Grassroots veterans group offers testimony on VA MISSION Act access standards ahead of Senate hearing
ARLINGTON, Va.—As the nation remembers the veterans’ lives lost from the Phoenix VA waitlist scandal, which broke five years ago today, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee is holding a hearing to discuss the proposed access standards by which more veterans would have greater options in where they get health care under the VA MISSION Act. Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) issued the following statement to accompany its written testimony to the committee, reminding Senators and the American public of the importance of expanding access to care for veterans and the cost of maintaining the status quo.
“Five years ago, America found out about one of the most egregious examples of what lack of access to care truly costs,” said Dan Caldwell, CVA executive director. “Congress has been working since then to rectify this wrong, and last year, with the signing of the VA MISSION Act, we took a big step in the right direction to provide more veterans the options they deserve to get the care they need. As the administration continues working to implement this transformational law, we urge Congress to resist any and all efforts to roll back the provisions that increase health care choice for veterans. Veterans dying waiting for care in Phoenix and at other VA facilities was a preventable tragedy. We should learn from those stark lessons and work to ensure no veteran suffers waiting for access to care.”
Caldwell, on behalf of CVA and its grassroots network of volunteers and activists, submitted this testimony to the committee.
CVA released this statement when the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) publicly released its draft standards for the new community care program mandated by the VA MISSION Act.
The VA MISSION Act was endorsed by over 30 veteran service organizations; it was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support (347-70 in the House and 92-5 in the Senate); and signed into law by President Trump in June 2018.