October 26, 2023

Manchin Questions VA Officials on Access to Veterans Healthcare, Compensation and Pension Exams in West Virginia

Washington, DC – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, questioned Department of Veterans’ Affairs officials on access to healthcare for West Virginia Veterans and the backlog of Compensation and Pension Exams in West Virginia.

On access to healthcare for West Virginia Veterans:

“We have a lot of Veterans in West Virginia and they all want to go to Veterans clinics or hospitals to get their care. They say they’re better understood and they feel much more comfortable,” Senator Manchin said in part. “The problem we’re having in West Virginia is that they’re getting cancellations because of lack of personnel…The medical staff and primary care and specialty doctors, they’re just not there and the wait times are so long…Are you hearing this around the country in rural areas?”

On the backlog of Compensation and Pension Exams in West Virginia:

“Compensation and Pension Exams – that is our most requested thing. And there is a tremendous backlog on these,” Senator Manchin continued. “The Compensation and Pension Exams are something that it seems like every Veteran is asking for to see if they can get a little bit more financial help…We want to make sure that we’re able to take care of those who truly have military related illnesses and dependencies.”

The witnesses were Tracey Therit, Chief Human Capital Officer, Office of Human Resources and Administration/Operations, Security and Preparedness; David Perry, Chief Officer, Workforce Management and Consulting, Veterans Health Administration; Aaron Robison, Senior Attorney-Advisor, Accountability, Office of General Counsel; and Ted Radway, Executive Director, Investigations, and Acting Executive Director, Compliance and Oversight, Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection.

A video of Senator Manchin’s questioning can be found here.