BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The VA M.I.S.S.I.O.N. Act was passed and signed into law in 2018, and it changes the eligibility requirements for veterans to allow veterans locally, paid for by Veterans Affairs and advocated for by Congressman Kevin McCarthy.
Previously, federal law said that the VA would only pay for a veteran to receive private or specialty care, if the veteran had to drive more than 40 miles or wait longer than 30 days could choose to see a VA doctor.
Now under the M.I.S.S.I.O.N. Act, the VA will pay for care if a veteran has to wait longer than 28 days or drive more than an hour to see a VA provider — meaning that more veterans can receive care locally instead of traveling outside the county.
The law makes it so that as many as 2.1 million vets are now eligible for private care compared to the previous number of 560,000 eligible veterans.
Local veterans say that this law is good news for the veteran community.