08.01.17

Gardner Demands Answers Regarding Wait Times at Colorado VA Facilities

Washington, D.C. – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today sent a letter to Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin regarding the wait times for veterans at Colorado VA facilities.

 

“Our veterans deserve the best possible care and anything less is simply unacceptable,” said Gardner. “During his confirmation process, Secretary Shulkin committed to instituting significant reforms at the VA to ensure patients receive timely access to care. If a Colorado veteran is unable to see a doctor in a reasonable amount of time because of a VA backlog, than the system has failed that veteran. I will work with Secretary Shulkin to make sure Colorado’s veterans receive the proper care.”


The letter reads in full:

 

Dear Secretary Shulkin:

 

I write urging you to prioritize your attention to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health crisis in Colorado, and provide the steps that you will take to fix the problem.

 

On July 27, 2017, the Denver Post reported that medical appointment wait times for veterans in Colorado are ranked as some of the worst throughout the country. According to the report, 13.5 percent of all appointments scheduled in the Eastern Colorado Healthcare System averaged longer than 30 days. This is unacceptable.

 

The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 was implemented to fix the shameful wait times for veterans. However, this report indicates that the VA has done very little to improve the situation in Colorado. Timely access to doctors for our veterans is essential, and anything less is an incredible disservice to the men and women who have served our nation. They deserve better.

 

I understand that this crisis did not occur on your watch, but it needs to be addressed immediately. In a timely manner, please address why this is happening in Colorado, and the steps that the VA will take to fix this problem.

 

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response.

 

Sincerely,

 

###  

Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Budget Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy and Subcommittee on Energy.

354 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

(202) 224-5941