On Sept. 7, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs held “From Tumult To Transformation,” a hearing to review the Commission on Care’s 18-point final report presented to the president via the VA secretary last June. Despite some solid recommendations, such as consolidating community care and revamping the VA’s antiquated IT system, the controversial decision to create a board of directors to govern the VA gained the most attention — a decision that will only reinforce the status quo at the VA and will further add to the politicization of this agency.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is in trouble and under attack. This shouldn’t be groundbreaking news to anyone — it has been for a long time. With the release of the final report from the Commission on Care — the blue-ribbon panel established to make recommendations to improve VA healthcare services — more fodder has been given to critics who seek to privatize much of how VA serves patients. The report was released last week and much of what it offers is old news — essentially, it serves to give ammunition to viewpoints already held by different stakeholders.