VA to relax rule for private medical care – do you support the change?
The Department of Veterans Affairs is relaxing a rule that makes it difficult for some veterans in rural areas to qualify for federally paid medical care from local doctors.
The VA's current policy requires veterans to prove they live at least 40 miles from a VA health site in order to receive money for private treatment closer to home. But the VA's "by the crow flys" form of distance measurement has prevented thousands of vets from taking advantage of this service, according to complaints from Congress and veterans groups.
The new rule will require veterans to use commercial services like Google Maps to calculate distance instead. This adjustment is expected to roughly double the number of eligible vets, but VA officials have stressed that this will likely raise costs for the program.
Do you support relaxing this rule, even if it means higher costs at the taxpayers' expense?