Veterans group blasts administration for punting on deadline to make crucial recommendations for troubled Department of Veterans Affairs
ARLINGTON, Va.—Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) on Monday responded to the news that the Biden administration postponed its recommendations to modernize and realign the Department of Veterans Affairs, punting for at least six weeks a required report outlining their plan to modernize the agency’s infrastructure footprint.
This news comes following the VA failing to meet the May 31, 2021, deadline to nominate Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) commissioners as required by the VA MISSION Act. Continued delays indicate a clear pattern of VA’s malfeasance.
Russ Duerstine, CVA’s Deputy Director, had this to say about the administration’s lack of commitment to our nation’s veterans:
“With this delay, the Biden administration is sending a very clear message to veterans that their health and well-being is not a priority. The Department of Veterans Affairs has continued to fail our nation’s heroes throughout the duration of this pandemic by canceling or delaying millions of appointments and acting as a barrier to veterans trying to get timely and quality care. And worse, now this administration has no plan to make public the recommendations needed to fix the broken VA system. The reality is veterans are dying waiting for care under Secretary McDonough’s department. The deadline has been passed for accountability and transparency. Now the question is: how many more veterans’ lives will be lost before this administration makes them a priority?”
In July 2021, CVA’s sister organization, Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF) filed a lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs after the VA failed to respond to a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seeking records about VA wait-times from VA headquarters and in medical centers across multiple states, including Arizona, Florida, Montana, and West Virginia.
The VA has faced repeated scandals in recent years over its mismanagement of patient scheduling systems and wait-time data. As detailed in AFPF’s complaint, publicly available records suggest another scandal is brewing, with the VA covering up wait-time numbers nationwide. The agency may be actively avoiding its obligations for transparent administration of the VA MISSION Act. Delayed care has tragic effects on the health of veterans.
Read CVA’s AIR one-pager outlining deadlines required by the VA MISSION Act here.