Gardner Provision Included in Senate-Passed VA Reform Bill

Bill Headed to President’s Desk to be Signed into Law

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today released the below statement following the Senate’s passage of the VA MISSION Act, legislation that will overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and improve care for our veterans.


A key provision from Gardner’s Veterans Improved Access and Care Act of 2017 was included in the VA MISSION Act. Under current law, the CHOICE Act, a veteran can see a medical professional outside the VA system if they have to wait longer than 30 days for an appointment or live more than 40 miles away from a VA facility. Gardner’s provision, included in the VA MISSION Act, expands on the success of the CHOICE Act by eliminating the 30 day, 40 mile eligibility rule, giving veterans more access to private and local medical care regardless of their situation or location.


“It is long past time to implement meaningful reforms that will help our veterans receive the care they deserve,” said Gardner. “The VA MISSION Act is a landmark, bipartisan bill that will change the way the VA operates and improve the healthcare system our veterans rely on. In Colorado, we have seen wait-times for veterans exceed 40 days. This is unacceptable and this legislation will help fix this problem. If a veteran can’t get an appointment with the VA they are free to see a doctor of their choice, regardless of their location. Timely access to quality healthcare is what our veterans deserve and it’s about time we live up to this commitment.”


The VA MISSION Act also implements the following reforms:

  • ·       Permanently creates a new Veteran Community Care Program to replace the Choice Program.
  • ·       Removes barriers for VA healthcare providers to practice telemedicine across state lines.
  • ·       Expands caregiver benefits to veterans of all eras.




Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Budget Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.


354 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20515