still high, forcing veterans to wait up to roughly 70 days to receive care.
Sec. 102 of the Mission Act authorizes the VA to enter into Veterans Care Agreements (VCAs) that are not subject to competition or other requirements associated with federal contracts, so that they can more easily meet veterans’ demands for care in the community.
Eligibility for care would be subject to the same terms as VA care itself and the rates paid under VCAs, to the extent practicable, would be in accordance with rates paid under the Veterans Community Care Program established in section 101 of this bill. VA would be responsible for development of a certification process for VCAs and a system for monitoring the quality of care.
This section also establishes the terms VCAs must agree to in order to become a provider in the Community Care program.
The official press release is at:
Download a summary of the Mission Act