Federal VA health care program jeopardizes Alaska system

AP News
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Posted: Jun 19, 2015 5:34 PM

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A new program to deliver health care to veterans across the nation has jeopardized the Alaska system used as a model, triggering outrage from the state's U.S. senators and frustration from vets.

Alaska's network allowed veterans to receive care closer to home, regardless of whether the facilities were run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Amid a national scandal over long wait times at VA facilities, members of Congress took note of Alaska's approach. It passed a law calling for a creation of a program allowing vets to seek treatment outside of the VA system.

The Alaska program was temporarily halted as VA attempted to implement the new program. But the VA, following concerns, has agreed to fund the state-level partnerships at least through the end of September.