“Veterans deserve the highest-quality health care and should not be denied this right simply because of where they live,” Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said in a joint statement. “We are pleased that Secretary McDonald is responding directly to concerns voiced by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and other members of Congress to ensure those reforms are working for all veterans.”
Isakson chairs the Senate veterans panel, while Blumenthal is the panel’s top Democrat.
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said the plan did not go far enough. The VA policy applies to any VA medical facility within 40 miles of a veteran’s home, even if the veteran needs specialized care that is farther away.
“The VA is denying access the law was intended to offer and forcing veterans to choose between traveling hours to a VA medical facility, paying out of pocket or going without care altogether,” Moran told Gibson. “Veterans are not being put first.”