Dept. of Veterans Affairs to Be Grilled by Congress

FILE - In this April 2, 2015, file photo, a visitor leaves the Sacramento Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Rancho Cordova, Calif. The number of veterans seeking health care but ending up on waiting lists of one month or more is 50 percent higher now than it was a year …
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File

The embattled Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continues to receive congressional scrutiny over that government agency’s ongoing struggle to provide adequate and timely healthcare to U.S. military servicemen and servicewomen.

Besides the delays in actual healthcare for veterans, the VA is also dragging its feet when it comes to the leasing procurement process for “new or replacement VA facilities.”

Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis (R), who is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security and is a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2016, will be convening an oversight hearing later this month to address the lease procurement problem the VA seems to be having.

Here is what DeSantis said in a press release about the upcoming hearing:

When new or replacement VA facilities are held up due to mismanagement and bureaucratic delays, we are doing a disservice to the veterans who rely on the VA for vital health care services. I have seen this on display first-hand in the VA’s difficulties in finding a permanent solution for a replacement CBOC in my district, creating uncertainty for the more than 5,000 veterans it serves. It is my hope that this hearing will shed much needed light on the VA’s problems so that the VA can successfully provide high quality and timely services to our nation’s veterans.

Injured combat veteran Brian Mast, who lost both of his legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan and has recently announced his candidacy for the U.S. Congress in Florida’s 18th congressional district, can also speak firsthand about the deficiencies plaguing the VA, as he himself is currently under the care of the VA healthcare system.

According to Mast, while these community-based outpatient clinics offer important VA services to many veterans seeking care, “the VA needs to seek ways to address care that is lacking at some of these facilities,” such as the prosthetic care that many veterans like himself need.


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