January 17, 2003
Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) today expressed dismay over the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) announced cutbacks in VA health care enrollment.
“For years, the VA has been consistently underfunded and now those decisions are coming back to haunt us. The program needs adequate funding and, clearly, better management. We need a long-term plan for how to run the VA and make it effective and efficient,” said Smith. “But instead of trying to tackle that problem, the Bush administration is making arbitrary decisions to cut corners and cover the lack of efficacy. As a result they’re making decisions that are not sustainable and are setting a bad precedent. This is not good management and I would expect better from a MBA administration that talks consistently about the need for government efficiency and responsibility. The fact is that we need fundamental reform to the VA that focuses on healthy outcomes, gives veterans health care options, and ensures the program is viable for future generations. When you combine this news with their flawed approach to concurrent receipt, it’s clear that the Bush administration’s veterans policies are in complete disarray and that they are unwilling to uphold the promises made to those who have served our nation.