Lawmakers Debate Bringing BRAC to VA Health Care Facilities

House lawmakers are pushing for the Veterans Affairs Department to go through a process to close down or realign underutilized medical facilities, similar to the Base Realignment and Closure process at the Defense Department.

The measure would require the VA secretary to assess the department’s current capacity to provide health care in each of its networks and ultimately recommend facilities to close, modernize or realign. The secretary would by November 2018 pass those suggestions along to a presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed commission. That panel would submit its recommendations on to the president the following year, who would then have have two weeks to approve of the plan in full, in part or reject it altogether. Congress would then have 45 days to vote down the plan or it would automatically go into effect.

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