MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

Is the Department of Veterans Affairs doing all it can to help those who served?

FILE - In this June 21, 2013, file photo, the seal affixed to the front of the Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington.{ } (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

More than three years after the public learned about veterans dying while waiting in line for months to see a doctor at the Phoenix, Arizona VA hospital, the Department of Veterans Affairs has undergone a number of reforms.

Before taking office, President Donald Trump promised to always take care of the nation's veterans. Heading into Veterans Day weekend, there are still questions about how effective the VA's reforms have been in making sure the men and women who served get the care they need.

"I think we’ve turned the corner and have headed in the right direction," said Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) a member of the Armed Services Committee.

The VA is trying to clean house and has fired a number of employees. Earlier this year, President Trump signed a VA reform bill to protect whistleblowers who report abuse at the government agency. The bill also made it easier to discipline and VA fire employees.

According to Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, the VA is slowly making changes, but it still has a long way to go. Despite improvements, there are still reports of long wait times and poor care at the medical centers.

"Look, we can’t fix this tomorrow," he said. "[There are] 21 million veterans out there 168 medical centers, I've visited a number of them they have a lot of work to do. We need to right-size the VA I think for modern medicine we need to modernize the VA.”

Roe's committee is working on a bill to overhaul the Veterans Choice Program in an effort to streamline wait times.

The new legislation would allow veterans to get private health care if they cannot get the proper care from the VA. Currently, veterans can only seek treatment outside the VA is they have waited more than 30 days for an appointment and live more than 40 miles from a medical center.

Roe is optimistic that the bill will help the nation's veterans, but funding the program is proving difficult. The VA warned lawmakers that it could run out of money for the Veterans Choice Program by the end of the year.


Trending