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VFW STATEMENT ON COMMISSION ON CARE REPORT

‘VA NEEDS LEADERSHIP, NOT MANAGEMENT BY COMMITTEE’

July 06, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States agrees with most of the 18 recommendations made by the Commission on Care in its final report that was released today on how to improve the care and services the Department of Veterans Affairs provides to eligible veterans. But the nation’s largest and oldest major war veterans organization is firmly against one recommendation that would create another layer of bureaucracy to manage the day-to-day operations of the VA health care system.

"The VFW thanks the commission for their hard work,” said VFW National Commander John A. Biedrzycki Jr., “and while we agree with most of their recommendations, we cannot support all of them, most especially the proposal to establish a politically-appointed board of directors that would govern the VA health care system. The VA needs leadership, not management by committee.”

The proposed governance board would be similar to how the 15 members of the Commission on Care were selected. It would include political-appointees, the majority of who would be civilian health care executives and veterans who do not use the VA health care system. “How and when veterans receive their care should not be determined by appointees who have never used the system, nor have a vested interest in improving the care and benefits veterans receive. Creating more bureaucracy is never the answer to high-turnover in leadership and a lack of proper succession planning,” said Biedrzycki.