Compromise Reached on Veterans Access and Accountability Act

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States thanks the leadership of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees for reaching a compromise agreement to begin fixing the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system, which for months has been inundated with confirmed allegations of unofficial patient waiting lists, whistleblower retaliation, and mistrust of everything the department says and does. 

“The compromise will be a huge win for veterans when it is approved,” said new VFW National Commander John W. Stroud, “because it will allow the VA to begin to fix what’s broken and hold employees appropriately accountable to the maximum extend of the law, which will start the process of restoring the faith of veterans in their VA.”

The compromise package, introduced this afternoon by Senate VA Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and House VA Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), and supported by many others, must still be approved by the conference committee before going for a respective chamber vote, then on to the president for his signature. Included in the $15 billion package is an expansion of contracted care in non-VA facilities, a new hiring authority for additional doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, a renewal of 27 VA outpatient clinic leases, and more latitude for firing senior VA executive employees.

“Leadership, management and accountability are the only requirements the VFW has ever demanded of the VA,” said Stroud, an Air Force retiree from Hawthorne, Nev. “The VFW expects all members of the House and Senate to vote for the compromise legislation before they recess for five weeks so that the VA can begin to heal and refocus on its primary mission of serving America’s wounded, ill and injured veterans.”