S.2372 – VA MISSION Act of 2018, which passed through both the House and Senate with bipartisan support, was signed into law on June 6th, 2018. The legislation amends,  expands, and unifies existing Veterans Choice Programs. Unlike the previous Veterans Choice Program, the new community care program requires the congressional appropriations committees to provide designated resources every year.

In many ways the bill expands access to care for veterans and improves coordination of benefits; opponents fear the legislation is a move towards privatizing the VA or defunding the VA providers by starving the program of funding resources.  Lawmakers have yet to appropriate funding. Trump administration is arguing against a funding bill believing that the $50 billion the VA health program needs over the next 5 years can be found by cutting spending elsewhere.


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