Bradley Byrne introduces bill to give veterans full access to local care

military veteran

Alabama 1st District U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne on Tuesday introduced legislation to give veterans full access to private, local medical care.

Byrne’s bill, the Full Choice for Veterans Act, expands eligibility of the Veterans Choice Program to any veteran. Under the Veterans Choice Program, veterans receive a card to get care from private doctors or hospitals. Currently, access to the VA Choice Program is limited to those who have waited longer than 30 days for VA care or those who live more than 40 miles from a VA facility.

Congressman Byrne’s bill changes that and give every veteran access to health care providers in their community, regardless of a veteran’s situation.

“Veterans should not be forced to remain in a VA system that is dysfunctional and broken,” said Bryne. “This is why Congress created the Choice Card program a few years ago to give veterans greater access to private medical care in their local community. Sadly, the VA created roadblocks to limit veteran access to the Choice Card program. Our veterans deserve better.

“Under the Full Choice for Veterans Act, we will give veterans the choices they need and access to timely medical care. Even more, I think we can actually save taxpayer money by cutting down on the bloated VA bureaucracy. This is a win-win situation, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this legislation.”

 Byrne introduced similar legislation to expand veteran access to private care in 2015 in the previous Congress.

Watch Byrne discuss his new bill below: