Today, Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-5) released the following statement in response to recent news around the Portland Department of Veterans Affairs Caregiver Support Program.
“Something is very clearly wrong in our Portland VA, and we needed an investigation yesterday,” said Rep. Schrader. “Right now, the Portland VA has kicked more veterans out of the Caregiver Program for unidentified reasons than anywhere else in the country. In no way does this reflect Oregon or Oregon values. Our veterans give us so much. At the bare minimum, they should be allowed to be cared for in a familiar place by the person they love and trust the most.
“That’s why I will be working with our Oregon delegation to send a letter this week to the VA calling on them to stop removing Oregon’s veterans immediately from the Caregiver Program until:
• A standard and consistent protocol to evaluate current enrollees;
• A transparent appeals process for veterans who are kicked off of the program;
• Transparent and explicit justification for why a veteran qualifies one day, but not the next;
• And oversight from Washington into why the Portland VA has been an outlier compared with the rest of the country.
“How many more times do we have to say: our veterans deserve so much better than this B.S.?”
The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers was created in 2010 to support veterans who want to receive care at home from a family member rather than from a health care worker. The bill that established the program passed in the House with overwhelming bipartisan support. According to press reports, veterans have been kicked off of the program at a rate of 16% nationally, compared to 50% at the Portland VA.