Obama Places the VA Status Quo Above Reforms for Veterans
Arlington, Va. – Today, Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) CEO Pete Hegseth released the following statement on behalf of CVA in response to the release of President Obama’s proposed FY2016 budget:
“Given his consistent refusal to propose meaningful reforms to how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates—or to demonstrate bold leadership in fixing VA health care—we weren’t expecting much from the president’s FY2016 budget. What we didn’t expect was for him to outright undermine reforms he just signed into law. It is outrageous that President Obama is proposing to reallocate funds away from the Veteran Choice Card Program and instead move those funds into the VA’s broken single-payer healthcare system. This budget action would have the effect of denying many veterans the choice to access private health care, thereby forcing them to stay in a VA health care system that has failed, for too long, to provide care in a timely manner—sometimes with deadly consequences.
“With this proposal, President Obama is placing preserving the current VA system over the needs, and preferences, of our veterans. He is undermining the very reforms he signed into law before they are fully implemented, making it quite clear that he has no desire to truly reform the VA. Worse, by signing the recent VA reform bill into law, it seems the president was simply interested in mitigating the political fallout from the VA wait list scandal. We oppose President Obama’s insistence on undermining VA reform and instead dumping even more money into a broken system that already has seen massive budget increases under his administration, without corresponding increases in quality.
“We are very encouraged to see House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller call the president’s plan to reallocate a portion of Veterans Choice Program funding to other areas of VA a ‘complete non-starter,’ and we look forward to working with him to oppose this portion of the budget. CVA urges reform-minded policymakers in both parties to ensure the Veterans Choice Program is fully supported.”
To that end, CVA’s Fixing Veterans Health Care Taskforce will release its policy report at a summit in Washington, D.C., on February 26. The report – which is the culmination of six months’ work by a bipartisan team of experts in the fields of veterans affairs and health care – will make several practical proposals to improve upon last year’s reform law and advance the discussion about larger reforms that can be made to veterans’ health care in America.
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Concerned Veterans for America is a non-partisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization that advocates for policies that will preserve the freedom and liberty we and our families so proudly fought and sacrificed to defend.