Congressman Phil Roe discusses Mission Act at town hall in Kingsport

The “Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Network” Program or Mission Act program aims to cut health care costs and wait time for veterans, while giving them more options.

Under the new access standards, veterans can see a community provider if they’ve been waiting for more than 20 days for primary or mental health car or if they live 30-minutes away from the nearest VA facility.

“It’s going to put more choice in the veterans hands, not in the bureaucrats hands,” Congressman Phil Roe said. “I mean it basically lets the veteran be in charge.”

Congressman Phil Roe says though the benefits of the system outweigh any drawbacks it could come with, he does suspect initial hiccups.

“I suspect there will be some of the problems with that on how payments go, information sharing, that kind of thing to start with,” Roe said.

He also says the Mission Act system is designed to have regional third party to facilitate communication between the VA and community services.

Many who attended Roe’s town hall on veterans issues on Tuesday evening say they are happy with the local VA care, and are confident that this program will allow veterans across the country to access health care quicker.

“We’ll they need to hang in there, said Ernie Rumsbey, President of Tri-Cities Military Affairs Counsel. “Help is on the way, and they need to be patient. But, I think it will all work out to everybody’s advantage.”

Congressman Roe is optimistic about the program and says his overall goal is to provide the highest quality of care for every veteran no matter where they live.

Mission Act replaces the controversial Choice program. The Mission Act will be implemented on June 6th, 2019.

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