House Eliminates Sunset for Veterans Choice Program
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) issued the following statement after the House voted to eliminate the sunset date for authorization of the Veterans Choice Program.
LaMalfa said: “It’s no secret that the VA is in need of comprehensive reform. While Congress and the Administration are working together to better address the needs of our veterans, we must ensure that we continue to provide consistent and reliable options in the interim. A choice for health care for veterans shouldn't have an ending or a sunset. That's why we are permanently extending the program – allowing veterans to continue seeking quality care outside the VA while we pursue wholesale changes within the department.”
Established under the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, the Veterans Choice Program appropriates funds for veterans to seek health care outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as an alternative to VA care. The program included language stating that the program would discontinue on August 7, 2017 – or until the allocated funds run out. As the “sunset” deadline approaches, the VA claims there will still be funds remaining to continue the program. VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson sent a letter requesting Congress to eliminate the sunset date last December.
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.