The Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committees should be steadily working to provide America’s 21 million veterans with the help they rightfully deserve, at least in theory. As the rest of the Congress keeps bickering over the health care reform that Trump is trying so hard to force down Americans’ throats, the legislation affecting U.S. soldiers seems to be just as much swamped.
After the unanimous confirmation of the secretary of Veterans Affairs, a funding extension for the Veterans Choice Program was confirmed shortly before it reached its expiration date in August 2017. Then a new bipartisan deal was reached on a bill that simplified the process of hiring and firing new employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The accountability bill supposedly added a new layer of transparency. Thanks to the new legislation, bad managers or employees who were not able or willing to do their jobs could be quickly and efficiently disposed of.
However, the Committee dragged their squabbles for over three years before an agreement on the Choice program could be reached. The program was, in fact, hastily written in 2014 after more than 40 veterans died in the aftermath of a fraudulent waiting list cover-up at the Phoenix VA medical center. Ideological differences between Democrats and Republican always seem to be a priority, even when they should take care of our war heroes. Providing those who served the country in uniform with the best quality care should be a uniform cause worth pursuing.