January 30, 2019

Chairman Takano Statement on VA Access Standards

WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Mark Takano (CA-41) issued the statement below following VA’s announcement of its proposed access standards for community care under the MISSION Act:

“There is no doubt veterans deserve the highest quality of care and have earned the freedom to choose how they manage their health.

“But today’s announcement hastily rolling out new access standards places core VA services and vital research programs at risk by shifting money towards care outside VA without involving providers, VSOs and Congress.

“Rather than working to find an equilibrium within the system by building up VA’s ability to deliver high quality care, fill the more than 40,000 vacancies within the department, continue working to reduce wait times, and raise the caliber of service we provide for our nation's veteran population, today’s announcement places VA on a pathway to privatization and leads Congress to assume the worst.

“Developing access standards in the dark of night and placing decisions in the hands of bureaucrats instead of in the hands of veterans and their doctors is at best disappointing, and at worst, shameful.

“Today’s announcement has raised more questions than answers and it is my intention to hold a full hearing of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in the imminent future to fully understand how this will impact access to care for our veterans.”