Fundamental VA reform is one of this government’s highest priorities. Our veterans should get the care they need when they need it.
It was three years ago this week when the country learned that dozens of veterans died while waiting for care at the VA hospital in Phoenix. As it turned out, wait lists were being manipulated to hide the extent of the problem. This was the epicenter of a scandal that exposed fraud and abuse at VA facilities across the country.
President Obama repeatedly promised change, but the problems persisted. By the end, he was falsely claiming that he “fired a whole bunch of people.”
Congress is sending a bipartisan bill to President Donald J. Trump’s desk that preserves the Veterans Choice Program,...
Under President Trump, Congress has taken some positive steps to make good on his commitment to take care of our veterans:
- We recently sent bipartisan legislation to the president’s desk that reduces out-of-pocket costs for veterans seeking care through the VA Choice Program. It will also improve service by make it easier to share medical records in a timely fashion.
- The House has also passed a reform measure that will make it easier to hold bureaucrats accountable and change the culture. It will make it easier to bring in new leaders to VA medical centers.
This is good news as we work to make the big changes needed at the VA.
This week, Dr. Phil Roe (R-TN), chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, visited the Phoenix VA to tour the hospital and meet with its leaders. More from the Arizona Republic:
“Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tennessee, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, toured the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center and afterward stressed continuing efforts to provide more timely appointments and enhanced accountability at America's roughly 150 veterans hospitals.
“Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who accompanied Roe, said the department still faces major challenges, but added, ‘I am glad to see there has been tremendous work … to make a change.’
“Meanwhile, they said, legislation known as the VA Accountability Act already has passed the House and appears likely to win Senate approval. They said that measure would give new VA Secretary David Shulkin authority to expeditiously fire employees for malfeasance, and to hire workers quickly.”