Our nation promised veterans access to quality health care for their service and sacrifice. Like Morris, many Arkansas veterans have experienced hassle and frustration with the VA when seeking medical care. This is one of the top issues I’ve heard from Arkansas veterans and members of Veteran Service Organizations.
That’s why Congress passed the Veterans Choice Act in 2014. One of the highlights of the law is that it allows veterans who live 40 miles or more from a VA health facility to see non-VA providers. After hearing from Arkansas veterans who were denied participation in the program based on the mileage, I learned that the VA was misinterpreting this provision. VA calculated the distance from a veterans’ residence to the VA facility using a straight line instead of the accurate mileage using driving distance.
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