Save The VA would like to once again thank Congresswoman Noem for her continued vigilance regarding the Hot Springs VA Hospital. Congresswoman Noem’s amendment to the FY2015 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill barring the VA from funding EIS studies on facilities like the Hot Springs VA Hospital, demonstrates to the VA the level of continued Congressional support for the Hot Springs VA to remain open and serving rural veterans. We’re optimistic the Senate will follow the House in passing this legislation. Our hope has always been and we ask Secretary Shinseki once again to listen to reason and stop the proposed relocation of the Domiciliary to Rapid City, proposed closure of the hospital in Hot Springs, finally recognize that veterans want this facility to remain open and that following through with this proposed action would be counterproductive to the VA’s mission. Continuing the pressure on the VA by removing funding for an EIS will also require close scrutiny regarding the reduction of services provided at the Hot Springs VA. These services and supporting staff must be restored. Save The VA has always disputed the reasons given by the VA for the ongoing reduction of services still needed by veterans, and these reductions, which continue to this day, are contradictory to Secretary Shinseki’s promise to not remove any services needed by veterans. Contrary to the VA’s assertions the same veterans Hot Springs has traditionally served are still in need of the services provided by a fully functioning hospital.
Bob Nelson, Co-Chair, Save the VA