07.24.18

Reps. Takano, Pocan, and Grijalva Introduce Resolution Against VA Privatization

Washington, D.C. – Today, Reps. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), and Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) introduced an anti-privatization resolution expressing support for policies that maintain a robust, fully-funded and staffed Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that does not jeopardize care for veterans by moving essential resources to the private sector.

“More than 9 million veterans depend on the VA to receive the health care services they need. However, these services are being sabotaged by Republicans and special interest groups who are focused on forcing veterans into the for-profit health care system,” said Rep. Mark Takano. “The recent confirmation of Robert Wilkie as VA Secretary has given Congress a new opportunity to make our position against privatization clear. While the Trump Administration seeks to undermine the VA, we must continue advocating for a well-funded and properly staffed VA that will provide our country’s veterans with the quality services they deserve.”

“The U.S. is home to millions of brave men and women who have answered the call of duty and fought and protect the freedoms that we enjoy every day. We have a duty to ensure that veterans and their families are treated with the highest level of respect and care, and by fully funding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, we can ensure access to the highest quality health care for those who earned it through their service,” said Rep. Mark Pocan. “However, Republicans are once again siding with corporations and special interests over honest, hardworking Americans. We cannot allow President Trump and Congressional Republicans to privatize the VA, which would jeopardize the cost of and access to health care for millions of our nation’s veterans who need our support.”

“Veterans deserve a strong health care system that understands their experiences and is adequately equipped to address their unique health challenges. We have seen the failures of a system that puts a middle man between individuals and their care, and the shady movement to privatize veterans care would do just that,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva.  “Trump administration officials and others who seek to profit off veterans by raising costs and lowering the quality of care are shameful. Instead of auctioning off their health care to the highest bidder, we must provide full funding, staffing, and support structures that protect the VHA so that it can provide veterans the tailored care they want and deserve.”

According to a bipartisan survey by Lake Research and Chesapeake Beach Consulting, 80 percent of veterans oppose turning health care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs into a system of private sector vouchers that may not adequately cover costs.

However, millions of dollars are being spent by organizations seeking to dismantle the Department of Veterans Affairs and to outsource veteran care into the private sector. With the support of these groups, Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration are increasing funding for Choice and non-VA programs that pay for the costs of providing veterans private health care and diverting funds from the Veterans Health Administration.

To resist efforts of privatization, this resolution makes it clear that the U.S. House of Representatives supports policies that provide necessary resources to serve veterans by maintaining a robust Veterans Health Administration and opposes policies that seek to undermine and privatize the VA. 

This resolution is endorsed by The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, American Federation of Government Employees, and AMVETS.

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