During a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on implementation of the VA MISSION Act, Senator Murray questioned senior VA officials about the progress of implementation of the 2018 veterans’ health care law
A senior member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Senator Murray asked VA officials how they are addressing barriers to use of fertility services for veterans and when the much delayed expansion of the VA caregiver program will finally take place
Senator Murray: “It is really critical that after these veterans have sacrificed so much in their service they are fully supported.”
ICYMI: Local veterans discuss health care transition with Sen. Murray – MORE HERE from The Columbian
***WATCH SENATOR MURRAY’S QUESTIONS HERE***
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, pushed senior leaders at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for answers regarding the implementation of the VA MISSION Act, including what the Department is doing to address delayed efforts to implement the law’s vital veteran health care provisions. The community care program, part of the VA MISSION Act, which began implementation in the summer of 2019, was meant to overhaul significant portions of the VA health care system, but has faced a variety of delays and setbacks. During a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing, Senator Murray asked VA officials about how they are working to remove barriers for veterans seeking fertility services, and why the expansion of the popular VA Caregiver Support Program—a measure championed by Senator Murray—continues to be delayed. Additionally, Senator Murray questioned the leaders about the VA MISSION Act’s community care program, following her visits with veterans in Washington state who shared their issues regarding VA’s referral process for community care.
“It is really critical that after these veterans have sacrificed so much in their service they are fully supported. Fertility challenges are difficult enough without having to fight a bureaucracy to access care that they have earned and that they are entitled to, and as we all know delays in this means sometimes they can’t access care and have kids,” Senator Murray said during the hearing. “So I don’t want to hear about this anymore, and I want to know what VA is doing to address those barriers to make sure veterans get the care when they need it.”
A daughter of a World War II veteran, Senator Murray has consistently worked to improve quality of life for veterans in Washington state and nationwide. Senator Murray has successfully worked to ensure that veterans who are facing fertility challenges as a result of their service are able to get their needed fertility and IVF care through VA, extending this coverage for veterans in a FY 2017 military spending bill and defending veterans’ right to receive this care from attacks by the Trump administration. Senator Murray also fought successfully to expand the popular VA caregiver program to all veterans, not just those serving after 9/11, as part of the MISSION Act and has pushed to expand the program to help ensure all veterans and their caregivers have access to the care and support they need. This hearing is only the most recent step in Senator Murray’s ongoing oversight of the MISSION Act’s implementation, and follows the Senator’s discussions with veterans in Vancouver, Ellensburg, and King County on their experiences receiving care under the new law.