A veteran’s advocacy group is urging the Biden administration to completely withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and continue to allow veterans to have access to private healthcare.
In a statement Tuesday, the Concerned Veterans for America urged Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough to commit to preserving standards allowing veterans to use their health benefits for private care.
“It is critical we preserve the law and continue pursuing methods that empower veterans with options instead of robbing them of the choice, Executive Director Nate Anderson said in a statement. “We call on the Secretary to provide assurances community care access standards will not be walked back, and veterans will retain the freedom to choose the care that meets their unique needs.”
The group previously asked the Biden transition team to “end our endless wars” and completely withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Senior Advisor Dan Caldwell told the Daily Caller.
The organization expressed concerns about potential changes to access standards provided by the VA Mission Act, signed by Donald Trump, which allows veterans to access private health care.
“These policies should be a no brainer for the Biden administration,” Caldwell told the Daily Caller. “We won’t hesitate to hold them accountable if we feel they’re implementing policies that are bad for veterans.”
McDonogh previously served as Obama’s chief of staff, during which point the Department of Veterans Affairs was facing many scandals, according to the Daily Caller.
“We hope that he learned lessons from that experience and that they won’t roll back choice, and that they’ll continue to implement the VA Mission Act,” Caldwell said.
“We were very critical of the VA under the Obama administration and we think that criticism was warranted. Since then, the VA has come a long way. It has made many improvements as an institution since those dark days where you had hundreds of veterans dying while on waitlists across the country,” he added.
Indeed, two-thirds of veterans said that they support withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, according to a poll conducted by the Concerned Veterans for America, and nearly 70 percent of veterans said they support a full withdrawal from Iraq.
The organization is keeping a close eye on the Biden administration and how their next steps could impact veterans.