Tester Meets with VA Secretary McDonald

Senator Discusses Legislative Priorities, Veterans Choice and Accountability with VA Chief

(U.S. Senate) -Senator Jon Tester today met with VA Secretary Bob McDonald in his Washington office to discuss the issues plaguing the VA and possible solutions to deliver care to those who have served our nation.

Senator Tester and Secretary McDonald discussed the problems Montana veterans are having with Health Net, the VA contractor responsible for managing the Veterans Choice Program and the best way to give the VA the tools they need to hold Health Net accountable. They also talked about the recently passed Senate VA Appropriations bill and how Congress can ensure the VA has the funding it needs to provide the care veterans deserve.

“Montana veterans have made it loud and clear, Health Net is failing at administering the Choice program,” Tester said. “I asked Secretary McDonald how we could work together to fix the problems with Choice and hold Health Net accountable. In order to provide the best care, and hold Health Net’s feet to the fire, the VA needs resources to do its job. I have serious concerns with the funding levels in the House bill and am hopeful we can restore some of those cuts to ensure the VA is better able to meet the needs of veterans.”

As the Montana delegation’s only member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee Tester has consistently acted in the interests of Montana veterans:

  • Tester’s bipartisan Veterans First Act passed unanimously out of committee last month.
  • Tester recently sent a letter to the CEO of Health Net asking questions on behalf of frustrated Montana veterans.
  • Tester helped author bipartisan legislation that invested critical resources into expanding access to VA health care, particularly for veterans in rural states.