Pending legislation on Capitol Hill could lead to a total dismantling and privatization of the health care system our veterans want and need. S. 2372 – the VA MISSION Act – passed in the House of Representatives last week, and could be passed in the Senate in the next 12-24 hours.
If passed, the VA MISSION Act will dismantle VA’s infrastructure by means of a BRAC-style closure commission, and Congress and the public will have virtually no say about whether to implement the commission’s recommendations. Nowhere in this 200-page bill does Congress address the serious issues confronting the VA – inadequate funding and staffing to meet the growing demand for care at VA hospitals and clinics. Instead, the focus is on sending money and veterans outside to costly and unaccountable private care and walk-in clinics that lack the ability to treat veterans’ complex needs.
Veterans risked their lives to serve our country, and with the VA MISSION Act, America is thanking them by telling them receive their healthcare at strip shopping center urgent care facilities. Veterans deserve better than this, and it is absolutely clear that we will come to regret forcing our heroes into such substandard care.