Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed Sunday to fight “tooth and nail” against the Biden administration’s plan to close two Big Apple hospitals dedicated to caring for hundreds of thousands of New York City veterans.
Schumer (D-NY) announced he is starting a petition drive in the five boroughs in opposition to the federal Department of Veteran Affairs preparing to close two of the Big Apple’s three local VA hospitals.
“We are going to fight this proposal tooth and nail. We are going to put a dagger through its heart, and it’s not going to see the light of day,” he said at a Sunday morning press conference, while flanked by war veterans and elected officials in front of a Veterans Administration hospital in Manhattan.
“These are the people who risked their lives for us, and the only thing we said in return is, ‘You’ll get good healthcare.’ These facilities give good healthcare,” he added. “We’re not going to take them away.
“Who is going to take care of them? We are not going to turn our back on these veterans, plain and simple.”
About 210,000 military veterans live in the five boroughs, according to the city Department of Veterans’ Services.
The VA blueprint, first reported by The Post earlier this month, says it would be “discontinuing” services at the Brooklyn VA site, and instead establish a strategic collaboration with another provider to deliver inpatient medical and surgical and emergency department services. The proposal would also close the Manhattan VA hospital and develop a new “urgent care center” with another provider.
The Brooklyn VA hospital is located in Bay Ridge and the Manhattan one is at 423 E. 23rd St. adjacent to Bellevue Hospital. A third VA medical center is located in The Bronx, but the facility there would not be affected by the potential change.
Schumer promised to not allow the federal government to follow through with its plan, labeling it “dastardly.”
“We are not letting them do this. It’s a dastardly thing,” he said. “These folks risked their lives for us.”
“This VA system is a lot better than a lot of private hospitals where you have to pay so much copayments, this, that, and the other thing, where they make you wait, where they treat you shabbily, etc.,” the senator explained....
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