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In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln addressed a divided nation and spoke these words which would become the Department of Veterans Affairs motto: "(L)et us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan ."
Today the VA is plagued with systemic problems, repeated scandals, dilapidating infrastructure, and poor health care service to the nine million veterans under its charge. In 2013, more than half a million veterans' applications for disability benefits were backlogged. In 2014, veterans died waiting for care while VA facilities falsified wait times, and veterans seeking help through the suicide prevention hotline were passed off to unqualified third parties  .
VA Secretary David Shulkin recently identified more than 30 VA facilities where veterans must wait at least 60 days before receiving any care. He also found that "one in 10 time sensitive appointments were not booked within time frames recommended by health care providers." Secretary Shulkin called these issues "chronic problems" and admitted that they "have harmed veterans and their families ."
That is a far cry from the motto spoken by Abraham Lincoln, and it is completely unacceptable for our veterans. The brave men and women who served in the military put their lives at risk to protect our country, and back here at home they have to keep fighting just to get decent medical care.
This cannot be allowed to go on any longer. Our veterans deserve the very best care available. President Trump has promised to fix the VA and make our veterans a priority, but little progress has been made so far. It's time to fix these problems once and for all.
Sign the Petition to make your voice heard that the VA needs fixing now, and that President Trump and his administration need to be held accountable to giving our veterans the care they deserve!
President Donald Trump:
The Department of Veterans Affairs exists in order to in some small measure begin repaying the debt we owe the men and women of the Armed Forces for their service and sacrifice. Our veterans deserve the best we can give them, from respect to opportunities to healthcare.
Unfortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs has for years now been riddled with bureaucratic impediments, scandals, and problems that have left our veterans without care, and in some cases even dying because of it. A study in 2015 by the VA Office of Research and Development showed that only 47 percent of veterans "trust the VA to fulfill our country's commitment to Veterans."
When the same issues that have plagued the department for years keep coming back, only half of our veterans even trust the department that is supposed to support them, and veterans are dying because they cannot get the care they need, it is obvious that something needs to be done; and our veterans need that to happen right away.
From the backlogged applications for disability benefits to outsourcing at the Veterans Crisis Hotline to a lack of timely access to healthcare, the systemic problems of the VA must be fixed immediately.
During your campaign for the Presidency, and continued since you took office, you have repeatedly promised to support our veterans and prioritize VA reform measures. Some positive steps have been taken, but progress is too slow. When it comes to the health and lives of our veterans, we cannot afford a day's delay.
At the very least, our veterans need to be able to see a doctor when they need to without waiting, be able to talk to qualified personnel 24/7 if they are having suicidal thoughts, and be informed of their benefits by a transparent department dedicated only to helping veterans.
Working together with VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin, I ask that you keep your promises, hold the VA accountable for taking care of our veterans, and reform the Department of Veterans Affairs so that the nearly nine million veterans who depend on it are able to get the quality care they need when they need it.