SURPRISE: Congress Fails To Fix Veterans Choice Program Funding Crisis

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Veterans Choice Surprise

Congress was unable to pass legislation to provide a short-term funding fix necessary to keep the Veterans Choice Program alive for six more months.

A proposed fix would have provided $2 billion to the health care program to cover expenditures over the next six months. But that fix failed to get enough votes to pass with the required two-thirds vote, 219-186, required to advance the measure.

Republicans in the House of Representatives proposed trimming the budgets of existing VA programs to fund Veterans Choice for the next six months. Despite sufficient funding earlier last spring, VA has burned through the money citing increased usage of the program.

Now, VA says thousands of veterans will be forced out of the program in the next few weeks with funding running out mid-August.

Should anyone be surprised that Congress was unable to pull a rabbit out of the hat given the steady stream of legislative failures coming out of this session?

Veterans Choice Background

The Veterans Choice Program was created in the wake of the health care fraud exposed by CNN starting with Phoenix VA in 2014. There, VA employees engaged in various acts of fraud using false performance numbers.

These fraudulent acts resulted in the deaths of hundreds of veterans in Phoenix. And, the scandal was not limited there but a national problem.

Veterans Choice was then created as a temporary fix to allow some veterans access to non-VA health care in their community. The program was immediately obstructed by VA personnel who believed a fully functioning non-VA care alternative would result in the full privatization of VA health care.

The straw-man, the sky is falling, scare tactic was not true, but it spun up many veteran organizations to generally oppose full implementation of health care choice for all veterans.

As a result of the political blowback from both health care fraud and failures to implement the program appropriately, many veterans ran into brick walls seeking timely access to care.

Now, that program alternative is almost out of money with no fix in sight just as Congress is about to take a recess.

Democrats Not On Board

As far as the vote, Republicans called for a vote after supposedly believing they had a majority vote. Democrats, with the prodding of major veteran organizations, opposed the measure citing concerning about cutting existing programs.

Tim Walz, a leading Democrat from Minnesota, explained why.

“It’s apparent in the Senate that [this plan] will not pass,” he said. “We will not have money for the Choice Program … If we can’t find compromise that gets something across the finish line, that actually does something for veterans, everything else is just message for politics.”

Democrats’ vote was really against the “Robbing From Peter To Pay Paul” economic no-no.

Instead, Democrats want Republicans to come up with a fix that properly funds the program without pulling resources away from other programs.

Source: http://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2017/07/24/proposed-va-choice-funding-fix-fails-in-house-vote/

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91Veteran
91Veteran

Why am I not surprised.

These clowns in DC can’t seem to find their ass with both hands.

Watch how fast they scramble though when the next scandal hits.

And as for Walz, am I missing something? Does he have a crystal ball telling him how the Senate will vote? And does his ball gazing then tell him to vote no on the House?

Itsjungletime
Itsjungletime

No surprise the money is gone. I don’t know why VSO’s continue to get in the way of a broken VAMC’s. Employees not to bright cannot get all the help they keep getting. New accountability office to stop nonsense and intimidation. Do they change their behaviors. Hell no they get worse. If ur a VA employee wake up call it in Don’t worry abt the stalkers they making name for themselves. I believe they going to shift money from community care budget. I guess if X-ray n blood clinics are below standards, really don’t have a hospital.

Richard Rust
Richard Rust

Doubt Anything will ever change .. I’ve been 100 % since 1983 ” actually 160 % ”
then back in Dec. 2015 saw TBI removed from Front sheet at VA Outpatient Clinic
and since then .. Geese . Then a couple months ago I’m told to go see Benefits Counselor
so I go and asked ” Is TBI on my Medical files ? ” am told No .. but I do see You have CTE
I’ve always been asked .. “ do You ever get on Computer ” by Aides
that accompany VA Doctor’s . Probably cause of Info that can be found
And I see why now in – other words Have you looked up any of your Disabilities ?
How could I not have TBI if that is what Retired Me >an how could I have CTE if I didn’t have TBI ?
What is known is that repetitive brain injury causes CTE – I haven’t had repetitive brain injuries
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy belongs to the spectrum of chronic TBI and is a direct, long-term,
and permanent consequence of TBI.
Military veterans who are exposed to all types of TBI, including acceleration–deceleration injuries of the brain from exposure to ordinances, stand a reasonable risk of developing CTE.
We believe CTE is caused by repetitive brain trauma. This trauma includes both concussions that cause symptoms and sub concussive hits to the head that cause no symptoms.
At this time the number or type of hits to the head needed to trigger degenerative changes
of the brain is unknown. CTE is a progressive, degenerative brain disease for which there is no treatment. More research on treatments is needed, but the current approach is to prevent head injury.
It’s also important to stay informed about the latest recommendations for detecting and managing traumatic brain injury… Since All this has started I was put on Choice program an taken off 3 x’s then finally see an Orthopedic Specialist who wants Me to do Physical Therapy for 6 weeks; which I’ve already done last Year and told by VA Orthopedic Dr. that it was useless – as I can’t walk right and have excess bone;which a VA Dr. tells Me was caused by the Surgery an Choice Dr. assigned to me say’s Its arthritis . Then when I wrote a letter to Sec. Bob McDonald .. next I receive an appt. with a Neurologist but when I showed up wasn’t a Neurologist but a Neuropsychologist .. who after testing Me ; wanted to prescribe Me antipsychotic drugs an after seeing my C files an seeing that my Primary Care Dr. had prescribed me those an what harm they could cause Me I refused an was asked .. why I said because those would only make my Health worse an Her response was I want to see prove of that !! 2 weeks later brought proof an was told .. I don’t need to see that . I’m already ranked as 160 % an think All s they care about is $$$ Health Care they could give a damn – Just like in 1988 I get a thing in the mail that they wanted to drop Me to 40 % and Thought about it – didn’t make sense ! I was getting that just for a seizure disorder so how could I get the seizure disorder ..was it maybe TBI and OBS ? brought it to a Congressman an was told I would never be bothered again – this was in California ; have now been Fully Retired since 1988 – 29 Years and am still being Pestered – don’t think it’s right an they know its not right But do they Care ..shit

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

Big scam, VA denying veterans benefits, veterans fight and win 100 disability.

