Brian Mast: Senior Armed Services Officers Should Lead VA Medical Centers

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., who lost both his legs during his service in Afghanistan, is continuing his push to reform the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Towards the end of last week, Mast unveiled the “LEAD VA Act” which, he insists, will “improve leadership at Veterans Affairs Medical Centers” by directing the VA and the U.S. Defense Department to look at creating a proposal having senior Armed Forces officers be the directors of VA medical centers.

After introducing the bill on Thursday, Mast weighed in on his proposal on Friday.

“It’s no secret that the Department of Veterans Affairs has been plagued by crisis over the years, and veterans across our country have suffered because of it,” Mast said. “It’s time to take a hard look at the way VA medical centers are being run at the highest level and find new ways to improve them.

“At the end of the day, no one is better prepared to oversee veteran care than those who will one day be veterans themselves,” Mast added.

If Mast’s proposal is passed, the VA and Defense Departments would send their findings to Congress.

Presidential hopeful U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hi., U.S. Rep. Colin Alfred, D-Tex., and U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., are cosponsoring the bill. The bill was sent to the U.S. House Veterans Affairs and the Armed Services Committees. So far, there is no companion bill over in the U.S. Senate.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

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