Hoeven Cosponsors Amendment to Fix 40-Mile Eligibility in VA Choice Act

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that he has cosponsored an amendment (#356) to the Budget Resolution that would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to use its current authorities to give veterans access to non-VA health care if the closest VA medical facility within a 40-mile drive time from the veteran’s home does not offer the services that the veteran is seeking.

The bipartisan amendment was offered by Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and cosponsored by Sens. Hoeven, Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Angus King (I-Maine), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

“Providing our veterans access to the health care services they need and have earned remains one of the most important ways we can uphold our commitment to honoring their military service,” Hoeven said. “These men and women have fought and many have died to preserve our liberties and ensure our way of life. We owe them not only our respect and tremendous gratitude, but also our commitment to honoring our nation’s promises to them.”

Last year, Hoeven worked to pass the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, which provides veterans with more flexible access to health care. If the VA cannot schedule an appointment for a veteran within 30 days or the veteran resides more than 40 miles from any VA medical center (VAMC) or Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), the veteran can choose to receive care from the health care provider of their choice.

However, that doesn’t help veterans within the 40-mile radius, who would still have to go to a VAMC if their local CBOC doesn’t offer the service required unless they receive pre-approval, which is bureaucratic and inconvenient. To solve this problem, the Veterans Access to Community Care Act, which Hoeven is cosponsoring would allow veterans to seek health care services in their local community if they live more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility that can provide the care a veteran requires.

Hoeven will continue working to help our vets get the care they have earned and deserve.