Congressman Johnson comment on potential closure of VA clinics during a roundtable

WASHINGTON, D.C.(KOTA) – U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) spoke at a congressional roundtable to express opposition to the recent U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) recommendations to the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission to close or downsize several VA health care facilities in South Dakota, including Fort Meade.

Panelists of the roundtable agreed that the Commission should look carefully at the promise made in 2020 by Secretary Wilkie and to closely examine the recommendations and capacity of private care in the areas.

The panelists also agreed with Johnson that the recommendation to close the Wagner, South Dakota, community-based outpatient clinic (CBOC) facility must be carefully weighed, and the VA AIR Commission will have to prove that care for veterans will be equal or better if changes are adopted.

Plans are to close the hospital at both Fort Meade and Hot Springs and turn them into outpatient clinics. A new hospital is to be built in Rapid City.