The recent decision by Congress and the President to give veterans greater choice in their health care decisions should be applauded. Veterans deserve the best health care the United States can offer, and reform of the current system must continue until that is achieved.
How new policies and laws are executed is often as important as the original intent of the legislation. The specific implementation of the Mission Act, which was signed into law by President Trump on June 6, 2018, will be critical to ensuring that veterans are well served. The Act establishes a single community care program that allows more veterans to seek care outside the Veterans Affairs (VA) system, using new access standards that have recently been released.1 These access standards allow veterans to seek private-sector care based on relaxed wait times and drive times, availability of service offerings, and failure to meet quality standards and provide new eligibility for urgent care.
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Shulkin D. Implications for Veterans’ Health Care: The Danger Becomes Clearer. JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(11):1586–1587. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.2996
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