President Trump signed the Veterans Affairs' Mission Act into law midweek which will provide over $50 billion in federal investments to privatize a portion of the VA's healthcare system and improve historical inefficiencies.
"Many, many veterans and their families as a result of this bill will certainly live a much, much better life", said Haynes.
In previous months, critics and other healthcare stakeholders have called for improvements to the Veterans Choice Program, citing enrollment errors, exceptionally long wait times, and a convoluted referral process that hinders patient access to care.
The Government Accountability Office reports veterans had to wait up to 64 days for an appointment with private doctors.
Dunn's bill would direct the VA secretary to connect VA doctors and health care providers to a national network of state-based prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) which track prescribing data for patients prescribed drugs like oxycodone, morphine and hydrocodone to relieve pain. The care will be judged by its timeliness, effectiveness, safety, and efficiency. "As a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, I'll continue to work with both sides of the aisle to champion policies that help Nevada's 300,000 veterans".
The new law makes it easier for veterans to get treatment covered outside of VA centers.
"It's getting better and better", he said.
"If the VA can't meet the needs of a veteran in a timely manner, that veteran will have the right to go right outside to a private doctor", the President said.
The US Veterans Administration now serves some nine million veterans across America.
Veterans groups cheered the legislation as major step toward improving veterans care.
Bergman sits on the VA Committee and Chairs the VA Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
"If we implement this bill as Congress has written it, this legislation will be transformational to the VA", Roe, R-1st, of Johnson City, said. There is no reliable estimate and little research to determine how much taxpayers pay for a private medical appointment versus one inside VA's system of 1,300 clinics and hospitals. Now only veterans who endure waits of at least 30 days - not nine days - for an appointment at a VA facility are eligible to receive care from private doctors at government expense. The VA MISSION Act addresses these shortcomings and will provide rural Veterans the flexibility needed to receive the care they've rightfully earned. Supporters of the change, like Haynes, say for many that will mean less travel to get their care.
The bill replaces the Veterans Choice Program, which, although popular and effective for many vets, was plagued with funding problems, leaving vets to foot the bill for their care from private providers.
The White House contends that there is plenty of money already dedicated to Veterans Affairs. The government will have to pay interest if its bill is not paid in an allotted time period, the congressman said.
The legislation would create a presidentially appointed commission to review the closure of underperforming VA facilities.