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Veterans Push Back on Efforts to Cut Back on the Choice Program

The Veterans Administration just started allowing veterans to see non V-A doctors if they qualify a couple months ago, and now they're looking to reduce the program.


V-A officials say few people have started using the "Choice" program that allows them to go to non-V.A. doctor.


The legislation was passed following the V-A scandal showing the long wait times for care.


Veterans advocate Dick Tobiason says many people are just getting their choice cards and may not be familiar with the program.


"Now the V-A says because veterans are not using the choice program, we want to take some of that money back and use it within the V-A and the chairman of the committee, Jeff Miller out of Florida says that's a non starter.  He says  -- We want to make it permanent, so we're not going to let you do that."


In order to use the choice program, veterans must live 40 miles from a V-A facility or they must not be able to see a V-A doctor within 30 days. 


Tobiason says veterans who use non V-A doctors often have to pay the bill themselves and get reimbursed by the V-A, which can take a long time.

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