Rep. Peters Opposes House Version of VA Care in the Community Bill
December 19, 2017
Yesterday, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) voted against the VA Care in the Community Act that passed the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on a party-line vote.
The bill includes reforms to the Veterans Choice Program and a renewed focus on care in the community for veterans. Rep. Peters has supported the Choice program, which allows qualifying veterans to see providers outside the VA healthcare system to ensure high-quality, timely health care, since first being elected to Congress; however, the Choice Program cannot be a permanent solution for fixing the problems at the VA and reforms need to be made to guarantee that.
The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs passed their version of the VA Care in the Community Act on a 14-1 vote count. Their version takes a broader approach at reforming the VA and the Choice Program by including $4 billion for new care in the community program efforts, $1 billion to other operations needed in the VA, and expands the valuable family caregiver program to qualifying veterans.
Rep. Peters released the following statement:
“Veterans have earned the best healthcare our nation can offer, yet the bill passed today falls short of this criteria,” said Rep. Scott Peters. “I strongly prefer the bipartisan effort the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee passed, which includes an increased amount of funding and an expansion of numerous VA programs essential to providing quality healthcare for our veterans. When the Senate and House come together to reconcile their differences for final passage of this bill, I urge my House colleagues to adopt the stronger measures put in place by the Senate.”
The House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees have both passed versions of VA Care in the Community Act and will likely conference in the next year to resolve the differences in each bill.