Yesterday, House Democrats on the Veterans Affairs Committee chose to boycott a roundtable discussion on the VA Choice Program.
Their reason? Concerned Veterans for America’s presence at the meeting.
CVA was invited to the roundtable discussion by House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman, Phil Roe. With the Choice Program expected to run out of money by the end of the year, it is sad to see some Democrats in Congress unwilling to work with a group like CVA to find a permeant solution to the flawed Choice Program.
The Choice Program was poorly implemented and has been plagued with mismanagement, wait-time, payment and funding issues. In August, President Trump signed an emergency extension to the program after the VA announced its budget was unexpectedly low. It is clear the Choice Program needs to be addressed now – not kicked down the road.
Ultimately, the VA has not always upheld its promise, espoused by President Lincoln, of ensuring the care of those “who have borne the battle.” Too many veterans have been subjected to long wait times, unsanitary operating rooms, and countless other concerns. Even as story after story comes out about problems at the VA, some legislators seem more concerned with protecting the broken status quo than working to do what’s best for veterans.
CVA has been at the forefront of VA reform, and worked to offer real, permeant solutions to give veterans the care they were promised. The VA will not change by itself. We can expect the same problems to reoccur if legislators refuse to sit down and hear new ideas on providing better care for our veterans.
Frederick Douglass said, “I will unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.” We will continue to fight with those lawmakers who recognize the VA needs to be reformed so veterans receive the care they earned.
We will not stand by and fail to act while veterans are forced to remain in a system that has repeatedly failed them.
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