Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Our veterans have earned the best medical care available. We must continue our commitment to provide our military personnel and retired servicemembers with the quality health services they deserve. 

However, recent news reports detailing failure in the VA health care system can’t be ignored. The Inspector General is investigating 29 VA facilities for poor management practices that failed our veterans’ medical needs.

I have asked Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki for assurance that Arkansas veterans receiving care at VA facilities are not falling victim to these practices. 

VA needs to correct these problems immediately and those responsible for this misconduct must be held accountable. Current law makes it next to impossible to remove employees of the Senior Executive Service who are responsible for these failures. While one official has resigned, just one month before scheduled retirement, no one has been fired. That’s why the VA Secretary must have the authority to fire these managers whose incompetence has negatively impacted the lives of our veterans and their families. 

Last week the House overwhelmingly approved legislation by a vote of 390-33 that does this. I urge the Senate Leader to bring up the Senate companion, S. 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act. I am a proud cosponsor of this legislation because I believe VA management who abuse their power and put our veterans in danger is unacceptable. 

Our veterans deserve a system that proves their care is our top priority. We need to restore faith in the VA health system and that begins with accountability. Providing a mechanism to remove or demote managers who fail our veterans will allow us to better serve the men and women who sacrificed for us.

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