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Cornyn, Cruz Amendment Requires VA Plan to Reduce Wait Times at San Antonio VA

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) today successfully added a provision to the Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs Appropriations bill requiring the VA Secretary to provide Congress with a plan to address the long wait times for veterans seeking health care at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System. The final bill, with the amendment included, passed the Senate unanimously. 

“Veterans in San Antonio deserve better than long waits and barriers to care after selflessly putting their lives on the line to serve this nation,” Sen. Cornyn said. “This amendment is a step toward ensuring our South Texas veterans receive the care they need, and I will continue to press the Administration to improve care for veterans across the state.”

“Our veterans deserve the very best care our nation can provide.  Unfortunately, veterans in South Texas often do not receive timely access to health care,” stated Sen. Cruz.  “Sen. Cornyn and I will continue to work together to hold VA administrators accountable.”

Earlier this month, Sens. Cornyn and Cruz wrote a letter to Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs Robert McDonald urging him to address the issue.

Background on the Cornyn-Cruz Amendment

The Cornyn-Cruz amendment would require the VA Secretary to provide Congress with a plan within 30 days that:
· Describes the problem of increasing wait times within the VA’s South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS);
· Identifies the causes, and assesses whether shortages of health care providers within the Department are the primary driver;
· Summarizes any VA corrective efforts thus far; and
· Explains how the Secretary will remedy the problem, including steps to be taken and the timeline for doing so.