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Ranking Member Walz Statement On Extension Of VA Choice Program

Apr 5, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs Ranking Member Tim Walz (D-MN) released the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to extend the VA Choice program past its initial end date of August 2017:

“While the VA Choice program has expanded access to quality and timely care in many communities across the U.S., for many communities, like mine in southern Minnesota, there is still much room for improvement,” Rep. Walz said. “Our focus should always be on improving the veteran experience, especially when it comes to healthcare. That is why developing a veteran-centered health care system that preserves VA’s core mission while utilizing the private sector where it makes common sense is an absolute must.”         

“While the VA must be able to invest every dollar Congress has appropriated for the purpose of providing quality care to veterans, we simply cannot continue to invest billions of taxpayer dollars in a system that has clear and systemic flaws. The clinical decision of when and where to receive care should always be based on a conversation the veteran has with his or her doctor, and should never be bound by arbitrary rules. That is why it is imperative that any continuation of the Choice program be coupled with permanent solutions that empower veterans and improve their access to quality and timely healthcare.”

“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Majority as well as Secretary Dr. David Shulkin to improve healthcare for veterans in every community across the U.S.”