U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, has filed legislation that would give South Louisiana veterans the option to receive health care from a non V-A provider.

Boustany says the federal government should pay for the care.

"This is about access for high-quality care," Boustany said. "This is about not having veterans wait on the VA bureaucracy, and it's about giving them the finest care available."

Boustany says Lafayette's VA clinic has admitted to crowded conditions and access problems for primary and mental care. He says the situation is not much better in Lake Charles.

Another bill would authorize new VA clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles. But Boustany says veterans in those areas shouldn't have to wait for the new clinics to open, so he wants to give them the option to receive care from non VA provider.