The America Legion issued the following:
National commander urges caution about use of non-VA health-care providers beyond the delayed appointment crisis.
American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger today praised
Congress for quick action this week to help veterans see physicians in a
timely manner. The House and Senate both passed bills that will allow
Department of Veterans Affairs patients who have been waiting
unreasonable amounts of time for appointments to see non-VA providers.
The leader of the nation’s largest veterans service organization
added that such an emergency measure must only be a stop-gap remedy
while the VA health-care system is realigned to better meet patient
demand. The legislation came after independent reports showed that more
than 57,000 veterans were waiting 90 days or more for VA appointments
and another estimated 60,000 were denied appointments after requesting
“Congress has put politics aside and overwhelmingly passed bipartisan
bills in both houses that begin the long journey toward restoring VA,”
Dellinger said. “The American Legion applauds the swift response.
However, vouchering care to non-VA providers must only be a bridge to a
new system, a system we know is worth saving. These bills are positive
steps to begin restoring trust, foremost to veterans, but also to the
The American Legion is now scheduling town hall meetings in the most
affected areas of the country to better assess the problem in order to
help develop solutions.