VA starts the process of taking away the veterans benefits.

These employees should be arrested and fired. Something very wrong with this tatic !

They are now taking veterans pensions to pay for choice.

namnibor
namnibor

Just wait for these rat bastards to slap a brand new name on ‘Choice’ soon and it will have something, something John McCain in the wording like: “The McCain Mayo Clinic VA Choice Program”….but not to worry, it only allows ringknockers to cross the street and utilize The Mayo Clinic, but not your regular, average Veteran. All we plain without peanut Veterans are to die on our own or have assisted death and torture by the VA *with* peanuts.

I predict Congress will still all have their heads up each other’s asses, hell-bent on screwing ALL Americans as far as healthcare…three years from now and still nothing else will be accomplished in 4 years…while the wars still burn onward. Wait for it…. Must be a GREAT time to be a war profiteering gov’t contractor!!

Oh…and FUCK OFF VSO PIGGIES. YOU’RE PART OF THE PROBLEM OF HEADS-UP-ASS-ITUS!!!!!!!!

Rat Bastards!

VA IS LYINF INC.
VA IS LYINF INC.

THE VA CHOICE PROGRAM IS ONE BIG BIG SLUSH FUND SCAM $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ITS A JOKE 2 BILLION $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$44 WOULD HAVE GONE IN SOME ONNES POCKET !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@VA IS LYINF INC. – – – Just wanted to let you know, that many others back up your direct cut to the chase one liners. Thanks. – – – Nutter.

Charles
Charles

Without it, I wouldn’t have found out the extent of my back problems! Spinal stenosis and 4 bad discs. Haven’t got the MRI on my neck yet either! The private doctor has referred me to a neurosurgeon and won’t be if I loose the choice program! The VA said it is minor! I wouldn’t have found out what other things I have wrong as well! One could be terminal and the VA was lying about it! Waiting for that referral as well! Besides, I can’t get to the VA anyway, It’s to far away and my car is not safe to drive that far! Without the choice program, Congress may have just killed me by proxy! The doctors I’ve seen through the choice program are the kindest beat doctors I’ve seen in over 30 years that I have been going to the VA! Your the joke A hole and uninformed!

Lem
Lem

I have spinal stenosis and more than 4 completely desiccated (dissolved or dried up) discs in my neck and more in my lower back. No surgery. I take care of it with traction by wearing a stiff cervical collar that I got in Japan and walking a block or two a day on Canadian crutches (the ones with the wrist band instead of the longer ones that cause problems for people who lean their arm pits on them. The idea is to push the weight off of the spinal column (back and neck) and get extension by having the legs and but pull against the shoulders hanging from the crutches. A trial suggested by a Resident to a neurosurgeon at UCLA Medical School in Los Angeles when the surgeon decided against doing surgery. He got paid the same whether he did it or not so he wasn’t going to do it just for the extra money. The only ulterior motive he would have had would have been a subject for his students to observe.

Don’t be surprised if your surgeon won’t operate (unless he needs the money or is greedy). More than half end up worse off than before surgery 6 months to a year after. I understand they have some coating material that keeps the scar tissue from strangling the spinal nerve and it outlets through the vertebrae. You may be lucky and get a good surgeon and be less genetically prone to scaring.

Good luck.

I’d try hydro therapy traction if I could find a pool deep enough and warm enough and be able to get enough time in it. 10 days of 6 to 8 hours a day moving from 98 degrees for 45 minutes to 78 degrees for 45 minutes suspended exercising (scissor steps and body twisting) with diving weight belts working against life vest and neck floats got me off pain pills except for a couple of days a year. Plus I use capsaicin 0.75% or 1%. I do the hydro therapy whenever I start having problems with pain.

The trade off is that I now get dry mouth at night (no saliva) when I lay too flat because the natural curve in my neck is gone. I have good alignment of my spinal canal and good disc space minimizing the stenosis pressure on nerves. The discs just aren’t there and the neck traction has straightened the neck vertebrae too much. But it is better than being in constant pain or drugged into oblivion.

I haven’t had a severe, climbing the wall, exacerbation since 2003. Building the tissue to hold the disc space works better than metal bars. I don’t know about artificial discs. Would volunteer to be a study subject with them. I’m 76. have had my time on the planet. Actually considering a finale exit over mental issues.

NiteWish
NiteWish

Lem, at my last dental appt she gave me ‘biotene’ oral rinse to try for dry mouth. The products are sold as rinses, toothpastes, saliva stimulation(Gum), spray & a gel. Might be worth a try.

Lem
Lem

Tried them. Find water works better. A sip of water using the same instructions as biotene. The acidity of biotene and some others the VA gave me was too much for my acid reflux.

James Gallegos
James Gallegos

U have been right all along. !

Vet Who Thinks the System Needs an Overhaul
Vet Who Thinks the System Needs an Overhaul

I agree with Charles. Since using Choice, I’ve gotten properly diagnosed, where the VA failed to connect the docs with my symptoms. I have horrible allergies/sinuses, and the ENT at VA was a joke. The Choice docs have me on the path towards healing finally!

Ralph M. Maddox/ USNAVY SEABEE VET.
Ralph M. Maddox/ USNAVY SEABEE VET.

These VSOs ARE the problem. They say they represent us. BULL I was member of the American Legion for 20 years. Theey never represented me. They never helped me with my disability issues. I did it all, my daughter and I. You will never see the leaders of these orgs. at any VA hospital. If the heads of the VA andf VA Health would meet with some of us, instead of the VSOs, they just might understand then TRUE issues we face daily. Thankm you for allowing me to butt in with my humble opinion.

Lem
Lem

Ralph, just got a remand on issues from the BVA that the American Legion representative dropped the ball on. some “clear and unmistakable error” questions to be developed.

