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Home / US / VA wants a long-term solution to the failure of Veterans Choice without having a permanent lead in sight

VA wants a long-term solution to the failure of Veterans Choice without having a permanent lead in sight



Veterans Choice funding will be phased out in mid-June, the Department of Veterans Affairs said to Congress last week.

The future of the Choice program is another big unknown for the department – and more importantly, for the department Veterans Encouraged by Controversial Change of Leadership and Continuing Questions on the Modernization of VA's Electronic Health Record

Deputy Secretary of State Robert Wilkie encouraged Congress, a long-term solution to the funding gap, in a letter to the House and Senate VA Commission on April 26 Another temporary solution:

"It is the administration's preference that VCP be holistically addressed with reform legislation, and that all community care programs, including VCP, be consolidated and funded through freely available resources," Wilkie wrote. "Ongoing funding for" band aids "only extends the transition to a more efficient and effective program for our veterans."




VA had difficulty predicting exactly when the funds for the Choice program and Congress and Administration could be exhausted without agreeing on a long-term solution. Legislators in both chambers spent much of 201

7 legislating, but members could not agree to pay for the program, and played it through later this year.

But Congress has largely ignored the Choice program since then Internal conflicts between White House staff and former VA Secretary David Shulkin were at the center of attention earlier this year. Shulkin said he clashed with the White House's vision for the Choice program and cited these disagreements as grounds for his dismissal.

Finding a Pathway to the VA Choice Program Is One of the Short-Term Priorities That the Department Described Last Week Last Week (19659002) According to VA spokesman Curt Cashour, operations in the department have improved in many ways as the new leadership is in line with President Donald Trump and his priorities and is "restor [ing] regular order".

Under the direction of Deputy Minister Wilkie, high-level VA officials are now on the same page, speaking with one voice to veterans, staff and outside stakeholders such as Congress and veteran organizations, focusing on a number of key priorities in the short term. He said in a statement last Wednesday.

VA's other priorities included completing a decision to modernize and operate the department's electronic health record (19659011) Jackson withdrew his nomination the following day

Meanwhile The lack of permanent VA leadership has at least one leader in federal oversight Affected Municipality

"They need leadership," Dodaro said at a hearing last week at the hearing of the House Oversight and the Government Reform Committee. "I'm very worried around the veterans [Affairs Department]. They have some of the deep-rooted management problems in the federal government, so we put them on the high-risk list. They are now trying to come up with a plan, but it's been three years since we put them on the list. You really do not have a good plan to get off the list. We work with them, they are making progress. I do not want to say that they are not. But it must become more urgent to cope with the problems there.

Dodaro also mentioned open positions in other leadership positions in the department, VA still has no permanent Chief Information Officer and no Secretary of State for Health, and the Veterans Benefits Administration eventually won its first permanent leader in nearly three years with Paul Lawrence, who Senate confirmed last week.


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