South Dakota VA hospitals, facilities saved from closure

A group of U.S. senators announced on June 27, 2022, that they would block the appointment of a commission that would review the closing of some Veterans Affairs hospitals. 

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., told The Argus Leader on June 27 while in Hot Springs, S.D., that the Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission would not be appointed by the Senate. The decision to block appointments to the nine-member Commission means that the recommended closures of VA hospitals in South Dakota will be averted. 

In a joint statement, 10 senators said that the creation of the commission would not expand or strengthen healthcare services for the nation's veterans. 

"The Commission is not necessary for our continued push to invest in VA health infrastructure, and together we remain dedicated to providing the department with the resources and tools it needs to continue delivering quality care and earned services to veterans in 21st-century facilities — now and into the future,” the statement said.

The VA Missions Act, passed in 2018, required the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop a list of recommended changes to its system. These include eliminating emergency services at the hospital in Sioux Falls, closing the Wagner facility, and reducing services in Hot Springs and Fort Meade to clinics. 

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