REED: THERE’S A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF WORK TO BE DONE TO FIX THE VA SYSTEM
Tom Reed Monday said problems within the VA extend far beyond resignations and administrative troubles to what could be criminal activity. Reed says anyone found guilty of criminal activity including manipulating official documents must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. And while Reed said VA Secretary Eric Shinseki’s decision to step down is the right one, Reed says it doesn’t go nearly far enough.
“We cannot lose sight of the tremendous amount of work that needs to be done to fix the VA,” Reed said. “We’ve reached a whole new level of egregiousness within the VA – removing one individual will not solve the systemic problems across the whole system. Fixing this problem at its root means holding anyone found responsible of criminal activity responsible to the fullest extent of the law. We owe it to our veterans to see that they receive the best possible care for their service and sacrifice. They deserve nothing less.”
With the VA’s budget being increased by 256 percent over the last decade and staffing seeing an increase of 56 percent since September 2000, Reed says the VA faces deep-rooted cultural problems, not resource-based problems.
“The VA has received significant resource increases in funding and staffing levels, both at new highs,” Reed said. “The next phase in fixing the VA is improving care and giving veterans more choices when it comes to health care. Thousands of veterans and their families have been hurt by the negligence at the VA and we have to focus on holding those responsible accountable and making sure they are not in a position to do any further damage.”