Long-Term Care Veterans Choice Act

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 29, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HIGGINS of Louisiana. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Long- Term Care Veterans Choice Act. The Department of Veterans Affairs has been running its medical foster homes initiative since the year 2000, and as of 2021, the Veterans Health Administration oversees about 600 medical foster home caregivers taking care of veterans in about 40 States.

Medical foster homes are private homes where a caregiver provides services to a small group of individuals who are unable to live without day-to-day assistance.

Currently, veterans enrolled in home-based primary care through the VA may elect to receive their care at medical foster homes. However, the VA does not cover the cost of medical foster homes for veterans that would otherwise be eligible for nursing home care through the VA. As has been noted by my colleagues, full nursing home traditional care is far more expensive than medical foster homes.

Veterans must pay for medical foster homes out of their pocket or through private insurance. This bill would fix that.

My bill would authorize the Secretary of the VA to enter into contracts and agreements for placement of up to 900 veterans a day in medical foster homes. These are veterans who are unable to live independently.

In addition, medical foster home caregivers would be required to pass a Federal background check and undergo VA screening. They would be required to participate in annual training, and they would have to permit the VA to make announced and unannounced home visits.

Finally, the VA would provide these veterans with full interdisciplinary home care that includes, physicians, nurses, rehabilitation therapists, medical healthcare providers, dietitians, and pharmacists.

My bill is supported by the American Legion, the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, and the Wounded Warrior Project.

In closing, I sincerely thank Chairman Takano and Ranking Member Bost for bringing this bill to the floor, and I urge my colleagues to support this bill.