Earlier this week, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a series of recommendations to the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission aimed at modernizing and realigning the VA health care system as required by the VA MISSION Act of 2018. The recommendations are a result of a multi-year large-scale assessment of VA’s health care system and include hundreds of changes to the size, scope and location of VA hospitals and outpatient clinics. While reports of possible closures understandably create concern among veterans, we continue to stress that this process should only move forward if veterans who rely on VA will continue to have the same or better access and quality of care.
Over the next year, the AIR Commission will conduct its own review to determine if the VA recommendations should be modified before they go to the President and then to Congress for their approval. As we have said for years, VA must remain the primary health care provider and coordinator for our nation’s veterans and maintain the capacity to continue delivering timely, high-quality and accessible health care to those who have earned it through their service to our country. We will bring our views directly to the AIR Commission and continue working with VA and Congress so that this process results in a stronger VA health care system for generations to come.