Hoeven Statement on Senate Confirmation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Nominee Robert McDonald

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven issued the following statement upon confirmation of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary nominee Robert McDonald:

“Last week I met with Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald to press for his support to allow veterans more options for health care and long term care (LTC) services in their home communities. I believe he is receptive to our ideas, and will work with us on these priorities to ensure our veterans receive the best care possible.

“Specifically, I look forward to working with Secretary McDonald to create more choice for our veterans in accessing health care services closer to home. Veterans in my home state of North Dakota face the challenge of having to travel long distances for services that are readily available in their communities. In June, we worked to pass bipartisan legislation to reform the VA and ensure that veterans receive care from the doctor or provider of their choice if the VA cannot schedule an appointment in a timely manner at a reasonably convenient location.

“I also look forward to working with the secretary to create more choice to access LTC services locally, which Secretary McDonald and I also discussed when we met. Last month I organized a bipartisan letter signed by 43 senators pressing the VA to finalize a rule that would authorize the agency to enter into agreements with additional providers. By making the reporting requirements for providers serving veterans the same as they are for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, our veterans would have more options to get long-term care closer to home, family and friends.

“Every generation of veterans has made sacrifices to defend our country, earning them access to quality healthcare. As a veteran, West Point graduate and retired CEO of Proctor & Gamble, Secretary McDonald has the military and business experience that will help him reform the VA. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, I will work in the Senate to help him.”