Bill
Bill

Fall in and prepare to die.

Thank you gor your service but we are done with you now so go away and die, after all we have to save our money for the next war

namnibor
namnibor

By the way, THE ONE THING and THE ONLY THING this Congress has been able to accomplish in last 7 months is ALL CONGRESS CRITTERS HAVE AGREED TO EXEMPT THEMSELVES FROM HEALTHCARE LAW…wtf?

The Congress Critters have absolutely no stake in the game and same goes for the VA. Those asshats in Congress **have theirs** and are acting JUST LIKE Insane McCain. SELF-SERVING RAT BASTARDS!

Veterans? (no parade nor holiday is on horizon so not even a dopes and pony show)

Lem
Lem

I don’t blame congress for withholding the money until the program is fixed. Two contractors for the entire country. $25,000,000.00 for the top insurance executives. And try to get a referral even if you are assigned to Choice.

Guess I’ll have to make an 170 mile round trip to the Dr. beginning next month. But I have to do that half the time anyway because Choice only provides primary care without worst hassle than the VA.

namnibor
namnibor

If we were able to *fix* the VA/VHA, we would absolutely have no NEED for ‘Choice’. Seems best to spend the $$$ on fixing the original assets at the V.A. Titanic’s helm.

Did you know the word ‘asses’ is only one ‘t’ from being word ‘assets’?

Lem
Lem

Choice is the worst of the HMOs that contract out.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

No Lem, the failing Choice Program is an example of planned failure by the Veterans Administration.

Lem
Lem

You mean the back room meetings of the Sub Committees for Veterans’ Benefits backed by Wall Street because additional costs directly to VA care and compensation means less government contracts to the military industrial complex and unaccountable Choice contractors which investment bankers hold a big investment in. The “VA” is just the means to the end. Administrators do what they are told or lose their appointments via the Senate VA committee.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Only in your dreams Flem.

Again, the failing Choice Program is an example of planned failure by the Veterans Administration.

touchavet@gmail.com

I have had my first experience with the Veterans Choice program. It’s from my experience a total scam and money maker for the those that administer the program. Talk about hiring the inept and idiots of the street. To use the system it’s constant run a round and I spend more time getting nothing done. Months later I have an appointment with a practitioner arranged for today7/25.
Billions of dollars wasted again. I wonder who’s brother in law or cousins is getting wealthy on the boondoggle.

TrimTab
TrimTab

to touchavet… yup, that sounds like the same experience I had this year. I was given a 75 day wait to see my primary at the VA. I had a flier from the vets choice explaining the over 30 day wait, so gave them a call. The said I needed a referral from my primary. My primary said I had a 75 day wait and then they would give me another 60 day wait for the choice program referral… When I buy a Coke a Cola, I expect coke a cola to be in the can or bottle…the name is a guarantee that coke will be in the can, not water or fingers or piss.
The flier about Choice was the guarantee, but in actuality I was served piss in a can: Fraudulent representation!
Is there any where to convey concerns about this other than the VA’s own patient advocate?

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

IF the VA were to have been given the monies, who would have actually benefited? My guess would be the VA! How else were they planning to pay out the bonuses this year!
Another question. I’d like an explanation of WHO, in the VA, actually used Choice! Everyone I’ve met was denied! Who were the “lucky ones”? Were the “lucky ones” VA/Veterans?
My intuition tells me this “Bill” had language in it, which would have “removed veterans (aged 62 and older on Social Security) from receiving “IU” (Individual Unemployablity)!
I also believe, there was additional “language” gutting other nessasary programs benefiting veterans!
As I explained yesterday. The “Herman Caine Show”, “96.5 FM radio”, “WDBO”, was devoted to the “failing VHA’s nationwide”. Most, IF not all, of the callers were in agreement over “government run healthcare” (which VA is) being a “single payer insurance healthcare” entity!
Even though we receive FREE healthcare, it is basically “3rd world healthcare”! Many on here, and other “Vet Friendly” websites, have confirmed our worst fears about the VA! Yet, our “Congress Critters” seen to overlook ALL the crimes committed by these reprobates! (Side note: could it be the “critters in Washington” aren’t receiving their “cut” from taxpayers monies?)
The MSM’s keep reporting on “500+ VA employees fired since January 20th, 2017”! Yet, since the new “Accountability and Whistle-Blower Protection Law” was signed by POTUS, how many have been FIRED? My guess would be NONE!
I could write more about this issue. Only everyone on here is well aware of the “B/S” coming out of Washington D.C.!
The “massive corruption”, on both sides of the aisles, is seeing “Full Blown Sunlight” being shown on them! There’s no place for the “Congress Critters” to hide any longer!
Either FIX the VA, or SHUT IT DOWN! There’s no other “choice” available to Congress!

Lem
Lem

I use Choice until August. (5 days left)/

Was authorized 12 visits to my primary care in Torrington, WY between February and August. Previous year only 6 visits. When my primary care did anything it had to be rewritten by a VA primary care. All consults and prescriptions. Choice sent me past the VA in Cheyenne to the University of Colorado Medical School EENT clinic on a consult last year. Paid travel pay for a 600 mile round trip instead of a 170 mile round trip.

Apparently “Choice” was a sell out to two providers, Health Net and Tri Care. Both appear to be bastardized HMO operations meaning the less care dispensed the more the insurance company makes.

My next appointment will be at the VA, 170 mile round trip. I think the VA was trying to wean as many vets out of the VA and onto Medicare providers as possible. One of the requirements of Choice is that the provider accept Medicare at the authorized payment scale. If I had part b or could get it reasonably after 30 years of declining it when I was walking distance to a VA or on my wife’s Japanese health care insurance I would probably continue to use my Torrington PC instead of driving to Cheyenne. Actually the cost out of pocket for me to see her paying for a full clinic visit myself is less than the travel pay I get to drive to Cheyenne. The VA should just set up to pay the travel pay to the local clinic directly and cut out Health Net. It would be a lot cheaper.

