According to the Veterans Administration, the state of Alabama is home to almost 415,000 veterans, including over 62,000 in Alabama’s First Congressional District. As the Representative for Southwest Alabama, ensuring timely access to quality care for our veterans is a top priority of mine in Washington. With the Veterans Administration’s current backlog affecting the quality and availability of service for our veterans, it’s crucial that I hear directly from these men and women to help ensure they’re receiving the care they have earned.
My office hears daily from veterans across Southwest Alabama who have experienced long wait times and questionable care from the VA. Ultimately the culture of complacency at the VA must change in order for veterans’ care to improve. I will continue to push for answers and results from the VA as the investigation moves forward.
If you are a veteran who is having trouble with the VA, my office can help. Click here to contact us.
More on Veterans Issues
Last Wednesday morning, I made my way through a packed auditorium at Perdido School in north Baldwin County to shake the hands of veterans who had admirably served our nation. The veterans were present for a ceremony in their honor organized by the teachers and students at the school.
The students waved flags and held up handmade signs. It was great to see young people so enthusiastic in recognizing and honoring our veterans who have served their country. Everyone in that auditorium had a special veteran in their life who immediately came to mind during the ceremony.
Earlier this year, our eyes were opened to an alarming crisis at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). We were shocked to learn that veterans were being placed on secret waiting lists and thousands of veterans were experiencing wait times of more than 90 days for medical care. Even worse, many veterans never received care at all.
Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) today voted in support of legislation to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by giving veterans access to non-VA medical care when they live more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility or the wait time for an appointment at a VA facility is more than 30 days.
Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General released the system-wide audit covering 731 VA medical centers. The audit found that more than 57,000 veterans have experienced wait times of more than 90 days.
The audit also highlighted which VA facilities would be targeted for further investigation due to suspected misconduct. Both the VA clinic in Mobile and the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Biloxi were included on the list.
The crisis at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) is a tragedy. Brave men and women died waiting for care that never came from the country they sacrificed so much to defend. But the problems represented at this agency are longstanding. While it is true that this President inherited many of the systemic issues present in the VA bureaucracy today, I believe he has failed to take on the status quo and implement reform necessary to root out issues that have been allowed to take hold.
Washington, DC – May 30, 2014 – Today, Representative Bradley Byrne (AL-1) responded to Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki’s resignation in the wake of institutional mismanagement throughout the VA system.
Washington, DC – May 29, 2014 – Today, Representative Bradley Byrne (AL-1) sent a letter with his colleague, Representative Steven Palazzo (MS-4), to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Biloxi expressing concerns about care standards and requesting further information. The Biloxi facility is the main regional center for veterans in Southwest Alabama who receive referrals for more specialized care.
Fairhope, AL – May 27, 2014 – Today, Representative Bradley Byrne (AL-1) called on Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Eric Shinseki to resign amid allegations of mismanagement. Byrne is cosponsoring H.Con.Res. 98, a resolution introduced by Rep. Blake Farenthold (TX-27) urging the President to call for the resignation of Shinseki and replace him with new leadership.
Fairhope, AL – May 26, 2014 – Today, Representative Bradley Byrne (AL-1) released the following statement honoring those who have died in the line of duty on Memorial Day.
Byrne said: “America is the first world power in history that seeks not for its own personal gain. Although our cause is noble, the price is sometimes steep. Today we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending our nation’s principles, because we believe as one united nation our cause is worth fighting for.”
Fairhope, AL – May 23, 2014 – Representative Bradley Byrne (AL-1) will hold four Town Hall meetings in Mobile County on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.
Byrne said: “With pressing issues like healthcare, the economy, and caring for our veterans at the forefront of our national dialogue, it is important to maintain a direct line of communication with my constituents in Southwest Alabama. I’m continuing to work hard to ensure I am reflecting the views of Southwest Alabamians as our Representative in Washington.”