March 24, 2015

Warner, Kaine Statement On VA Decision To Revise 40-Mile Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine released the following statement on the announcement by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that it will revise the 40-mile eligibility rule for the Veterans Choice program by measuring driving distance between a veteran’s home and the nearest VA medical center, instead of the current “as the crow flies” definition. Last month, Warner and Kaine joined 40 of their colleagues to urge Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald to broaden the eligibility criteria.

“After hearing from veterans in Virginia who faced barriers to accessing private care because of long drive times, particularly in rural areas, we urged Secretary McDonald to broaden the VA’s interpretation of the 40-mile rule as Congress had intended,” said Warner and Kaine. “We are grateful the VA will make this change, which will expand care options for many veterans who were excluded from the Choice Program despite lengthy driving distances between their homes and the nearest VA medical center. The Choice Program is an important part of the Veterans Choice, Access, and Accountability Act of 2014 we passed last year, and we are hopeful that this change will grant eligibility to more veterans in need of care.”