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Senators Block VA Plan to Modernize Health Care Facilities

  • Senators announced they will not establish the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission.

A bipartisan group of senators have blocked a plan to modernize the VA health care system.

The plan, recommended by the VA as part of their Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) process, would include the construction of over 30 new hospitals and 225 clinics. However, the senators oppose the second part of the plan that would close underused and aging clinics and 17 medical centers.

The group of senators said they would not approve President Biden’s nominations to the AIR commission, stopping the plan from being implemented.

They stated, “We are announcing that this process does not have our support and will not move forward. The commission is not necessary for our continued push to invest in VA health infrastructure."

VA Secretary Denis McDonough believes modernizing the VA health care system is necessary for expanding and improving service for veterans all over the U.S. "We are bound and determined to do right by our veterans. We will not be deterred from the important effort of modernization."

American Legion National Commander Paul E. Dillard also disagrees with this decision. “The American Legion is concerned with the reported decision to cancel the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission required by the 2018 VA MISSION Act. While the process thus far has been plagued with delays, recommendations based on problematic data, and commission nominees that are not in keeping with the VA MISSION Act, there remains a need to modernize and improve the national health-care infrastructure for veterans and their families.”

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