There is a truck clinic available 2 days a week from Cheyenne VA if all you need is to get your prescriptions rewritten.

I saw my local clinic PC 2 times in this 12 authorized visit period. Meaning Health Net is collecting for 12 visits and paying for 2. And the Health Net CEO gets to get a bonus on top of his 12.5 million dollar base salary.

NiteWish
NiteWish

Lem, When I was looking into Delaware VA I came across this. Maybe it can help some one somehow from the 7 listed participating states.
Free Confidential Therapy for Post 9/11 Veterans and Their Loved Ones available in WA, CA, WY, TX, IL, PA, NY
“https://www.thesoldiersproject.org/”

Lem
Lem

Only for post 9/11 veterans. Doesn’t help me because I’m a Vietnam vet that was discharged in 1974.

NiteWish
NiteWish

Lem, I know that, wasn’t thinking much, I attached it to you for mentioning Wyoming & to start the subscribe

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@Lem,
Don’t you remember when Shulkin was in front of the Congressional Committee he said something to the effect of; He sent out a memo to all the VHA’s to only allow certain vets use Choice? Kinda weeding them off getting outside healthcare!
That was about three weeks ago now!
I paraphrased the exact wording, but that was his intent. Because the Choice Program, according to Shulkin, would be broke by (I believe) August 8th!
Maybe that’s why your getting screwed!

Lem
Lem

I just got called back and now my “authorized visits” is 24 of which I used 2. Apparently there isn’t space in the PTSD care for me at VA Cheyenne. But it all raps up on September 30 and I’ll have to get a new authorization then.

I have to call Cheyenne and verify that I can get a PC mental health besides my PC medical? Maybe I’ll just make that finale exit instead. Cheyenne was supposed to set me up with PTSD care last month.

NiteWish
NiteWish

Lem, Get a Kitten, its not your time yet.

Lem
Lem

August 8 was my previous end date.

Itsjungletime
Itsjungletime

The VAMC’s will never be fixed because employees don’t want it fixed. We will see how accountability office takes out the garbage. It’s happening but slowly about 3 new pages a week latest 7/20. One of 2 things will happen, they get smart and tell Or the bad tries to recruit more. Looks like the 1st is happening.

Cantigny
Cantigny

agree @Crazy Elf about the MSM reporting. all vet-friendly sites share the same experiences that the MSM isn’t reporting on the real problems at VA/VBA at all. they’re still stuck on the wait times! screw the wait time issue if the veteran more likely than not is going to get screwed over!

cj
cj

-!¡¡!-

TrimTab
TrimTab

Crazy elf… I believe congress has been liberal to the veterans. (I could be wrong). But, as we transition from the US code, what congress wrote as law, into the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations, the regulatory agencies) from the federal register, these agencies have been tweaking the law to suit their needs and wants. It is the fault of law makers in congress by not taking care to watch over the administrative government, which, in turn, is allowing these agencies to become the law makers instead the regulatory agencies. What that would represent is that we don’t have representation as far as the law making goes.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@TrimTab,
That’s basically what I wrote. Thanks for putting it into a better “format”!

I wonder how “Seymore” will respond to this crap? Bet he’s chomping at the bit!

Lem
Lem

It is a bait and switch game. The law makers have to approve CFR (the regulations) which allows them to say they passed this caring law while taking it away with the unseen hand.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@TrimTab,
I also have to ask, what do you mean by;
“Congress has been liberal to the Veterans.”??????
IF Congress had fixed the VA, we veterans wouldn’t have had to use a program like Choice!
I, now that I’ve had time to reflect on your statement, I’m more in agreement with “Lem”! It IS a “bait and switch” scheme. Cooked up by those who don’t have, or want, to use “Socialized Medicine” – or a “Single Payer Healthcare System”!
“Single Payer Healthcare System” is just a more polite way of saying “Socialized Medicine”! Which, by the way, is exactly what the Democrats are calling for in the Senate today!
I believe IF the whole of Congress were to use the VHA’s for their healthcare, or “Socialized Medicine, we would see the VA fixed in no time flat!
That’s just my opinion!

Lem
Lem

That is a good idea. Send them to the VA DC instead of Bethesda Tripler. (used to be Naval Hospital instead of Army until the big crisis during Dubya’s term) Don’t let them use GW or any other prime care facility in DC until they fix the VA.

Lem
Lem

Just received an email on VCP from the VA? Doesn’t seem to tally with the info Health Net is giving me. And it seems it is possible the VA is outing the contractors and paying the bills directly? Look for the changes near the end. They aren’t clear as to what is going on. Cutting and pasting below:

The Veterans Choice Program (VCP) is a benefit that allows eligible Veterans to receive health care from a community provider rather than waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

1. Am I eligible for the Veterans Choice Program?

To be eligible for the program, you must be enrolled in VA health care and must also meet at least one of the following criteria:
•You are told by your local VA medical facility that you will need to wait more than 30 days for an appointment.
•You residence is more than a 40 mile driving distance from the closest VA medical facility with a full time primary care physician.
•You need to travel by air, boat, or ferry to the VA medical facility closet to your house.
•You face an unusual or excessive burden in traveling to the closest VA medical facility based on a geographic challenge, environmental factor, medical condition, or other specific clinical decisions. Staff at your local VA medical facility will work with you to determine if you are eligible for any of these reasons.
•You reside in a State or a United States Territory without a full-service VA medical facility that provides hospital care, emergency services and surgical care, and reside more than 20 miles from such a VA medical facility. Note: This criterion applies to Veterans residing in Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Also note that some Veterans in New Hampshire reside within 20 miles of White River Junction VAMC and are therefore not eligible for the Veterans Choice Program.

2. What if I think I am eligible?
•Call the VCP Call Center at 866-606-8198 or visit the Veterans Choice Program website to verify eligibility and set up an appointment here.

