Hegseth: VA Needs Cultural Change, Not More Money
Arlington, Va. – The chairmen of the House and Senate VA Conference Committee today announced an historic agreement on legislation to reform the scandal-ridden Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) supports the accountability and healthcare choice principles in the agreement, which should lay the groundwork for fundamental reforms to the VA and how it delivers healthcare and benefits to our nation’s veterans.
CVA will continue to monitor Congress and the VA closely to ensure the promised cost offsets are implemented within the VA’s budget and the VA does not smother the newly minted veterans’ healthcare choice options.
Pete Hegseth, CEO of CVA, issued the following statement in reaction to the report:
“Bringing performance accountability to VA leadership and providing private healthcare options to veterans represent important reforms that we fully support. For the first time since the 1980s, real civil service reform will ensure poorly performing VA executives can be promptly fired; and for the first time ever, veterans will be given a ‘choice card’ so they can seek private sector healthcare choices if they wait too long, or live too far away from a VA facility. The report will allow select veterans to opt out of the VA’s failing single-payer, government-run system, and gives them more healthcare choices in the private sector. We will work to ensure this important aspect of reform is expanded to more veterans in the future.
“That said, these reforms are only a first step. The VA system, even after these measures are enacted, remains a dysfunctional, bureaucratic and wasteful system. While most of the new funding will go to private healthcare providers and not the VA, this deal still includes some additional – and we contend – unnecessary spending for the VA. This is an aspect of the compromise that we do not support. The VA does not need more money; it needs cultural reform. CVA will remain vigilant in ensuring that the VA is not given a blank check, and that they are not able to stifle the real accountability and choice provisions in this bill.
“Throughout this process, and even before the scandal broke, CVA has led the charge for real VA reform. We are grateful for Chairman Jeff Miller’s leadership on VA reform, as well as Senators John McCain, Richard Burr, Tom Coburn, Marco Rubio and Representatives Mike Coffman and David Scott’s work toward enacting change. We look forward to working with them, and others, to further reform the VA’s troubled system.”
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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.