U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger is calling on U.S Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to share information on specific actions the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is taking to ensure the timely and accurate delivery of prescription medications to veterans in Central Virginia and across the country.
Recent reports indicate that veterans have had to wait double or triple the regular amount of time for their prescriptions to arrive. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides approximately 80 percent of all outpatient prescriptions to veterans via mail-in-order through the VA Mail Order Pharmacy.
Last week, Postmaster General DeJoy announced that he will put a hold on operational changes that have resulted in increased mail service delays in Central Virginia and across the country. In a letter with 66 of her colleagues, Spanberger asked the USPS for clarification on measures being taken to end reported delays — including outreach to U.S. veterans to notify them of current delivery standards. Additionally, the letter calls on USPS to provide information on the steps they are taking in full coordination with the VA to reverse ongoing delays in prescription medication delivery.
“We are writing to express deep concern about recent reports on the delayed delivery of mail-order prescriptions to veterans,” said Spanberger and her colleagues. “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, veterans are especially relying on the United States Postal Service (USPS) for timely delivery of their prescriptions as they stay home. Veterans should not have to choose between jeopardizing their health to pick up prescriptions in-person or facing dangerous delays for vital medication to arrive by mail.”
Their letter continues, “Since 1946, veterans have relied on mail services to receive their prescriptions in a timely manner. For veterans living in rural areas, this is an especially critical issue since picking up prescriptions in-person can be expensive and time-consuming, as they are forced to travel far to the nearest pharmacy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that life-saving service continues to be reliable, dependable, and timely for those who have bravely served this nation.”
The Spanberger-signed letter was led by U.S. Representatives Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA-07) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11). Click here to read the full letter.
This effort builds on Spanberger’s efforts to provide the USPS with the resources it needs to maintain operations for customers in the Commonwealth and across the country. Last week, she voted with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to halt recent changes at the USPS that have resulted in delivery slowdowns in Central Virginia and across the country. In recent weeks, some of these changes have included curtailing overtime for USPS employees, restricting delivering services, and eliminating sorting machines.
Earlier last week, Spanberger launched a public survey to gather information from Central Virginia families, seniors, and businesses about any mail delivery delays they are experiencing and their concerns about the future of the USPS.