Trump signs VA MISSION Act into law
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Jun 06, 2018
President Trump on June 6 signed into law legislation that will eventually replace the Veterans Choice Program while streamlining Veterans Affairs’ community care programs to ensure veterans receive efficient, timely and quality care.
The bill—Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act—introduces a single community care program that allows veterans and their doctors to choose where to receive health care and also authorizes VA to pay for care at higher rates in highly rural areas and implement value-based reimbursement models to promote a higher quality of care.
“This is truly a historic moment; historic time for our country,” Trump said at the signing, adding, “I’ll be signing landmark legislation to provide healthcare choice — what a beautiful word that is, 'choice' — and freedom to our amazing veterans.”
The bill also authorizes funding for the VA to continue the Veterans Choice Program until the new, streamlined ‘Veterans Community Care Program’ established in this legislation is implemented.
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs authored the legislation.
“This is a truly meaningful victory for our nation’s veterans, who will benefit from more choice and fewer barriers to care,” Isakson said in a statement. “The signing of this legislation marks the completion of the final piece in a great mosaic of veterans’ reforms that we set out to accomplish over the last two years,” he added.
The new program is expected to be implemented next year, and the Choice program will end next May.