Madison, WI – Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) activists are urging Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to support giving veterans greater health care choice over where and when to use their benefits. Local officials and volunteers for the group are knocking on doors and making phone calls urging Senator Baldwin to support veterans health care choice.
CVA Executive Director Mark Lucas issued the following comment:
“Too often, veterans are trapped at failing VA facilities with no way out. Veterans deserve the ability to use their benefits to access care outside of the VA when they want, or need to. Considering her office’s failure to properly handle reports of misconduct at the Tomah VA, Senator Baldwin should support real reform to improve how the VA delivers health care to our veterans. We are urging Senator Baldwin to support permanent legislative solutions to put veterans at the center of their own health care decisions.”
Baldwin failed to act on reports of rampant misconduct at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility in Tomah, WI. The Tomah VA over-prescribed opiates – which earned the hospital the nickname “Candyland” – and was flagged by a whistleblower and a VA Inspector General report. Both were initially ignored by Baldwin’s office.
CVA has advocated for sweeping choice reforms at the VA for years. In CVA’s Fixing Veterans Health Care Taskforce, the group proposes the creation of a government-chartered non-profit which would oversee the distribution of benefits at the VA and empower veterans with the ability to choose how to use those benefits.
In August, CVA released a poll showing overwhelming support from veterans for improved access to choice. The poll showed that 98% of veterans favor more health care choice outside of the VA’s existing medical system and 92% of veterans think it is very or extremely important that lawmakers in Washington improve the way health care is provided to veterans.