JONES URGES VA TO PAY ITS BILLS

Jun 28, 2017 Issues: Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) is calling on the VA to start paying its bills on time so that care provided to veterans is not negatively affected.  In a letter sent to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)  Secretary David Shulkin earlier today, Congressman Jones and 45 of his congressional colleagues voiced concerns about the VA’s outstanding payments and asked that the situation be addressed promptly.  Federal law requires the VA to pay vendors for goods and services within 30 days.  However, numerous vendors have outstanding invoices going back as far as 2013 and are awaiting hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions of dollars, in overdue payments from the VA.  Those owed by the VA include providers of replacement knees and hips, cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, and spinal implants.

“No veteran should be subjected to a delay in treatment because the VA hasn’t paid its bills,” said Congressman Jones. “I know the Secretary is working hard to improve the processes within the department that hamper their ability to provide veterans with the excellent care they’ve earned and deserved.  This is one item on that list, and it’s something that needs to be addressed.”

A recent preliminary report from the Inspector General of the VA documented how late payments are negatively impacting medical care for veterans.  In one example, a “tray used in surgeries to repair mandibular (jaw) fractures had been removed from the facility due to outstanding invoices from the vendor. Surgical staff informed us that a procedure had to be delayed as a result.”

Serving America’s veterans is one of Congressman Jones’ highest priorities.  Over the past 12 years, Congressman Jones has cosponsored more bills to help veterans than any other member of Congress.

The full letter to Secretary David Shulkin is attached.

For additional information, please contact Allison Tucker in Congressman Walter Jones’ office at (202) 225-3415 or Allison.tucker@mail.house.gov.

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