Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Tim Johnson (D-SD), and Representative Kristi Noem (R-SD) sent a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Eric Shinseki calling for him to return Hot Springs' Black Hills Health Care System (BHHCS) to full operation following the lack of leadership and breach of good faith by the VA over the past two years.
The delegation's letter outlines their concerns with the VA's proposal which was introduced without providing any cost-benefit analysis to support the changes it was seeking to make.
The letter also questions the VA's decision to move the compensated work therapy program that was approved for BHHCS but was instead relocated to Walla, Washington.
The delegation writes: "We are growing impatient with the lack of attention the VA has given to this matter. After two years of discussion and the tireless dedication of the save the VA committee and other stakeholders, the VA should certainly have made more progress by this point. However, given the remaining discrepancies concerning the data used by the VA to formulate its proposal and the lack of consideration afforded to alternatives, we again request that the VA make efforts to return the hot springs campus to its former levels of operations and staff before conducting a five-year review to gather new data."