3. Can I call my non-VA doctor to make an appointment?
•No, please call the VCP call center at 866-606-8198 to verify eligibility and set up an appointment.

4. How is the 40 mile calculation determined?
•This calculation is based on the driving distance from your permanent residence (or active temporary address) to the closest VA facility, including Community-Based Outpatient Clinics and VA Medical Centers. You are eligible if you live more than 40 miles driving distance from the closest medical facility that has a full-time primary care physician.

5. If I am eligible for the Veterans Choice Program, can I receive Beneficiary Travel for travel to appointments with a VCP provider?
•Yes, the Choice Act does provide funding to pay for travel to VCP providers for Veterans who are eligible for Beneficiary Travel. However, it did not provide any new Beneficiary Travel eligibility.

6. If I didn’t get my Choice Card or I lost my Choice Card, what do I do?
•You do not need your Choice Card to access the VCP. If you didn’t receive a Choice Card or lost your Choice Card, simply call 866-606-8198 to find out if you are eligible and to make an appointment.

7. How do I get my prescription filled if I use the Veterans Choice Program?
•The community provider you see through the VCP can issue a prescription for up to a 14 day supply of a national formulary drug. You may have the 14 day supply filled at any non-VA pharmacy of your choosing.
•Prescriptions can be reimbursed through the Business Office/Non-VA Care Coordination Office at VA facilities. This reimbursement may take 30-45 days to process, and requires a copy of the prescription and the original receipt. Veterans cannot be reimbursed at the VA Pharmacy.
•For prescriptions needed past 14 days, please follow standard procedures to fill a prescription at the VA pharmacy.

8. If I use the Veterans Choice Program, does that affect my VA health care?
•No, not at all. You do not have to choose between the two. The VCP is here to make it easier to access the care you need. VA is building a high-performing integrated health care network to deliver the best of VA and the community. This integrated network will give Veterans more choices to access care and ensure care is delivered where and when you need it.

9. What is my responsibility for co-payments to my other insurance?
•Nothing. VA is now the primary coordinator of benefits for VCP, so you are only responsible for your VA copayment.
•Your VA copayment will be determined by VA after the care is provided. VA copayments will be billed by VA after the appointment.

10. How does the new VCP extension law affect me?
•Public Law 115-26, enacted April 19, 2017, made three key changes to help improve the VCP. The law removed the expiration date for the program, made VA primary coordinator of benefits for services provided to you, and it removed barriers with sharing necessary health information with community providers.

More Information
•Please refer to the Veterans Choice Program website for more information about the program, its benefits, and eligibility criteria here.
•Providers interested in participating must establish a contract with one of the contractors, Health Net Federal, or TriWest Healthcare Alliance. For more information, about how to participate please visit Veterans Choice Program website for providers.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@Lem,
From what you just posted, the VA just about makes it (almost) impossible for veterans to use Choice!

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Exactly !!!

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Seymore Klearly – – – Any findings on the VA staph? – – – Nutter.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Still working on it ANutterVet will be sometime this evening.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Seymore Klearly – – – Just checking, thanks for the update, thought I may have gotten lost in the mix. I hope CJ finds a way to find out if Ex is ok. Very strange for Ex and CJ to not talk in such a long time. I know that Ex had shared that his medications were once again being rearranged. Very concerned.

Leatherneck
Leatherneck

Have are you Veterans I moved to New Hampshire from Arizona I don’t know about the a Clinic that go their telling me it’s a Clinics but the Signs say it’s a Veteran Medical Center plus had main plumbing problems closes three floors all Flooding out I don’t know which is worse John McCain going to be a Senator Veteran Health care down hill even the Veterans are coming to me complaining about the Health care they getting.

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

John McAfee who is building the World Brain with blockchain. China, Iran, and Russia are going to bury the USA for the simple reason that the US Government is corrupt to the bone and all of the US IT CEOs are criminally negligent in willful disregard for the public interest.

WHEN THE WHOLE SYSTEM IS CORRUPT GOOD LUCK CHANGING ANYTHING

T
T

Old Marine, a belated note: Yes I do need to get my eyes checked like you suggested. Totally slipped my mind. I was just thinking I was so pissed off I couldn’t see straight. lol

I made it this far in reading and to post then waddle off. First thought is ‘they’ knew that Choice would fail in the beginning. Like MDs not accepting what the VA was willing to pay. Civilian MDs wanted much more $.

Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption
“https://anticorruptionsociety.com/2017/07/25/drug-companies-doctors-a-story-of-corruption/#more-11571”

People still are not out in the streets raising hell over this?
“http://www.whereisthemoney.org/”

Pelosi, the ugly and stupid, still gets voted into office even after saying “we must pass bills to see what’s in them?” That is like having those behind closed door discussions over veteran’s health care or this Obummer fiasco. Aren’t we so lucky and happy illegals can have it all while politicians and others can have their own separate health care provisions and local clinics? That was sarcasm.

“https://ileadliberty.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/the-read-the-bills-act-would-solve-one-serious-problem-with-congress/”

“https://thecriticalaye.com/2011/08/31/skyrocketing-health-care-costs-thanks-president-nixon/”

In the seventies I had two old timer chiropractors and a few doctors tell me about this Nixon thing and about how after attending their own health care or chiropractic conventions, I’d, we’d all, be hating life and what was to come with inflated costs.

Back then I could call one of the two chiropractors for an appointment. Get straight in barely any wait times. No X rays needed, they could feel the issues minus X rays needed after any surgeries for some. Get popped back into place, pay twenty bucks for about ten minutes, go rest a while, then back to work, simple. They refused to change/charge with the demands of others in the medical fields. Twenty bucks compared to the hundreds today, plus required Xrays, new patient fees, folder and office costs, repeated trips with no relief, new chiropractors not knowing squat about the previous methods used on me for quick treatment/fixing. Yeah, we’ve come a long way from cheaper, honorable, honest, and easy to pure hell, game playing, lies, conflicting info, and bankruptcies for any care.

