Senator Ron Johnson and other colleagues issued a letter to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis R. McDonough over concerns about access to health care for veterans across the country.
According to the letter from the group, the federal agency has subjected veterans to long waiting periods and is not following guidance from federal statute.
“We write to raise our serious concerns regarding the Veteran Healthcare Administration’s refusal to provide adequate access to community care as authorized by the VA MISSION Act of 2018. Veterans across the country are subject to unacceptably long waiting periods to receive care or have appointments continually rescheduled because the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) refuses to follow guidance and statute created by the MISSION Act. Veterans deserve access to quality health care in a timely manner and the VA’s failure to do so and willful disregard for established standards is unacceptable,” the group of Republicans wrote.
The 2018 legislation allowed veterans greater access to utilize private doctors in order to access medical attention.
“On a weekly basis, our constituents voice concerns and present evidence that the VA is ignoring these guidelines in an effort to reduce community care, and ultimately deny mandated care to eligible veterans. In some cases, the VA is rescheduling care without the veteran’s consent. In other cases, the VA is seemingly ignoring the veteran’s best medical interest. Most alarmingly, there are reports of internal VA training materials that are actually pushing to reduce community care while the VA decommissions and closes the Office of Community Care and shuts down the VA Mission Act website (missionact.va.gov). These essential policies and program offices were stood up to prevent the tragedies of the Phoenix Waitlist Scandal and are directly linked to protecting the quality and accessibility of veteran health care,” they continued.
Additionally, the group requested briefings on the level of access for veterans to receive community care.
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