Your Washington Desk
From Senator Johnny Isakson
Isakson to VA Secretary: Priority One is Implementing Reforms to Provide Accessible, Quality Care for Veterans
‘We need to … get healthcare to our veterans in the most timely and seamless way we can, and I am going to dedicate and commit my service as chairman to doing just that.’
U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve accountability and transparency within the agency in order to best serve our nation’s veterans.
“We have had challenges with mental health, particularly with veterans’ suicide rates, and we have had a lot of problems with construction costs within the department, so you could look back and say this agency is a mess,” said Isakson. “We as a committee want to try and make VA and the Veterans Choice Act work as seamlessly as possible. We want the funding to be appropriate, but not in the excess. We want our attitude and the attitude of the department to be equally focused on the veteran and our veterans’ healthcare and not on ourselves.”
“The Veterans’ Choice Act was not designed to be a replacement, but it was designed to help deal with a problem that existed in the administration of delivering veterans’ healthcare — in appointments, in timeliness and in proximity to specialized care that veterans often times need,” Isakson continued.
At a committee hearing held today, Feb. 26, 2015, on the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget for Veterans’ Programs, Isakson raised serious concerns over the administration’s proposal to divert funds from critical reforms currently being implemented to improve access to care at VA health centers across the country.