My latest chiro I finally found while waiting on the VA games, he left the state. He said he was tired of Indiana laws, conflict of interest, and others in the field locally. So now I have been back on the search for another one. Which is costly and like finding a needle in the hay-stack for a good, decent, knowledgeable one, minus the money game. Plus being forced to sign more ambiguous, open ended, unending, release of information contracts. And promisary notes to never sue in case of injury or malpractice. Welcome to socialist and commie, tyrannical America. Hope those millionaire and billionaire MDs/Congress critters enjoy their mansions and luxury.

True the entire system is broken and corrupt to the core. It’s all about the money and controls. I don’t know about other states but Indiana is a total lost cause. Especially if those like Humana get the contracts to run local CBOCs and do all the damage they can do. If people remember some years back they had cruel tricks for not covering needful treatments using their HMOs, and allowing patients to just suffer and die. That was on the news.

gary
gary

“Veterans Choice” called me yesterday and it was obvious the woman was new, She had no information about why I was called, or an appointment time. She was ‘reading’ from a script and told me that “Veterans Choice” would call me again when they had an appointment. Some have said it’s a scam to slowly take away what Veterans have earned, and the VA Hospital system was created by the demands of Veterans who marched on D.C. in the 1930’s. Those Veterans were demanding that the “Bonuses” they were promised for fighting in the First World War by the United States, be honored. That War was about 14 years before, and many Veterans died off in the interim. Politicians want to give even more Money to themselves, and so many are Draft-Dodgers, so they are out to take away what we earned while in service to the United States of America. “Veterans Choice” is a scam with the long term objective of removing the VA Hospitals from the US, to allegedly ‘save money’. $2 trillion in the War of Choice in Iraq, and today Communist China is taking he most Oil from Iraq. “Wounded Warriors” are still begging for help from the US since they were not ‘planned’ for by the Bush Administration. $33 million in No-Bid Contracts for Dick Cheney, a Draft-Dodger, who claimed he had ‘better’ things to do than serve in our Nation’s Military. How much has he Donated to the “Wounded Warriors”?

Wyldechylde
Wyldechylde

Dick Cheney has more important things to do than to donate to Wounded Warriors. Like, shooting his hunting buddy in the face. Like stealing a heart transplant from a more deserving human being. I’m sure the list goes on and on but you get the drift.

gary
gary

Wyldechylde, The only thing worse is that GW Bush does charge the “Wounded Warriors” $100,00.00 to give them a speech. He said it’s the going rate for e-Presidents giving speeches. It shows some keep making a killing off that War, even as Burn Pit Vets are just being killed.

NiteWish
NiteWish

gary for all we know your caller could have been a special needs high school student. Called Secondary Options in Calif Palo Alto VA they get to gain work experience in various areas of the hospital in positions under IT, clinical services, research labs, etc…

Windguy
Windguy

Actually, I think the Choice program was a stroke of genius. Trumpee and Congress get to take credit for re-booting the Choice program. Funding falls into the noise of a controlled media. The sheeple waddle, chaw, and shit in the lea, happy that their guardians are well fed.

Lem
Lem

Oh yeah! Try calling Choice for an appointment next month if you are authorized for this last 6 month period. I just did.

Windguy
Windguy

I just came back from PT – via Choice. It’ had been set up for a few months. I asked the owner of the shop how he was getting along with TriWest/Care for payments.

“Oh, they’re a little slow, but we eventually get paid”, he said.

“What about going forward?”, I asked.

“Oh, well Congress renewed it so it shouldn’t be a problem”.

“Yeah? Did Congress fund it?.

You should have seen the look on his face.

Lem
Lem

It has been extended without funding? which means it is probably dead. Another bait and switch. We extended Choice but we are not going to pay for it.

The vote on the extension will look nice for the conned voter and the vote against funding it will satisfy the Wall Street donors.

NiteWish
NiteWish

This report I read from 2016 Delaware VISN4 with its Total Operating Budget of $2,764,085,000 has 49% spent on employee Salary & Benefits with a meager 17% spent on Veterans Services. And they call this Best Practices.
“https://www.visn4.va.gov/news/annual-reports/2016/VISN4-annual-report-print.pdf”

Jerome A Robson Veterans Choice Program anesthesiology and pain management was arrested in April for fraud & other charges. AND he’s still listed as a Provider in the Veterans Choice Locator.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

I’ve got a sneaky suspicion the “Draining of the Swamp” IS going to take a little longer than was expected!
Why?
Because the swamp in Washington is filthy with corruption to the core!!!!!!! Both sides of the aisles, and the MSM’s, are trying hard to destroy our Constitutional Republic!
Get ready for HELL. Cause it’s about to erupt out there!
“Fire in the hole”, brothers and sisters!

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Crazy elf – – – Every day that passes by, that’s what I think ALL of them are doing to us Veterans; “just passing us, and saying bye.” Why do I say this, that don’t value our lives, they know damn well that the VA needs to be fixed. No one is sending a firm signal about reforming or reorganizing the VA. Ben is posting stories almost every day of the week. Others are plowing through digging and finding information that isn’t in the MSM’s News. OIG is getting complaints that are lighting up, “the fix the VA board.” Why just last week with the article about John McCain, look how many VSO’s and their piglet buddies commented about how us low-life Veterans had no right to say things about the pseudo-hero. May be its me, but being a Biologist, I don’t take it kindly at all when we are losing at least 22 Veterans a day because of suicide. The type of thoughts that have never tugged at me to act until about 1 1/2 years ago. Like I said before, I have no more Joker or Trump cards left in my deck. This all tells me that I’m right, no one cares. I’m not mad at you, I’m just furious inside because this all goes against the grain for mankind. @James Clement, post the “Fix the Damn VA,” again and again. No more passes with me. Sickening. The writings are all over the place, and they all down play while they eat cake and vacation every fucking weekend. No disrespect to the Office of the President, but only to the ones that are too damn slow to act, unless it effects their pocketbook, or how badly they beat their opponent (definitely don’t like Hillary). There’s no protections for the lives of Veterans. Oh, I still never received a emergency call back. Go figure. Outside of my household, my wife and my K9 are the only ones that truly has my back.

