Roberson Works With Congress On Veterans Affairs!
Taking Care Of Veterans Affairs
It is quite simple: if you want to take care of veterans, you must take care of veterans affairs. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the federal agency created specifically to care for the brave men and women who laid their lives on the line to protect the freedoms of all Americans. The agency's mission statement is:
To fulfill President Lincoln's promise, "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's veterans."
Roberson went to DC with the American Federation of Government Employees, to lobby Congress to pass legislation to aggrandize the VA. Currently, there are 49,000 vacant positions at Veterans Affairs across the country: doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and other essential caregivers. To put that into perspective, the US Federal Government has already decided on the amount of employees required to fully serve America's veterans, yet they are currently shortchanging the veterans by 49,000 people. Fully staffing the VA will have a direct and positive impact on the service provided to the nation's vets.
In mid-February, Roberson led a discussion between Congressman Mark Takano and current Veterans Affairs employees to discuss current issues. Mark Takano is the Vice Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and is very passionate about ensuring that the nation's vets are taken care of.
In recent years, the VA has received very bad press surrounding vets who have died, waiting for care from the VA. With such terrible occurrences, the need to fully staff the VA seems obvious and necessary. Unfortunately, the VA has been politicized and scrutinized, which has ultimately resulted in the passage of the VA Accountability Act. Roberson and the VA employees relayed to Congressman Takano the effects of this cleverly worded law. The VA Accountability Act, in a nutshell, decreases the time it takes to fire someone, while simultaneously lowering the amount of evidence required to fire said person. This is an affront to the VA employees, as it directly attacks their due process for fair treatment.
One of the VA employees told Congressman Takano an emotional story about her coworker, who was on medical leave, fighting cancer. While this VA employee was on medical leave, she missed a certification renewal. This VA employee was fired, while in the hospital. A letter of termination was sent to her house, and by the time she had received it, the time period for her rebuttal had already passed. Normally, missing a renewable certification is not a termination offense, specifically because it can be renewed. Unfortunately, under the VA Accountability Act, this is a reality being faced. Termination of non-management employees has increased dramatically.
It's important to note, several studies show that the VA services veterans better than the private sector, even while understaffed. However, because the VA is a federal agency, it is funded by tax dollars and can be politicized to push agendas. To be real, if people die waiting for service from a private hospital, the press pushes the topic with a lot less force, if at all. Fortunately, if logic holds supreme, the best way to lower wait times for the Veterans who need service, is to hire more VA employees to serve them. There are 49,000 vacant positions at the VA. Fully staffing the VA is the BEST way to serve America's Heroes.