Senate Approves Reforms to VA’s 40-Mile Rule

Washington, DC - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet applauded the Senate's passage of a bill to reform the "40-mile" rule under the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Veterans Choice Program. The bill will allow veterans to access non-VA care if they live within 40 miles of a VA medical facility but the services they require are not offered at that VA facility. Bennet advocated for this change as a cosponsor of S. 207, the Veterans Access to Community Care Act of 2015.

"This bill implements a common sense way to measure the actual distance between Colorado veterans and the care they need," Bennet said. "It will help improve access to health care for all of our service members."

Bennet previously offered a similar amendment during the Senate Finance Committee's consideration of the Hire More Heroes Act. At the time, Bennet also offered an amendment to change the way that the 40 miles is measured to account for the actual distance traveled, rather than the straight-line distance between the veteran and the VA medical center. The VA made that change last month through the regulatory process.

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