Chip Roy Introduces Bill to Give Veterans Increase Healthcare Access Outside the VA System

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Posted: Mar 02, 2021 12:00 PM
Chip Roy Introduces Bill to Give Veterans Increase Healthcare Access Outside the VA System

Source: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) introduced a bill on Tuesday to have the Department of Veterans Affairs establish a pilot program that will create "veteran health savings accounts to allow veterans to receive primary care furnished under non-Department direct primary care service arrangements."

Cosponsors of the bill include Republican Reps. Madison Cawthorn (TX), Ted Budd (NC), John Curtis (UT), and Pete Sessions (TX).

In essence, the bill, titled "The Veterans Access to Direct Primary Care Act," aims to give veterans more options to seek healthcare outside the VA system, as it is known to be bogged down by extended wait times and lack of consistent quality care, depending on the location of the hospital, by using VA managed health savings accounts to access direct primary care service arrangements.

"Beginning one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall carry out a five-year pilot program under which the Secretary shall provide eligible veterans with the option to choose to receive primary care services furnished by a non-Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare provider under a direct primary care service arrangement through the use of a veteran health savings account..."

"The Secretary shall provide to an eligible veteran who participates in the pilot program a veterans health savings account that may be used— (1) to purchase primary care services furnished through a non-Department direct primary care service arrangement; and (2) for associated costs, including— (A) periodic fees paid to a physician for a defined set of medical services or for the right to receive medical services on an as-needed basis; (B) amounts paid or prepaid for medical services designed to screen for, diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent disease and promote wellness; and (C) prescription or non-prescription medicines or drugs."

"After putting their lives on the line to defend this republic, America’s veterans should not struggle to receive healthcare. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to millions of canceled veterans’ health care appointments and many struggling to reschedule them," Roy told Townhall. "Those who defend the blessings of liberty should have the freedom to choose the very best our country has to offer. The Trump administration took a critical step to support our veterans by signing into the law MISSION Act in 2018 that expanded community care options for our veterans; this legislation continues that effort."

"I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this legislation, which prioritizes veteran choice and provides greater access to quality healthcare. The DPC model would provide another option that slashes bureaucracy and allows patients to work directly with their health service providers. This legislation would prioritize quality care and efficient service. Our veterans deserve top-of-the-line healthcare, and this legislation is a strong step in that direction," Cawthorn said in a statement to Townhall.