Washington, DC – Following a recent veterans roundtable in Plattsburgh, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) voted in support of S. 2372 – the VA MISSION Act. This legislation strengthens and improves the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system for the approximately nine million veteran patients who utilize the system. It passed the House by a vote of 347-70.

“We must continue to work to ensure our heroes have access to the care they need, and I was pleased to support this important VA reform before the House today,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Our district is home to more veterans than any district in New York State – over 50,000 of these brave men and women. When I speak with our veterans in the district, they continue to struggle with access to the healthcare benefits they deserve. This important legislation will improve our VA healthcare system and expand access to the Family Caregiver Program that I have long advocated to strengthen. I will continue to work in Congress on commonsense reforms to help our veterans.”


S. 2372 - VA MISSION Act

S. 2372 strengthens and improves the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system for the approximately nine million veteran patients who utilize the system. The bill consolidates VA’s multiple community care programs and authorities and provides further funding to sustain the Choice Program until implementation of the new program. It establishes an Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) process to recommend actions to modernize and realign VA’s massive medical infrastructure. It would also expand VA’s Family Caregiver Program eligibility to pre-9/11 veterans and increase VA’s internal capacity to care for veteran patients in VA medical facilities through improvements to various recruitment and retention programs.

  • Access to community care would be required:
    • If VA does not offer the care or services the veteran requires
    • If VA does not operate a full-service medical facility in the state in which a given veteran resides
    • If a given veteran was eligible for care in the community under the Choice 40-mile rule and meets certain other criteria
    • If a given veteran and the referring clinician agree that furnishing care in the community is in the best medical interest of the veteran
    • If VA is not able to furnish care within designated access standards developed by VA after consultation with certain other entities
  • Access to community care would also be authorized:
    • If a veteran is in need of an organ or bone marrow transplant and it is determined that there is a medically compelling reason to access community care
    • If it is determined that VA care is not complying with established standards of quality
    • For veterans wanting to access walk-in care
  • Additionally, the bill requires the VA to establish a nine member AIR Commission. The AIR Commissioners would be appointed by the President the with the advice and consent of the Senate and in consultation with Congressional leaders. At least three Commissioners would be required to represent the VSO community. The Commission would be tasked with considering recommendations made by VA and submitting a report to the President on VHA facility modernization and realignment.
  • Because the Veteran’s Choice program will exhaust funding by approximately the end of May, the bill directly appropriates $5.2 billion for the Veterans Choice Program (VCP).

Groups Supporting this legislation include:

Air Force Association (AFA)

Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA)

Air Force Women Officers Associated (AFWOA)

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

Americans for Prosperity

America's Warrior Partnership

AMSUS, The Society of Federal Health Professionals

AMVETS (American Veterans)

Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA)

Association of the US Navy (AUSN)

Blinded Veterans Association (BVA)

Code of Support Foundation (COSF)

Commissioned Officers Association of the US Public Health Services Inc (COA)

Concerned Veterans for America

DAV (Disabled American Veterans)

Elizabeth Dole Foundation (EDF)

Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the US (EANGUS)

Fleet Reserve Association (FRA)

Gold Star Wives of America (GSW)

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

Jewish War Veterans (JWV)

Marine Corps League (MCL)

Marine Corps Reserve Association (MCRA)

Military Chaplains Association (MCA)

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)

Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH)

National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)

National Military Family Association (NMFA)

Naval Enlisted Reserve Association (NERA)

Non Commissioned Officers Association of the USA (NCOA)

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)

Reserve Officers Association (ROA)

Service Women's Action Network (SWAN)

The American Legion

The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA)

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)

US Army Warrant Officers Association (USAWOA)

USCG Chief Petty Officers Association (CPOA)

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)

Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)