"In every generation there have been heroes like them, patriots who answer the call to serve, who do whatever it takes, wherever and whenever we need them to defend America", the President said. The VA MISSION Act addresses these shortcomings and will provide rural Veterans the flexibility needed to receive the care they've rightfully earned.
The caregiver portion of the legislation will expand an existing program for those who take care of disabled veterans from post-9/11 conflicts.
"Montana veterans deserve more than a thank you - they deserve a health care system that works for them, whether it's at a VA clinic or a local community doctor", said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.More news: U.S. celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain found dead, he was 61
They're calling it a Victory for Veterans.
"It will give those of us who are veterans, and especially the newer veterans coming back, the care that they need", said Lewis.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., cautioned that the lack of new money for the legislation sets up "another VA crisis and billions in budget cuts to critical veteran initiatives down the road".
The VA MISSION Act was passed by both houses of Congress earlier this year, fulfilling a key campaign promise by the President who repeatedly pledged to allow USA veterans the right to access healthcare from non-VA operated hospitals. It is a plan that gives veterans access to healthcare in the private sector.More news: Warriors upset over ‘dangerous play’ by Perkins
"It's better than having somebody come along and say, 'Yeah, you did a good job, but we're not going to take care of you, '" Bedford said of the VA Mission Act.
Recent legislation created to improve Veterans Affairs services has the potential to transform the system, according to Congressman Phil Roe. "Our historic law gets rid of the government bureaucracy that has stood between Montana veterans and their health care".
Bergman sits on the VA Committee and Chairs the VA Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Currently, more than 30 percent of VA appointments are in the private sector.
"Some degree of community care is necessary, because no one should have to wait three months or drive 200 miles to get a flu shot", said John Hoellwarth, communications director for AMVETS.More news: Apple iPhone Production Pullback Hits Chip Suppliers
The Mission Act was rooted in Congressional efforts to improve veterans' services prompted more than four years ago when a whistleblower revealed a common practice of falsely reporting dates to make it appear as if services were provided in a much shorter period than what actually occurred, Roe recalled.