The AMA, at its 2014 Annual Meeting, resoundingly adopted new policy that supports the provision of full health benefits to eligible veterans to ensure that they can access the medical care they need outside the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) medical centers and other facilities. This action was in response to recent disturbing reports of unconscionably long wait times and of the unacceptable, unworkable VA appointment scheduling system.
On June 10, the AMA sent a letter to President Obama urging immediate action to provide timely access to entitled care for eligible veterans utilizing the healthcare sector outside the VA until the VA can provide entitled care in a timely fashion.
On June 9, 2014, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) introduced H.R. 4810, "The Veteran Access to Care Act of 2014," which passed the House on June 10, 2014. On June 11, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced S. 2450, "The Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014," which passed the Senate as H.R. 3230, also on June 11. Congress will now work to reconcile the differences between these bi-partisan bills.
The AMA strongly advocates that Congress act to rapidly enact a bi-partisan long-term solution for timely access to entitled care for eligible veterans.