Military Times: Even bigger budgets for VA? Secretary offers his thoughts on department progress, challenges

“Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie has a bold prediction for the 2020 election: His department’s programs are going to come out a winner.”

“’I don’t see how, no matter what is in store electorally, how anyone goes back on selling VA short in terms of the budget,’ Wilkie said in a sit-down with Military Times on Thursday. ‘We have massive (reform) programs that were undertaking, like the electronic health record. Those are expensive.’”

“’Supply chain reform is expensive. Meeting the 400,000 personnel level that has been set by the Congress is expensive. Keeping up with new technologies is expensive … So I expect the budget to go even higher. And I haven’t heard anybody get up and say publicly ‘enough is enough’ with the VA budget.’”

“Wilkie, who took over the $200-billion-plus department 16 months ago amid substantial leadership turmoil within VA, said he believes the department is stronger than it has been in decades, thanks to legislation passed by lawmakers in recent months and institutional reforms from the administration…”

“With Veterans Day approaching, here are the top VA’s executive’s thoughts on successes and challenges with his department:

  • On the state of VA…
  • On the Mission Act and changes to outside care programs…
  • On veterans suicide and the presidential task force tackling the issue…
  • On burn pits and disability cases related to toxic exposure…
  • On accountability and recent criticism of the VA Office of Whistleblower Protection…
  • On impeachment and congressional tensions with the White House…” Read the full article here.

Source: Even bigger budgets for VA? Secretary offers his thoughts on department progress, challenges – By Leo Shane III, November 7, 2019. Military Times.



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