Bost bill aims to fill VA hospital leadership vacancies
U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL) introduced bipartisan legislation earlier this month that would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to fill vacant leadership posts at VA medical centers with permanent, long-term workers.
Bost said it has become typical for several VA medical centers around the country to operate without permanent directors, creating a structural weakness in the VA that can only lead to poor service.
“No business or organization can successfully operate under a revolving door of interim leaders — certainly not one tasked with caring for America’s heroes,” Bost said. “At a time when restoring accountability and leadership at the VA is a primary focus, we can’t afford to continue operating in this haphazard way. As a veteran myself, I’m pleased to do my part in providing the stability necessary to ensure our veterans receive the best care possible.”
The VA Health Center Management Stability and Improvement Act would require VA leadership to submit a staffing plan to Congress within 120 days of the bill's passage. The plan would be required to explain how the agency would fill the vacancies with highly-qualified medical professionals. The bill would also look for systemic barriers to hiring quality, full-time, permanent medical center directors and look into the feasibility of filling vacancies by promoting current VA staff to higher executive positions.
The legislation was introduced in tandem with U.S Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA).