Arlington, Va. – Earlier this week, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) released a video that unfortunately mischaracterized Concerned Veterans for America’s (CVA) comprehensive VA reform proposals laid out in our “Fixing Veterans Health Care” taskforce report. Disabled American Veterans implied that these proposals, put forward by a bipartisan group of former lawmakers and health care experts, would somehow force the VA to stop providing basic medical care through the VA integrated medical system. This is categorically false and a misrepresentation of what the taskforce has proposed. CVA does not propose replacing the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) with only “centers of excellence” as DAV’s video would falsely lead one to believe. Veterans with service-connected disabilities and specialized needs should have priority in the VA health care system. Additionally, VHA needs the flexibility to create more “centers of excellence” focused on providing for the unique needs of disabled veterans. Only by implementing the task force-proposed restructuring of the VHA which provides choice as well as increased access to specialty care can it better respond to the changing demographics and health care needs of all veterans. Dan Caldwell, CVA’s Vice President for Legislative and Political Action issued the following statement on behalf of CVA: “CVA greatly respects the work DAV’s service officers perform every day to help our country’s disabled veterans. However, we are disappointed that DAV’s national leadership would misrepresent the reforms proposed by our task force– especially considering their national staff has been briefed on these proposals multiple times and even participated in a roundtable discussion with other veteran service organizations to provide input during their drafting. “Our proposals would give the VHA the ability to structure its operations to better serve our veterans, in addition to giving veterans who qualify for VA health care the ability to access private health care using their benefits. It would in no way force the VA to only provide certain types of services or limit care, as DAV implied. “In fact, the VA’s own Independent Assessment of the Health Care Delivery Systems and Management Processes of the Department of Veterans Affairs called for a ‘system-wide reworking’ of the VHA, advancing similar concepts to what CVA has proposed. Accordingly, we hope DAV will stop misleading veterans about CVA’s reform proposals and join us in striving to modernize the VA and make it more responsive to the veterans it is supposed to serve.” In 2014, Concerned Veterans for America convened a bipartisan policy taskforce, the “Fixing Veterans Health Care Taskforce,” to propose concrete reforms that would improve the delivery of health care to our nation’s veterans. To find out more about CVA’s Fixing Veterans Health Care Taskforce and our reform proposal, the Veterans Independence Act, please visit taskforce.cv4a.org.
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