Boustany Video: “If there’s anyone worth fighting for, it’s those who fought for us”
Washington, DC – March 24, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D. (R-South Louisiana), released a video address reacting to news from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) that it has awarded a contract for construction of a new community-based outpatient clinic (CBOC) in Lafayette without announcing any forward progress in Lake Charles. Boustany securedauthorization for both clinics during last year’s landmark VA reform legislation.
Last week, Boustany and Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) sent a letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald urging the Secretary to “pay close attention to the progress of each facility and do all in your power to expedite the Lafayette and Lake Charles clinics whenever possible.” Boustany and Vitter sent the letter after VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson visited the Lafayette CBOC last month, calling the facility “inadequate and unacceptable.”
In a video address, Boustany said: “Today is a great day for Lafayette veterans. After years of waiting, stalled contracts, and multiple fights to get authorization through Congress, today I am very pleased that construction will finally begin on a community-based outpatient clinic that is long overdue. Our veterans have earned a world-class standard of care through their service – a standard that will be provided with the construction of this clinic.
“Senator Vitter and I sent a letter to the VA just last week demanding the agency expedite this clinic however possible because our veterans have waited far too long for this. After I helped push through authorization for this clinic last year, I said: ‘Our veterans in South Louisiana desperately need the increased accessibility to care that a local outpatient clinic will provide. These facilities are a long time coming, and our veterans can’t wait any longer.’
“That’s still true today. Senator Vitter and I realize this fight isn’t over until the doors officially open on this new clinic, and we will continue working to ensure the VA is following through on its promises for construction.
“However, Lake Charles veterans are still waiting on word from the VA about their long-promised clinic. That’s just not acceptable. The VA’s continued problems with transparency, communication with Congress, and communication with the veterans they’re charged to serve is turning Lake Charles’ veterans’ optimism from last year’s congressional authorization into renewed frustration.
“I’m right there with them.
“There’s just no excuse for this agency, which has now had over six months to review contract proposals, not to get the ball rolling on construction. Senator Vitter and I have expressed over and over the immediate need of our veterans in Lake Charles, and the urgency required to ensure this need is met. It’s long past time for the VA to get its act together.
“Senator Vitter and I are demanding answers from the VA on what is going on with the continued delays for this facility and we will not stop until we get it back on track.This is my primary focus on behalf of our veterans – and if there’s one thing I’ve built a reputation for, it’s that I get things done, and I don’t back down.
“I’ll keep working because if there’s anyone worth fighting for, it’s those who fought for us.”