By David Madden

MAYS LANDING, N.J. (CBS) — A South Jersey congressman is reacting to the health care crisis within the Veterans Administration by proposing a pilot program that would give veterans a choice on treatment options.

US Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) calls it the “Vets Health ID Act.”  If approved, it would set up a pilot program that would allow veterans to seek care through the traditional VA system or use a government-issued card to go to their own doctor or local hospital.

In his district, LoBiondo says, a veteran now has to go to hospitals in Philadelphia or Wilmington if a local clinic won’t do.

“Going across a state line has never been an acceptable situation, but it’s something that’s been forced on us.  So this would give our veterans the opportunity to make the choice themselves,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

LoBiondo believes it could be proven that providing his proposed option could actually save money in the long run.

He adds he wouldn’t be surprised to hear some partisan bickering, but predicts the plan will have bipartisan support, given the controversy currently surrounding the VA.

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