Roe, Walz Statement on GAO Continuing to Categorize the Veterans Health Administration As High-Risk
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Tim Walz (D-Minn.) released the following statements after the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) was kept on GAO’s High-Risk List:
“As chairman, I take the findings of this report very seriously,” said Roe. “While this information is not new, it certainly underscores that the Veterans Health Administration has not made enough progress towards providing quality care for our veterans. As I’ve said time and time again, VA should have the resources necessary to serve veterans, but we must also take a close look at how the department is allocating the resources they’ve been entrusted. I will continue to work with Ranking Member Walz to conduct diligent oversight of VA and hold the department accountable to both our nation’s heroes and taxpayers.”
“The findings of GAO’s 2017 report are concerning,” Rep. Walz said. “It is imperative that VA and VHA leaders take this report seriously and act without delay to ensure veterans have the quality healthcare they expect and deserve. We all have a responsibility to ensure the VA has the resources they need to provide quality, timely care for veterans and Dr. Roe and I will continue our bipartisan work to put outcomes for veterans first.”
Background: In 2015, GAO added the VHA to their High-Risk List because of five key areas of concern including: ambiguous policies and inconsistent processes; inadequate oversight and accountability; information technology (IT) challenges; inadequate staff training; and unclear resource needs and allocation priorities. The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs’ first full committee hearing of the 115th Congress examined VA’s IT systems, one of the areas GAO listed as cause for concern.
Today’s report underscored the need for VA to continue their action plan to utilize GAO’s recommendations and address its high-risk designation.