McMorris Rodgers: Tireless Advocate for Eastern Washington Veterans

Mar 05, 2015

WASHINGTON D.C. –Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) released the following statement today after co-sponsoringH.R. 577 the Veterans Access to Community Care Act of 2015, which would ensure Eastern Washington veterans are not denied access to quality care because of where they live.

“Not a day goes by when I don’t hear from Eastern Washington veterans who are struggling – struggling to access good quality care, and struggling with a bureaucratic system that is failing our heroes. This is unacceptable. These men and women dutifully served our country, and they have earned reliable, effective treatment when they need it most. I’m proud to co-sponsor legislation that will help veterans from Colville to Walla Walla access that care. By clarifying the 40-mile rule, we will make sure more Eastern Washington veterans can utilize the Choice Card program and get the care they need.”

In July, Congress passed the bipartisan Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act to improve transparency at the VA and provide veterans the choice to access health care outside the VA.Unfortunately, many veterans are still unable to access the care they need because of the VA’s flawed interpretation of the law.

The Veterans Access to Community Care Act of 2015 clarifies the 40-mile rule to mean forty miles ofdriving rather than a point-to-point radius. It will take into account the physical needs of the veteran, enabling Eastern Washington veterans to seek care locally if they do not live within forty miles of a VA facility that provides the care they need.

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