Lawmakers and Veterans groups raised concerns Wednesday over the Veterans Affairs Department’s ability to implement a consolidation plan for its community care programs, citing the department’s past failures and ongoing issues in executing initiatives.
On Wednesday, VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson and Undersecretary for Health Dr. David Shulkin took their arguments for the new program to the Senate but faced tough questions from senators and groups such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars as to whether they can follow through with the plan.
The Veterans Administration is already proved that it is inept when it comes to the implementation of reforms; why would it be any better at implementing this plan ?
Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, said the VA’s plan, which includes spending $300 million of $421 million initially requested to create a portal for veterans and providers to use the New Veterans Choice Program, puts her on edge.
She cited the failure of the Defense Department and VA to create a joint electronic health record, despite spending $1 billion for development, and expressed concern that VA would not use the money wisely.
Another government sponsored boondoggle that invests our tax dollars with no foreseeable return on that investment!
Veterans Choice was created in response to a nationwide scandal at VA over lengthy wait times for veterans who sought medical care at medical centers and clinics. It allows veterans who can’t get an appointment at a VA facility within 30 days, or those who live more than 40 miles from a clinic with a full-time doctor, to get their medical care from a private physician.
And how is that working out ?
Darrin Selnick, senior veterans adviser with Concerned Veterans for America, a conservative nonprofit that has voiced support for shrinking the VA and allowing veterans to choose between using VA services or civilian physicians at government expense, said the VA’s consolidation plan “perpetuates the status quo and cherry-picks” from CVA’s proposal.
“VA has fallen back to its old ways and developed a grandiose dream concept plan that does not deal with the reality,” Selnick said.
Read more at. . . Courtesy of VA health consolidation plan faces skeptical senators