Veterans should always come first at the Department of Veterans Affairs. But unfortunately, many veterans don’t have that experience.
At a recent town hall meeting hosted by CVA, Rep. Mike Bost shared his perspective on ensuring veterans have access to timely, quality care, whether that’s at the VA or in community care.
“We want to make sure that our services that we provide to veterans are provided at the level they need to be provided and were promised” said the House VA Committee chairman and Marine Corps veteran.
“[The MISSION Act] was there as a relief valve for veterans who couldn’t get service when they needed it.,” said Beardsley, who served as senior advisor to then-VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. But when the VA stands in the way of veterans using the VA MISSION Act and community care, like it did during the COVID-19 pandemic, veterans face long wait time for needed care. “And now we’re seeing the consequences of that with mental health, substance abuse, where a veteran has difficulty accessing critical care when he needs it.”
The panel discussed ways in which the VA can be held accountable and community care options can be enhanced, including multiple pieces of legislation backed by the chairman.
The bottom line of the conversation can be summed up in one statement from Rep. Bost. “The VA was created for the veteran, the VA was not created for the VA,” Rep. Bost told the crowd. “We are making the VA work for you…the VA is for you, it’s not for the employees, it’s not for the bureaucrats,”
Watch the full town hall event here.