Rep. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaBowser on Manchin's DC statehood stance: He's 'not right' DC mayor admitted to Democratic governors group amid statehood fight Biden visits local Mexican restaurant to highlight relief program MORE (D-Ariz.) on Wednesday asked the Department of Veterans Affairs to clarify its definition of "timely" access to medical care.

In a letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, Sinema asked for an explanation of how the agency deems a scheduled appointment to be made within its wait time goals.


The VA reform bill signed into law earlier this year establishes that the Veterans Health Administration's wait time goals should be no more than 30 days from the date a veteran requests a medical appointment. 

However, the VA said in a report to Congress this month that an appointment is considered timely with the Veterans Choice Program if it is scheduled 30 days after the appointment is "deemed clinically appropriate by a VA health care provider."

Sinema expressed concern that the language could be read as more than 30 days.

"In other words, if a VA health care provider recommends an appointment seven days from an initial visit, under this definition a timely appointment is 37 days from the initial visit. This is not timely, and I do not believe this result is reflective of your intention," Sinema wrote.

The Arizona Democrat suggested the VA use a more limited definition.

"I recommend that you direct VA health care providers to use date ranges and provide care within the date range to ensure that veterans receive high-quality health care within a timely, clinically determined window," Sinema wrote.