Last week Concerned Veterans for America hosted a series of Defend & Reform Town Halls throughout Texas, focusing on veterans’ health care and reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs. CVA was joined by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) for events in Dallas, Austin and Houston.
In each of these events, Sen. Cruz emphasized the need for veterans to have choice in where they seek their health care. The VA has needed lasting improvement for many years, especially in the wake of dozens of scandals at VAs nationwide. Senator Cruz called it “shameful” that veterans are not always able to access quality care when they need it. He highlighted the two areas where reform is needed most – accountability and choice.
Accountability at the VA is stronger and being implemented more fully. Just a few weeks ago the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act was signed into law, giving the VA more authority to discipline bad employees. In addition, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin announced last week that the VA would be publishing its disciplinary actions on its website to ensure transparency in the accountability process. These are reforms to the VA and civil service that are truly remarkable.
But the VA is still in need of “full and robust choice” to quote Sen. Cruz. Veterans served in the military with a promise that they would be taken care of when they took off the uniform. Often times, that promised care is not delivered quickly enough, well enough, close enough or to the satisfaction of the veteran. Vets should have the ability to choose where they seek their medical care with VA health benefits.
Sen. Cruz has long been a champion on veterans’ issues. He has supported and even introduced multiple pieces of legislation that would positively impact veterans and their experience with the VA. Hopefully, Sen. Cruz’s call for true health care choice for veterans will be echoed throughout the Senate and Congress. Veterans can’t be left waiting.
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