Reps. Kim, Hern and Case Lead Bipartisan Effort to Press VA on Nationwide Delays on VA Health Care Facilities

June 19, 2020
Press Release

Reps. Kim, Hern and Case Lead Bipartisan Effort to Press VA on
Nationwide Delays on VA Health Care Facilities  

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, a bipartisan Congressional coalition called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide answers on systemic issues with the Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Major Medical Leasing process that have resulted in cost overruns and lengthy delays, some of nearly a decade, in delivering sorely needed new VA clinics and hospitals.

The bipartisan letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie, is led by Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) whose district is home to a promised VA health care facility that has now been twice delayed, as well as Congressman Kevin Hern (OK-01) and Congressman Ed Case (HI-01). The letter is co-signed by Congressman Sanford Bishop Jr. (GA- 02), Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51), Congressman James McGovern (MA- 02), Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Congresswoman Julia Brownley (CA-26), Congressman Greg Stanton (AZ-09), Congresswoman Lucy McBath (GA-06), and Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52).

The letter focuses on the July 2019 report by the VA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) titled “Management of Major Medical Leases Needs Improvement” that examined whether the VA effectively managed the development and acquisition of 24 major medical leases authorized under the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA).

In the letter, members cite that, “…the VA continues to struggle with its major leases almost a full year after the VA OIG issued its report. The VA has not awarded leases for three major facilities (Honolulu, Hawai‘i; Brick, New Jersey; and Cobb County, Georgia), and the VA has not moved into at least 19 additional facilities. As a result, only 3 of the 25 facilities approved by Congress in 2014 are currently serving our nation’s veterans.”

The Representatives posed the following questions to Secretary Wilkie in their effort to push the VA to, “fully implement the OIG recommendations and improve the Major Medical Leasing process to save taxpayer dollars and prevent additional delays in getting the improved access to healthcare that our veterans desperately need and deserve.”

  1. For each recommendation in the VA OIG’s report, what is the timeline for closing the recommendation and what action has the VA taken or intend to take to close out the recommendation?
  2. Please provide an update on the status and completion timelines of all current major medical leasing facilities nationwide, to include the Planned or Actual Award Date and the Planned or Actual Patient First Use Date.
  3. What is the VA doing to expedite those major medical leasing facilities that are already behind schedule and/or past their statutory deadline?
  4. What is the status of the Major Leasing Modernization Proposal briefed to then VA Secretary David Shulkin in January 2018?

The full letter on this issue can be found by clicking here.

 

 

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