Rep. Taka­no: Trump Administration’s Secret Talks to Dismantle the VA are Unacceptable

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), vice ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released the following statement today in response to an Associated Press report revealing that the Trump administration had held closed-door discussions about merging the VA’s Choice Program with the Pentagon’s TRICARE program, which would make the VA health system financially unsustainable.

“The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is in the midst of a bipartisan, transparent, and inclusive process for developing legislation that ensures a strong and sustainable future for the VA health care system. Instead of engaging in that process, the Trump administration has apparently been developing a plan in secret – with no input from veterans or veterans advocates – that would seriously jeopardize the financial stability of VA hospitals and clinics. This is both unproductive and completely unacceptable. 

“The clear and consistent message we have received from veterans and health care experts is that a strong and sustainable VA is critical to providing quality care to those who serve. Any proposal that dismantles the VA health system or shifts the cost of care to veterans has no future in Congress.  

“The Trump administration should abandon these secret discussions and allow Congress to work with veterans on a solution that addresses their concerns and provides the high-quality care they earned through their service to our nation.” 

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