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VA Reforms Are Wrong for W.Va.

We already knew proposals by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would do more harm than good for West Virginia veterans, but state Veterans Assistance Secretary Ted Diaz hammered the point home. He warned members of the state legislature’s Select Committee on Veterans’ Affairs about the proposed reduction in accessible facilities and services.

Though federal officials describe the changes as improvements that would modernize services, it is clear those same folks are more worried about change for change’s sake than serving veterans.

“My best recommendation I give to you — and I’ve already given to the congressional delegation in D.C. — is this plan needs to be eliminated now,” Diaz told state lawmakers, according to MetroNews.

Shifting the balance of care to rural hospitals already stretched to their breaking points is unconscionable, and surely VA officials in Washington, D.C., know that.

“Our concerns are with the ability of the non-VA facilities to address the unique veteran situation. Veterans have a unique need of care, whether it be traumatic injuries in battle (or) mental health issues from the mental injures that have been inflicted through the years of war,” Diaz reportedly told state lawmakers.

As a nation, we promised those who were willing to give their lives for the rest of us we would give them the care they deserved. Tossing aside that promise would not be on the table, if bureaucrats understood what our veterans face, and the challenges in the rural communities so many of them call home.

It begs the question, then, do they care?


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