– The Washington Times
The Department of Veterans Affairs on Tuesday expanded the pool of veterans who can use the new Choice Program to get care at private hospitals and clinics, as the troubled department moved to firmly embrace the reforms Congress passed last year to clean up the wait-list scandal.
Under the new rules, veterans whose local Veterans Affairs clinics don’t have a full-time primary care physician and can’t get an appointment within 30 days can now see a private doctor, on the government’s dime. The program will also now be open to all veterans, not just combat veterans who’d signed up by the time the Choice Program was enacted into law.
“As we implement the Veterans Choice Program, we are learning from our stakeholders what works and what needs to be refined,” VA Secretary Robert McDonald said in a statement. “It is our goal to do all that we can to remove barriers that separate veterans from the care they deserve.”