VA MISSION Act passed, set to improve veterans health care

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The VA MISSION Act of 2018 was created and passed in an effort to improve health care for veterans.

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According to Congressman Neal Dunn, the VA MISSION Act, which passed in May, is a combination of bills that change the way veterans receive health care.

"I know what good medical care looks like, I've been there and I've done that. I know what good military care looks like and I think we could put those things together and do better for our men and women in uniform," Dunn said.

Two of the initiatives in the act include Dunn's VICTOR [Veterans Increased Choice for Transplanted Organs and Recovery] Act, which he says helps veterans get care closer to home.

"Our veterans are very spread out, so access to local care is important to them. They can't be driving hundreds of miles for every visit. We have to get the veterans to the medical centers or get them to care in an effecient fashion, I think we can do that," he said.

Another of his initiatives is the veterans Opioid Abuse Prevention Act, which helps VA providers safely prescribe controlled substances by allowing the VA to access data through a nationwide network.

"As a physician I can see what other physicians are giving that patient and that transparency helps us identify patterns of high use of drugs that put people at risk for opioid addiction and if we can identify the people at risk then we can help those people at risk," Dunn said.

The VA MISSION Act also gives veterans more health care options and ensures veterans continue to receive care without interruption.

The act now goes to President Trump for his signature.