October 07, 2015

Veterans’ Affairs Committee Holds Hearing on Health Care Assessment, Rep. Brown Praises VA, Stresses Need for Comprehensive and Systemic Reform

Washington, D.C. – During today’s hearing, Ranking Member Corrine Brown (D-FL) acknowledged the ongoing efforts of Secretary McDonald and the Department of Veterans Affairs, while pointing out that the time to discuss comprehensive and systemic reform has arrived. 

“What is clear is that if we are to meet our promises to our veterans, we must begin to look at reform, and this reform must enable VA to focus on health care and operate, like the Secretary previously stated, as a business.  And the business of the Veterans Health Administration must be a clear and unwavering focus on the veteran patient,” stated Ranking Member Brown.

The hearing addressed the recent release of the Independent assessment, a comprehensive 4,000 page look at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) mandated by last year’s Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014.

Brown pointed out that “piecemeal fixes and legislation targeted at only one issue will not cut it.  VHA needs a complete overhaul—from the way it schedules and delivers care to patients, to the way it treats its employees, to the way it partners with community providers.”

“It is approaching two decades,” Brown reminded the Committee, “since VHA last underwent a major reform effort.  We must now begin the work of ensuring that VA health care is poised to meet the challenges of health care today, and the Independent Assessment will help us in that endeavor.”

Congresswoman Brown pointed out that VA provides excellent health care, especially health care related to the special needs of veterans, and that VA is a vital part of our health care system.  Secretary McDonald reiterated this point when he stated, during the hearing, that “VA is not only essential for veterans, it is essential for American medicine and the American people.