Sen. Manchin: VAMCs safe for now
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., says West Virginia’s Veterans Affairs Medical Centers are safe from dramatically having to reduce their services.
The senator announced Monday afternoon that the three VA Medical Centers in West Virginia – the Beckley VA Medical Center, the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, and the Hershel “Woody” Williams VAMC in Huntington – would not see a reduction in services or discontinue in-patient and emergency room care.
Back in March, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs released its Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Report, whose recommendations would significantly reduce services at West Virginia’s VAMCs.
Manchin said he and others fought for veterans’ medical rights and access and says it’s what’s best for America. He said 12 bipartisan senators opposed the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission.
Those senators released the following statement:
“As Senators, we share a commitment to expanding and strengthening modern VA infrastructure in a way that upholds our obligations to America’s Veterans. We believe the recommendations put forth to the AIR Commission are not reflective of that goal, and would put Veterans in both rural and urban areas at a disadvantage, which is why we are announcing that this process does not have our support and will not move forward. The Commission is not necessary for our continued push to invest in VA health infrastructure, and together we remain dedicated to providing the Department with the resources and tools it needs to continue delivering quality care and earned services to Veterans in 21st century facilities—now and into the future.”
Manchin was joined by Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), John Thune (R-SD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Rob Portman (R-OH), Patty Murray (D-WA), Steve Daines (R-MT) and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) in opposition of the AIR Commission.
Manchin says the AIR act had nine appointees, but that he and others will kill the AIR act by not appointing any committee members.
He says the state’s VAMCs are safe until they can get the AIR Act off the books.
The VA MISSION Act was passed in 2018 by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump. Its intent was to help modernize the VA system.
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