WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs – today recognized the one-year anniversary and the implementation of The John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka, and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks, or the VA MISSION Act.
The VA MISSION Act – which begins implementation nationwide today – improves, expands and modernizes the Veterans’ Community Care Program, and includes several provisions introduced by Sen. Moran and the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
“The imminent implementation of the VA MISSION Act signals a new day for veterans’ healthcare,” said Sen. Moran. “Over the past several years, I’ve worked in a bipartisan manner to create a 21st century VA healthcare system that meets the needs of veterans, reduces bureaucracy, improves care coordination, supports rural hospitals, allows our veterans to receive care from local walk-in clinics, increases the availability of telemedicine and beyond.”
“Americans of all ages, from all backgrounds and walks of life, have bravely stepped up to defend our nation, and I remain committed to fostering a transformative VA that provides them ample access to timely, quality healthcare when they return to civilian life,” continued Sen. Moran. “The VA MISSION Act is a significant leap forward in accomplishing this goal and I will continue working with VA leadership to make certain that MISSION Act implementation continues as intended by Congress and that the VA puts veterans’ best interest at the center of its decision-making.”
If you are a veteran or a community care provider looking for more information on the VA MISSION Act, please click here.
Timeline of Sen. Moran’s work on the Veterans Choice Program and VA MISSION Act:
June 3, 2014: Sen. Moran joined Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) to introduce the Veterans Choice Act.
June 11, 2014: The Senate passed Sen. Moran’s legislation to establish the Veterans Choice Program.
August 7, 2014: The Veterans Choice Program was signed into law by then-President Barack Obama.
December 15, 2014: Sen. Moran introduced legislation to improve the Veteran Choice Program’s 40-mile eligibility rule.
January 22, 2015: Sen. Moran spoke on the Senate floor regarding his legislation to improve the Choice Program’s 40-mile rule.
February 26, 2015: Sen. Moran questioned VA Secretary McDonald about flawed implementation of Choice Program.
May 22, 2015: Senate unanimously passed Sen. Moran’s legislation to improve 40-mile Choice Act eligibility criteria.
July 23, 2015: Sen. Moran expressed concern with VA budget shortfall in Community Care accounts.
December 2, 2015: Sen. Moran urged then-VA Deputy Secretary Gibson to improve Choice Act implementation.
March 7, 2016: Sen. Moran joined Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) to introduce the Veterans Choice Improvement Act.
January 20, 2017: Sen. Moran urged President Donald Trump to work with Congress to improve the Veterans Choice Program
January 24, 2017: Sen. Moran was selected as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.
February 1, 2017: Sen. Moran pressed then-VA Secretary nominee Shulkin on Choice Program eligibility criteria.
March 8, 2017: Sen. Moran joined Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to introduce legislation to improve and extend the Veterans Choice Program.
April 3, 2017: The Senate passed legislation to preserve the Veterans Choice Program.
April 19, 2017: The Veterans Choice Improvement Act was signed into law. Sen. Moran and Sen. McCain authored an op-ed on the Veterans Choice Program, “A great day for veterans and Veterans Choice.”
June 7, 2017: Sen. Moran questioned then-VASecretary Shulkin on the Choice Program at Veterans Affairs Committee hearing.
June 21, 2017: Sen. Moran convened hearing with then-VA Secretary Shulkin and questioned Choice budget shortfall and VA’s recent changes to Choice Program; sent letter to then-Secretary Shulkin regarding financial mismanagement at the VA.
July 27, 2017: Sen. Moran spoke on Senate floor urging colleagues to pass legislation to fund the Veterans Choice Program and fix the budget shortfall.
August 2, 2017: Sen. Moran voted for additional funding to maintain the Veterans Choice Program.
October 24, 2017: Sen. Moran discussed the importance of the Veterans Choice Program with President Trump during a Senate policy meeting.
December 4, 2017: Sen. Moran and Sen. McCain introduced legislation to reform the VA into a 21st century healthcare system, integrating VA services and VA community care programs to increase veterans’ access to timely, quality care.
December 15, 2017: Sen. Moran and Sen. McCain authored the op-ed, “Health Care for Veterans Needs Another Big Fix,” explaining the fundamental problems with the VA they sought to fix with their legislation.
January 17, 2018: Sen. Moran questioned then-VA Secretary David Shulkin about the implementation of access standards for veterans to be eligible for community care under proposed Choice legislation.
April 3, 2018: Sen. Moran authored an op-ed, “Status Quo in VA Culture Shouldn’t Put Bureaucracy Ahead of Vets,” highlighting the need for strong leadership at the VA to implement critical reforms to VA healthcare and VA community care programs.
May 3, 2018: Sen. Moran worked to strengthen VA reform legislation, increasing Congressional oversight and modernizing the VA to provide the best possible care for veterans.
May 17, 2018: Sen. Moran honored Sen. McCain on the Senate floor and advocated for passage of legislation in his name to reform the VA.
May 22, 2018: Sen. Moran took to the Senate floor to share with his colleagues his top reasons to vote in favor of the VA MISSION Act.
May 23, 2018: Sen. Moran voted in favor of the VA MISSION Act on the Senate floor.
June 6, 2018: Sen. Moran attended the VA MISSION Act signing ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.
November 11, 2018: Sen. Moran authored an op-ed in The Hill, entitled, “Implementation matters: Making certain the VA Mission Act will work for veterans,” highlighting the importance of implementing the VA MISSION Act as Congress intended with the best interest of veterans at the forefront of every decision.
March 6, 2019: Sen. Moran met with VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to discuss the implementation of the VA MISSION Act and the regulations and processes for carrying out the new Community Care Program.
March 26, 2019: Sen. Moran questioned VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on VA MISSION Act implementation and the upcoming closure of the Emporia community-based outpatient clinic during a committee hearing.
March 30, 2019: Sen. Moran held a townhall meeting for area veterans ahead of the Emporia Department of Veterans Affairs community based outpatient clinic (CBOC) closure and expressed how the VA MISSION Act would supplement the clinic’s closure.
April 11, 2019: Sen. Moran questioned senior VA healthcare leaders on VA MISSION Act implementation, community care programs and veteran mental health during a committee hearing.
May 16, 2019: Sen. Moran questioned Deputy Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs nominee James Byrne on VA MISSION Act implementation.