On Wednesday, Congress passed S. 544, which would authorize VA to use the $10 billion Congress intended to go toward providing veterans care in their communities when they are not able to receive timely access to care at VA health care facilities. S. 544 would also improve the Choice Program by addressing two issues the VFW has identified and asked Congress to fix. "While this bill is an important step, Congress still has a long way to go,” said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy. "Congress must still act on a permanent replacement for the Choice Program, one that consolidates VA’s community care authorities, as well as integrates the best aspects of the VA system with available health care capabilities in the community, both public and private. Congress must also act on legislation to improve VA’s ability to construct and lease facilities; hire, retain and discipline employees; and improve its health processes and systems to ensure veterans have timely access to high quality care,” he explained. Learn more about the VFW's concerns about the Choice Program and other VA community care programs.