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WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) led 18 of their colleagues in urging Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough to quickly correct policy initiatives that are making it harder for veterans to receive care.

In 2018, Congress passed the MISSION Act, which increased access to care for veterans by expanding their ability to be seen by health care providers in their communities. However, in recent months, VA leaders have been working to limit opportunities for community care for veterans.

“Congress has never failed to provide VA with the resources required to fulfill its mission,” wrote the Senators. “If you believe that VA lacks the funding to provide the level of access to care that veterans deserve in VA and in the community, it is incumbent on you to reprioritize resources from non-patient care areas and reduce waste, fraud, and abuse, not to unilaterally implement purported cost-savings measures that, even as an unintended consequence, decrease veteran choice and endanger veteran lives.”

Risch and Moran were joined on the letter by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and Ted Budd (R-N.C.).

The full text of the letter can be found here.