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CVA Statement on Confirmation of Denis McDonough as VA Secretary

By Concerned Veterans for America

Grassroots veterans group calls for lowering barriers, strengthening individual health care choices


ARLINGTON, Va.—Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Executive Director Nate Anderson issued the following statement upon confirmation of Denis McDonough as the next Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs:

“We sincerely look forward to working with Secretary McDonough and wish him success in providing the care and services our veterans have earned. The VA has made great strides in recent years, and reforms like the VA MISSION Act have positioned the agency to improve the lives of today’s veterans and a generation to come.

Despite that progress, we are concerned some in Washington may attempt to restrict the health care freedom millions of VA patients enjoy by changing the standards needed to access care. It is critical we preserve the law and continue pursuing methods that empower veterans with options instead of robbing them of the choice.

Unfortunately, we have yet to see Secretary McDonough make a firm commitment to preserve community care options. We call on the Secretary to provide assurances community care access standards will not be walked back, and veterans will retain the freedom to choose the care that meets their unique needs.

CVA is eager to collaborate with Secretary McDonough, VA leaders, and the veteran community as we work together to remove barriers and empower veterans to pursue healthy, meaningful lives. If necessary, we stand ready to hold accountable those who stray from this endeavor.”



In November, CVA sent a letter to the Biden Transition Team and Department of Veterans Affairs Transition Team outlining its recommendations for policies and issues to prioritize over the next four years to remove barriers to veterans realizing their full potential. You can read the letter here.

Recent polling showed strong support for veterans being allowed to take their VA health care benefits outside the VA to get care. Vast majorities of those polled showed support for this idea. Notably, veterans even supported the idea even if it meant paying “a little more out of pocket.”

  • Roughly 9 in 10 (87%) of veterans and military households (87%) are in favor of letting veterans use their VA health care benefits outside of the VA system. Only 7% of veterans and 5% of military households are opposed to such a measure.
  • There is overwhelming support (86%) of veterans who would favor using their VA health care benefits outside the VA even if it meant spending a little more out of pocket – an increase of 7 points from 2020.