This week, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) presented a new plan to Congress that would restructure and integrate VA and non-VA health care programs to expand access to quality health care. We believe this would be an important step in the right direction to ensuring veterans can receive high-quality, comprehensive, accessible and veteran-centric health care now and in the future.
We were pleased that the VA plan took many of the recommendations for change that we have been putting forward for many months, such as ensuring veterans have access to a nationwide system of urgent care. However, there is still work to be done with this plan, including adopting a number of additional reforms that DAV and our partners in The Independent Budget (IB) have proposed to ensure that there is sufficient resources, infrastructure, management reform and accountability.
At a hearing in the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee last week, DAV and our IB partners (VFW and PVA) submitted a comprehensive framework for reform based on four principles:
Restructure the veterans health care delivery system;
Redesign the systems and procedures that facilitate veterans’ access to health care;
Realign the provision and allocation of VA’s resources to reflect its mission; and
Reform VA’s culture with workforce innovations and real accountability.
Over the coming weeks and months, we will be working with VA, Congress and other veterans stakeholders to take advantage of this generational opportunity to strengthen and reform VA and veterans health care. We encourage you to read the IB testimony submitted this week and continue to stay educated and involved. We will need your support during this campaign to ensure that all the promises are kept to the men and women who served.
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