VA Patients Concerned About Future of Their Care, Impact on Veteran Job-Seekers Unclear
This week, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order to freeze all federal hiring, exempting military personnel, national security and public safety personnel, but not the Department of Veterans Affairs. The freeze, which was one of Trump’s campaign promises, has alarmed our nation’s veterans. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing post-9/11 veterans and their families, encourages President Trump to consider the impact of this hiring freeze on veterans and their families and calls on Acting Secretary of the VA Robert Snyder to stand up for veterans.
“This freeze raises serious concerns about the President’s commitment to veterans and improving the VA,” said Paul Rieckhoff, CEO and Founder of IAVA. “Patients, doctors and caregivers across the VA are now worried about the impact of the hiring freeze at this most critical time in the agency’s history. At a moment when the VA should be prioritizing responsiveness and recruiting and hiring the best trained physicians, nurses and mental health counselors in the country, the President has tied the Acting Secretary’s hands.”
“The fact is that, although the military is exempt from the freeze, the VA is not. Over the past day, countless IAVA members have contacted us concerned about the future of their health care,” Rieckhoff continued. “Additionally, about 32% of IAVA’s members are are also government employees and 31% of the federal force are veterans; while some may not be impacted by a freeze, job-seekers waiting to hear about a hiring determination just had their hope dashed.”
IAVA is committed to being a vigilant watch dog to ensure that veterans receive the best care at the VA and the best employment opportunities possible when they return home.