Colorado Rep. Has Bold Ideas for Fixing Veterans Health Care
Rep. Doug Lamborn is trying to give more health care options to veterans, not just in his home state of Colorado, but nationwide.
Last year, Rep. Lamborn introduced the Veterans Empowerment Act, which would expand the health care options outside the Department of Veterans Affairs to include private providers. Using arbitrary criteria, the Veterans Choice Program governs whether a veteran can seek care outside the VA. The Veterans Empowerment Act would change that.
Last week, Rep. Lamborn joined Concerned Veterans for America to discuss his plan to overhaul the Veterans Health Administration so it works better for vets. Troubles at the VA have been prevalent across the country for years, but Colorado has seen more than its fair share of scandals.
- Colorado VA employees used secret wait lists to track referrals for mental health appointments, causing patients to wait longer to be seen.
- Denver’s VA was listed in a report on unsanitary conditions at VA hospitals. Investigators found multiple dirty areas in the facility, including kitchens, patient care rooms and areas where instruments are cleaned and sterilized.
- The epitome of VA failure in Colorado is the new Aurora facility still being constructed. This project is now years behind schedule, and costs have exploded to $1.7 billion – more than $1 billion over its original budget.
Rep. Lamborn’s proposal would give veterans the ability to seek care outside the VA system if they want, so they aren’t stuck in facilities with long wait times, unsanitary conditions and blatant mismanagement.
The Veterans Empowerment Act puts veteran care above the needs of the VA, giving them access to the care they were promised.
CVA has called on lawmakers for years to do what’s best for veterans by allowing them to choose where they seek their health care. Rep. Lamborn’s bill will empower veterans with that choice and fulfill the nation’s promise “to care for him who shall have borne the battle.”