March 18, 2022

Cortez Masto, Rosen Urge President Biden to Prioritize Nevada’s Rural Veterans, Reject Proposed Closures of VA Health Facilities that Could Threaten Their Access to Care

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) sent a letter to President Joe Biden voicing their concerns that the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) proposed closure of facilities in the state could impact Nevada veterans. The Senators urged the President to refrain from implementing recommendations that could undermine rural veterans’ access to VA health care and provide concrete plans to ensure that their care won’t be interrupted by any potential changes.

“We are deeply concerned that the proposed closure of these VA health facilities would negatively impact local veterans, while also backtracking on the progress Congress and the VA have made over the past decade to improve care for veterans. The proposed changes could increase wait times for critically important medical appointments and increase the distance veterans will have to travel to seek care,” wrote the Senators. “While telehealth is listed as an option for care, some rural communities do not have access to a reliable high-quality internet connection, which could negatively impact access to telehealth.”

“With this in mind, we strongly urge you to closely review the VA’s findings and not move forward with closures that could prevent Nevada’s most vulnerable veterans from accessing the VA health care and services they deserve,” the Senators’ letter continued. 

Senators Cortez Masto and Rosen are committed to fighting for our nation’s veterans. Last month, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan bill they both cosponsored to provide health care coverage for veterans exposed to harmful toxins. As part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2021, Senator Cortez Masto secured measures to improve mental health services for members of the National Guard and Reserves, support Navy members in getting the retirement benefits owed to them, and increase the transparency and efficiency of the Department of Defense’s TRICARE medical billing practices.

The full text of the letter can be found here.