The incoming chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., says he plans to continue many of the initiatives directed toward accountability of agency management and line employees pushed by his predecessor, retiring Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla.,
“As chairman, I will conduct hearings, provide oversight and work to implement policies which will put veterans back in charge of how they receive healthcare from the VA. I will be a consistent advocate for improving the quality and timeliness of care that veterans receive both in and out of VA health care facilities, as well as ensure the benefits earned by our veterans are never delayed, dismantled or reneged upon,” he said in a statement.
“Holding senior managers accountable is an important step toward addressing the corrosive culture which has existed within the VA bureaucracy for far too long. Unfortunately, to date, just three employees have been fired for their involvement in the nationwide waitlist scandal – which spanned over 110 VA facilities. This is unacceptable,” he added.
He listed as other priorities continued implementation of the 2014 Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, which allows veterans to get care outside the VA system but funded by the VA in certain circumstances; expanding treatment for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder; and better coordination of medical records between DoD and VA.