Its as simple as this, No Accountability = Breeds Corruption

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

An Update to yesterdays story published by Daily Caller with a happier ending!!

Marines Gift WWII Veteran With Trip To DC After Vandals Assaulted Him
Jennifer Duplessie
5:26 PM 07/24/2017

“http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/24/marines-gift-wwii-veteran-with-trip-to-dc-after-vandals-assaulted-him/”

“Marines gifted a blind World War II veteran with a trip to Washington, D.C. on Sunday after he was assaulted by a group attempting to vandalize flags hung outside of his Texas home.

When 92-year-old Howard Banks heard noises around the flagpole in front of his home earlier this month, he went outside to see what was going on. A vandal pushed Banks to the ground, then quickly fled the scene, according to FOX 4 News”

namnibor
namnibor

Those Marines should do a little night recon operation to take care of those local pukes doing this and make a community example out of them by having a good old fashioned stoning…if you can lift the rock by any means it’s legal. 🙂

Jo3n
Jo3n

Everybody is saying, the VA is too corrupt to fix. Then, when I am forced to go to Birmingham VA, and the pain and suffering of so many Veterans there, wakes me up. Maybe I can use Medicare, but so many can’t. The fight is over for these Veterans. I believe many Veterans are there, not for an appointment, but just to come in to be out of the elements outside. I talked to some Veterans who lived on the streets and this is where they hang in the daytime. Even though, the VA guards would throw them out if they knew. Very sad time for Veterans, everywhere.

Jo3n
Jo3n

@Crazy elf, I have a suspicion that if the Swamp were to be drained, the entire Government would be gone. Fairly certain that there would be very few left in office. Looks like the Swamp is draining the Veterans. Do you think President Trump knows our plight? Does anyone give a damn? I’m just not going to lose it over THEM. This knowledge we have become aware of here, isn’t always a good thing. When over and over again, they commit atrocities, and too often, we watch them cover their assets. How many suicides last week? I’ve heard of one. Somehow, they keep adding up.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@Jo3n,
President Trump just came out and said that Washington “…was more like a sewer than a swamp!” And, that it “…was more corrupt than [he] thought!”
Again, it’s going to take a little longer than expected!

Jo3n
Jo3n

We Veterans NEED a way to keep count on these suicides, and Veterans deaths as a whole. Truthfully, I don’t know the truth about anything. I do know that Veterans are being screwed.

NiteWish
NiteWish

Sen. John McCain returned to the Senate floor…..
“http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4729752/John-McCain-receives-standing-ovation-Senate-floor.html”

namnibor
namnibor

Whatever it cost taxpayers for McCain’s last minute flight from AZ to D.C. just so McCain can say he again, was the hero that saved the day with his vote…that amount I’m pretty sure would have fed a homeless veteran for quite a while.
Perspective is everything. McCain’s name will be on this Healthcare Bill’s Name by time it makes it through the gastric juices of D.C. Swamp for next vote. Wait for it… Maverick McCain Medical (MMM). Based entirely on the Phoenix VAMC Deathcare Model and simply is a dusted-off Nazi Albert Speer Plan filed under “Final Solution”.

namnibor
namnibor

My point is: McCain was not that concerned about ‘Choice Funding’ for Veterans, was he?

NiteWish
NiteWish

I have a hard time even believing its him & not a body-double. Excellent surgery? or mirrors w/smoke

namnibor
namnibor

@NiteWish- There ARE those talking Mr. Potato Heads, which would stand-in a pinch with 99.8% likeness; all is a go on Manchurian McCain Candidate. 🙂

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@namnibor,
Washington D.C.’s “Swamp” has been renamed to “The D.C. Sewer!”

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

A world-renowned journalist had just published a very fitting eulogy for Lame Brain McCain. Although there is a lot that could be added it is a very good visualization of the yellow stream McCain deserves.

The beatification of John McCain
Neil Clark Op-Edge RT News
Published time: 25 Jul, 2017
“https://www.rt.com/op-edge/397482-mccain-us-hero-war-hawkish/”

The eulogy starts out with;

“The news the ultra-hawkish, pro-war US Senator John ‘Bomb, Bomb, Iran’ McCain has been diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of brain cancer has led to gushing eulogies to a great ‘hero’ of ‘freedom’ in elite circles in the US and other Western countries.

Brain cancer is a terrible disease, and no humane person would wish it on anyone. But does McCain‘s illness mean we have to sanitize his record of relentless warmongering and portray him as a 21st Century version of Mahatma Gandhi? It’s one thing not to jump on people when they are fighting for their life, but it’s quite another to ludicrously distort the historical record.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia.

I wonder what McCain’s moderate rebels, (ISIS), will be writing about him now that they are not going to see anymore US Taxpayers money for their payroll?

NiteWish
NiteWish

“All over this world, Mr. McCain is associated with freedom and democracy” the article states. Except for when he was dragged out of water and mauled by a mob. A monument celebrating the downing of “Tchn Sney Ma Can” was erected at the western shore on Thanh Niên Road.
“https://hanoigrapevine.com/2010/03/when-and-why-was-the-causeway-built-across-west-lake/?doing_wp_cron=1500919449.3176391124725341796875”

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

NiteWish,
Yea, The Vietnamese really do admire “Songbird John McCain!” Especially after he helped them to win the war! By giving, at least, 32 to 38 propaganda films against the American Military!

Have you seen the utube video of the Vietnamese jailer who was the one who gave McCain his “Rightfully Earned Nickname”?
I had always thought it came from the other POW’s. But, no it came from the Vietnamese jailer!

Wyldechylde
Wyldechylde

so it looks like Ms whatsername-shultz really really REALLY doesn’t want capitol police looking at that laptop. At this point it’s either Treason or a Debbie does Dade county porn tape. I’m pulling for the porn tape any takers? 😉

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Personally after watching her in the link below I wonder what her name was before the surgery. Back when she was a he. Also with all the brick she is chitting in the video you know that avenue is kind of used up.

