WASHINGTON, June 27 – Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today after White House aide Rob Nabors and Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson met with President Barack Obama and the White House issued a report on health care in the VA system:
“I want to thank Rob Nabors for his excellent report. His recommendations need to be studied and acted upon and the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will play an active part in that process.
“As the report indicates, ‘There is strong sentiment among many veterans and stakeholders that in general the VA provides high-quality health care once you get in the door and that the current system needs to be fixed, not abandoned or weakened.’
“Our job as a Congress and as a nation is to make the necessary changes so that every veteran in the VA system gets the quality and timely health care they are entitled to.
“No organization the size of VA can operate effectively without a high level of transparency and accountability. Clearly that is not the case now at the VA. The communication and decision-making between the central office and regional offices must be radically restructured. The VA must do a far better job in understanding what is taking place on the ground and regional and local offices can no longer hide serious problems when they exist.
“Perhaps most importantly, at a time when there has been a significant increase in the patient load and complexity of cases at the VA, the VA must be honest and straightforward about its needs in terms of additional doctors, nurses, other medical personnel and facilities that it needs to provide the high-quality care that it must provide.”