Hours before the embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resignation was announced, James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation and Pete Hegseth, chief executive of Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) and a Fox News contributor on Friday outlined five initiatives on fixing the Veterans Administrations scandalous problems.
Carafano and Hegseth asked the question of how can we build a more effective and efficient Department of Veterans Affairs and what solutions can be used.
“That’s a task that requires much more than a new face in President Obama’s cabinet. To fix VA, the next secretary will need an attentive, committed partner in the White House and bipartisan support in the Congress,” Carafano and Hegseth said. “That’s the only way to establish the administrative and legislative foundation necessary to deliver the world-class service our veterans deserve.”
Carafano and Hegseth suggested solutions include creating a culture of accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs, empower employees to speak up about wrongdoings; the department must be made to answer congressional inquiries in a direct, transparent and timely manner.
Two other areas they focused on was increasing the efficiency of service delivery and elevate the quality of care provided by the VA system to that found in the private sector and to increase medical options for our veterans.
Carafano and Hegseth both said, “VA has a legal obligation to provide services to veterans. But all us have a moral obligation to give back to those who have served us. As advocates, we can fight for a better VA—and we must. And as individuals, we can welcome veterans back into our communities and help them thrive… and in doing so, inject the courage, selflessness and leadership America desperately needs right now.”
Hegseth also commented separately on the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki on Friday and said, “Concerned Veterans for America fully supports President Obama’s decision to accept Sec. Shinseki’s resignation. More importantly, we emphasize that it doesn’t solve the widespread, systemic problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs. In fact, this is only the beginning. We need both reforms and a reformer, which is why it’s essential for Congress to pass systemic reforms at VA in the coming weeks and months, bringing real accountability, transparency, and choice to the Department of Veterans Affairs... the government is failing our veterans, it’s time to get to work fixing VA.”