In anticipation of the upcoming presidential election, Military Times partnered with a dozen veterans organizations earlier this year to ask the major party candidates about their views on key issues facing the veterans community. STORY BY Leo Shane III
Question from The American Legion: The American Legion has long made a top priority of improved access to high-quality VA health care. Timely access is impeded due to VA’s well-documented shortage of nurses and other key medical providers.
Now, with the coronavirus pandemic straining the system, what will your administration do to keep improving access to normal medical care — a promise of the MISSION Act — at this time of high and complicated demand for beds and specialized care?
Trump: My budget reflects my priority for our veterans and my budget requests for VA in 2021 was the largest in the agency’s history. VA has over 397,000 onboard employees today, about 50,000 more employees than it had five years ago under Obama-Biden.
VA telehealth has also grown like never before. VA delivered more than 2 million episodes of telehealth care in fiscal 2019. This year to date, VA has delivered more than 9 million telehealth episodes to date, including over 1.1 million virtual mental health appointments.
Biden: Providing the highest quality medical care in the best facilities in the world is an essential part of fulfilling our sacred obligation to our veterans. We have to start by restoring and protecting trust in the VA. As president, I promise you always to fight as I always have for world-class veterans-oriented and veteran-centered health care:
* making sure that VA staff has the life-saving PPE they need;
* making sure the rest of the system has the resources it needs to keep caring for everyone else;
* ensuring quality care throughout the community care network;
* expanding access to telemedicine, especially in rural and under-served areas;
TO READ THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW, CLICK HERE