““https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cfby0FYLBkM&feature=youtu.be&t=1h13m35s””

I am just waiting to hear how the DOJ and the FBI worked out a deal for immunity in secret.

namnibor
namnibor

“Dane Does Dade County”?

namnibor
namnibor

I can come up with names all day. Where I grew-up in my little county in Bible Belt Indiana, there was actually out in the country right outside city limits by a few miles a drive-in XXX theater…and all that comes with that, quite literally. 🙂

namnibor
namnibor

Full sized Adult Drive-in…just like the other old time huge drive-in movies where you parked car and the awful speaker went on lip of window and a heater was optional…and sadly, also food concessions, where hairnets were definitely optional. 🙂

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Of Course the DOJ and FBI have to first take charge of the case and get the computer away from the Capital Police. That might be the straw that will breaks the camels back for Trump. Then Jeff sessions and Mueller would also be facing treason charges down at Gitmo.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

You can bet that the NSA already has a copy of the hard drive and so does the Pentagon. From all of the news reports about the smashed computer and the hard drives recovered at the home of her tech guy. It was first reported to NCIS who were contacted and responded first to collect the tech gear left behind.

Speaking of her tech guy.

Breaking!!!! *******

Feds arrest IT staffer for Wasserman Schultz trying to leave country
Published July 25, 2017
Fox News

“http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/25/feds-arrest-it-staffer-for-wasserman-schultz-trying-to-leave-country.html”

“A House IT staffer at the center of a congressional computer equipment scandal has been arrested by federal officials and charged with bank fraud, Fox News has learned.

Fox News is told officers and agents from the U.S. Capitol Police, the FBI and Customs and Border Protection were involved in the arrest of Imran Awan at Dulles International Airport.

Awan, 37, of Virginia, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to one count of bank fraud during his arraignment in federal court in Washington, D.C. He was released but will have to wear a GPS monitor and abide by a curfew.

Awan also was ordered to turn over all his passports. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21.

Law enforcements authorities for months have been looking into how Awan may have double-billed the House for equipment like computers, iPads, monitors, keyboards and routers. Several relatives of Awan worked for House Democrats and were fired months ago. Awan, however, was kept on staff by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., even though he was no longer allowed access to the House server network.

Wasserman Schultz, though, has now fired Awan. Spokesman David Damron said Tuesday in a statement:

“”Mr. Awan previously served as a part-time employee but his services have been terminated. No charges, evidence or findings from the investigation have been formally shared with our office, so we cannot comment on them.”

Authorities also have looked into IT workers putting sensitive House information on the “cloud” and potentially exposing it to outside sources.

Fox News is told that federal officials arrested Awan at Dulles airport in suburban Virginia as he was “trying to leave the country.””

Published July 25, 2017
Fox News

Now Playing

Sen. John McCain: ‘We’re getting nothing done’
Close

A House IT staffer at the center of a congressional computer equipment scandal has been arrested by federal officials and charged with bank fraud, Fox News has learned.

Fox News is told officers and agents from the U.S. Capitol Police, the FBI and Customs and Border Protection were involved in the arrest of Imran Awan at Dulles International Airport.

Awan, 37, of Virginia, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to one count of bank fraud during his arraignment in federal court in Washington, D.C. He was released but will have to wear a GPS monitor and abide by a curfew.

Awan also was ordered to turn over all his passports. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21.

Law enforcements authorities for months have been looking into how Awan may have double-billed the House for equipment like computers, iPads, monitors, keyboards and routers. Several relatives of Awan worked for House Democrats and were fired months ago. Awan, however, was kept on staff by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., even though he was no longer allowed access to the House server network.

Wasserman Schultz, though, has now fired Awan. Spokesman David Damron said Tuesday in a statement:

“Mr. Awan previously served as a part-time employee but his services have been terminated. No charges, evidence or findings from the investigation have been formally shared with our office, so we cannot comment on them.”

Authorities also have looked into IT workers putting sensitive House information on the “cloud” and potentially exposing it to outside sources.

Fox News is told that federal officials arrested Awan at Dulles airport in suburban Virginia as he was “trying to leave the country.”

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ TO ALLOW LAPTOP SCAN AFTER STONEWALLING

The criminal complaint and affidavit said he had bought a ticket to fly Monday to Doha, Qatar, and then Lahore, Pakistan, with a return flight booked for early January. The affidavit specifically alleged he engaged in a scheme to defraud a Congressional Federal Credit Union. It did not appear to go in depth into the other matters investigators have been looking into.

Meanwhile, the counsel for Wasserman Schultz, the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, recently began negotiating with Capitol Police for access to her laptop in the case. Until this point, she had resisted USCP efforts to look at her computer – even suggesting “consequences” for the agency if the computer was not promptly returned.

Fox News first reported last week that arrests were coming in the case.

Awan and his relatives worked for House Democrats for more than a decade, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars. But Awan declared bankruptcy in 2012.

Awan is of Pakistani descent, and Democratic sources have argued the family’s ethnicity is a factor in the attention they’re receiving.”

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Wyldechylde, this may have been mentioned in another comment after yours…I have not read them all yet, but, seems little Debbies Paki IT guy, Imran Awan was arrested yesterday at Dulles reportedly trying to flee the country.

He was busted with over $12k in cash and was charged with bank fraud.

Later reports said he was charged with multiple bank fraud charges for his supposed overbilling for IT equipment.

Now, little Debbie could play the naive victim claiming she was unaware of all that, except for her threatening the Capitol Police chief…and the fact that although Awans House IT access was removed at least as far back as last March…little Debbie kept Imran on her payroll until yesterday morning.

She only fired him AFTER some in the media started asking her office questions about his arrest.

So far I have only seen reports of this in the Daily Caller and on Fox.

The rest of the media clowns have ignored it.

wpDiscuz