V.A. Prepares for Major Shift in Veterans’ Health Care


By Jennifer Steinhauer

The New York Times, June 5, 2019

The Department of Veterans Affairs on Thursday will begin allowing a broad section of its nine million enrollees to seek medical care outside of traditional VA hospitals, the biggest shift in the American health care system since the passage of the Affordable Care Act nearly a decade ago. Previously, veterans facing a wait of 30 days or more for an appointment at their closest VA health care center could seek private care. Under the new policy, that waiting time would be reduced to 20 days, with the goal of 14 days by 2020. The new measurement is expected to greatly open private-sector medical care to veterans in both rural communities and high-traffic urban areas, a goal conservatives have long pushed, especially after a 2015 scandal over hidden waiting lists for care. Click here to read more.