WASHINGTON – Today, American Federation of Government Employees Veterans Committee Chair and District 12 National Vice President Mario Campos issued the following statement in response to recommendations to fully or partially close 60 VA health care facilities across the country:
“As a veteran myself, and as chair of AFGE’s Veterans Committee, I am deeply disturbed by the VA’s recommendations to close dozens of health care facilities across the country.
“It is well-documented that veterans prefer to receive their care at the VA, which provides better and more specialized care, at a lower cost. If the VA’s recommendations are accepted, veterans will be forced to rely on costly, private, for-profit care from providers who are not trained to understand their unique needs.
“Instead of finding new ways to line the pockets of those looking to make a fortune off veteran health care, the VA should be reinvesting in its facilities, filling tens of thousands of vacancies, and expanding services it provides.
“Closing VA health care facilities would be a slap in the face to America’s veterans and those who care for them. Closing hospitals for veterans must be completely off the table.
“On behalf of the 700,000 workers we represent, a third of whom are veterans themselves, we urge President Biden and Congress to reject any recommendations that close VA health care facilities. Our veterans deserve better.”