America is the greatest country in the world. Our people are generous and creative, but unfortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs is not. 

Each year, the VA’s failures and bureaucratic hurdles frustrate tens of thousands of veterans. I’ve been one of them. Since losing my legs in Afghanistan in 2010, I’ve fought with the VA too many times to keep track. 

What I’m hearing now, however, pushes the VA’s incompetence to a whole new level. Veterans from across our district have been calling my office to complain that the VA is cutting off access to their long-time mental health providers. 

For years, the VA has allowed veterans to receive outside care because of an inability to retain adequate mental health professionals. This flexibility allowed veterans to escape the VA’s poor experience of last-minute cancellations and high turnover rates among doctors. 

Now, veterans are being told they have to return to that system because the VA will no longer cover referrals to outside mental health providers. As of January, our team has been contacted by over 70 veterans, relatives, and mental health providers about this matter. 

This is UNACCEPTABLE. I’ve long said that OUR government is duty-bound to do NO HARM.

Yet, the VA is forcing veterans to relive events and situations that have left them with deep wounds by cutting off access to existing doctors. This is not a risk we can afford to take given that the suicide rate among veterans remains unacceptably high and is on the rise.” 

I’m demanding answers from the VA as to why this is happening. Our government should ensure veterans get the care that they have earned and deserve.