Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA) urged congressional colleagues to address the bureaucratic roadblock that hinders Congress’ ability to authorize leases for new Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities during the House Veterans Affairs’ Committee (HVAC) mark-up. The delay in authorizing leases prevents the VA from constructing or leasing much needed clinics and healthcare facilities or renovating outdated ones needed to serve veterans. HVAC Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) joined Rep. Brownley in her concerns and pledged to work together to find a solution during the meeting.
Currently, there are 24 VA projects and facilities awaiting authorization across 15 different states potentially affecting thousands of veterans across the nation. The VA identified these 24 locations as communities in desperate need for the new facilities to ensure equal access to care for all veterans. One of the projects is a proposed new 47,200 square foot outpatient clinic in Oxnard that would allow the VA to expand its primary care and mental health services and provide new specialty healthcare services, such as optometry, audiology, and dermatology locally in Ventura County.
“The delay in authorizing leasing new facilities hinders the VA’s capabilities to provide high-quality healthcare to our nation’s veterans,” said Rep. Julia Brownley. “With the increasing demand for VA healthcare, this results in many veterans facing long wait times when seeking care and crumbling infrastructure at outdated VA medical facilities that are too small with too few rooms and too few providers. I am frustrated, as are many veterans that this problem has not been resolved for several years and I hope we can bring renewed attention to this issue and find a bipartisan way forward.”