Last October, we heard from Darin Selnick. He was at the White House as a veterans affairs advisor to President Trump. He helped negotiate the Mission Act, a bill that was designed to give veterans more access to health care outside of the VA. (Click here for that story)

Selnick, an Air Force veteran, says he was there as the Trump White House had to fight to get liberal Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) to support the Mission Act, especially since Tester had long been an opponent of VA choice for veterans needing health care.

Now, on the anniversary of the VA Mission Act, Chris Enget shares this open letter with our readers on how Tester is now undermining that very MISSION Act in Washington.

Open Letter from Chris Enget, Concerned Veterans for America- Montana

As we mark the anniversary of the VA MISSION Act signed into law on June 6th, 2018, it’s crucial to reflect on the promises made to our veterans and the realities they face today. The MISSION Act was a landmark piece of legislation, designed to transform the VA health care system, improve access to care, and ensure veterans receive the quality services they deserve. However, many veterans are expressing frustration and disappointment, particularly towards Senator Jon Tester, the Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, for not holding the VA accountable to implement the community care access standards set by the MISSION Act. The VA MISSION Act is under attack by politicians like Tester and veterans are paying the ultimate price, struggling to get lifesaving care.

One of the core promises of the MISSION Act was to provide veterans with timely access to care, including through community providers when VA services were unavailable nearby or soon enough. Despite this, many veterans still face long wait times and barriers to accessing necessary treatments. These delays can have severe consequences, exacerbating health issues and diminishing the quality of life for those who have already sacrificed so much for our country.

The MISSION Act aimed to enhance the quality-of-care veterans receive. However, numerous reports and personal accounts from veterans suggest that the care provided is often substandard or inconsistent. Veterans deserve access to top-tier health care, and any deviation from this promise is unacceptable.

The expansion of support for caregivers was a significant component of the MISSION Act, intended to provide relief and resources to those caring for veterans. Delays and complications in implementing these provisions have left many caregivers without the support they need, impacting the well-being of both caregivers and veterans alike.

The MISSION Act included measures to modernize VA facilities. Yet, many veterans still report that their local VA centers are outdated, under-resourced, and ill-equipped to meet their needs. This lack of progress in improving infrastructure is a glaring issue that needs urgent attention.

Veterans expect transparency from the VA and accountability from those in positions of leadership and oversight. Senator Tester, as Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, holds a critical role in ensuring the VA meets its obligations. But despite mounting evidence of the VA’s undermining of the MISSION Act through the Red Team Report, we are being let down when we see a lack of rigorous oversight, transparency, and response to our concerns. Concerns that often mean life or death.

Veterans deserve better. They deserve a VA that works efficiently and effectively, providing the care and support they were promised. With the anniversary of the MISSION Act this week, it’s time for us to take action. I urge everyone to visit and tell your representatives that veterans deserve accountability. Let’s remind Senator Tester and all our elected officials that they must uphold their commitment to those who have served our nation with honor.

For Freedom,

Christopher Enget | MT Strategic Director | Concerned Veterans for America – Montana

Purple Heart Recipient



LOOK: Best counties to retire to in Montana

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to retire in Montana using data from Niche.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

More From Montana Talks