With the support of the entire Alabama delegation, S. 2372: the VA MISSION Act of 2018 has passed both chambers and is now heading to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature.
The legislation – which puts the needs of veterans first by giving them the option of seeking care when and where it makes the most sense for their needs – combines provisions from fifteen different Senate-introduced bills, building upon the success of the Veterans Choice Act. The bill combines the VA’s multiple community care programs into one streamlined program, improves incentives to recruit, hire, and retain qualified medical professionals, and expands the VA’s Post-9/11 Caregiver Program to all eras.
Dozens of veterans and military service organizations across the country endorsed the bill.
Here’s what the Alabama delegation had to say about their votes and the legislation:
Sen. Richard Shelby
I am honored to support this milestone legislation that prioritizes brave veterans in Alabama and across the nation. This bicameral, bipartisan bill provides veterans with necessary access to efficient, timely, and quality health care services. As Members of Congress, it is our job to ensure the proper care of those who have risked their lives to protect our freedoms.
1st District U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne:
Another major piece of legislation is headed to President Trump’s desk for his signature. The VA MISSION Act consolidates the VA’s Community Care Program, opens the VA Caregivers Program to serve all veterans, and provides $5.2 billion to fund the VA Choice Program. Simply put, this bill increases access to care at the VA, including walk-in clinics that may be more convenient and immediate in addressing the needs of our veterans.
2nd District U.S. Rep. Martha Roby:
By passing the VA MISSION Act, the House has taken another important step toward improving access to care for our nation’s veterans. This legislation addresses a number of important pieces of the large VA puzzle, including extending funding for the Choice Program that countless veterans depend on to receive care.
I believe this bill will reduce the bureaucracy associated with veterans seeking private sector health care and improve the lives of those who have served our great country. I’ve heard from countless veterans in Alabama’s Second District about the continued need for VA changes to ensure they get the best care available. I hope we will soon see this legislation signed into law.