Senator’s bipartisan legislation provides certainty and stability for veterans in the Community Care program
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema introduced the bipartisan Veterans Health Empowerment, Access, Leadership, and Transparency for our Heroes (HEALTH) Act with Republican Senator Jerry Moran (Kan.), Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
The bipartisan Veterans HEALTH Act makes necessary improvements to the Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Care program that provide predictability, stability, and certainty to Arizona veterans in need of care.
“Coming from a military family, ensuring our servicemembers receive the care and benefits they have earned is personal to me. That is why we’re improving the VA Community Care Program to provide stability and certainty to Arizona veterans in need of care,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“Veterans deserve access to timely, high-quality care and a greater ability to choose when, where and how to use the health care benefits that they earned through their service and sacrifice,” said Sen. Moran, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “Despite the steps Congress has taken to increase access to care for veterans in VA and in the community, I continue to hear from far too many veterans in Kansas and across the country who are not being given the choices they are owed from VA. This legislation will help make certain VA fulfills its mission to care for veterans by safeguarding care in the community, expanding access to care for veterans with mental health and substance use disorders, empowering veterans with the information they need to make the health care decisions that best serve them and requiring VA to improve quality of care.”
The VA provides care to veterans through community providers when VA cannot provide the care needed. Community care is based on specific eligibility requirements, availability of VA care, and the needs and circumstances of individual Veterans.
The Senator’s legislation improves veterans’ access to community care by setting a floor for eligibility, requiring the VA to notify veterans if they are eligible for community care, and including physician advice on community care access, telehealth, and caregiver eligibility.
To ensure veterans can access care no matter where they live, the bipartisan bill incentivizes partners and providers to stay in the community care system and modernizes patient experience at the VA through telehealth.
Sinema was instrumental in passing the bipartisan PACT Act into law – ensuring combat veterans exposed to toxic substances can access the VA care they’ve earned. Last month, Sinema held a tele-town hall with more than 9,600 Arizonans to answer questions from veterans on the enhanced health care benefits provided to them and their families in the bipartisan PACT Act law.