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Congressman Talks VA With Veterans

Todd Pittenger - June 7, 2014 9:38 am

Jerry Holtz of Salina, who served two tours of duty in Vietnam, talks with Congressman Tim Huelskamp Saturday morning.

Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp was in Salina Saturday morning, speaking to a group of veterans. The congressman spoke at the state VFW convention, addressing the VA hospital and healthcare situation. 

Huelskamp, who sits on the house committee of veterans affairs, has been outspoken on the issue.

The Congressman told the group that the typical answer that is being given when tough questions are being asked is “we’ll get back to you”. He says the current problems are nothing new. ¬†There are reports dating back at least nine years. He said that the problems are not isolated, and unfortunatly are even in Kansas.

Huelskamp spoke about a secret waiting list at the Wichita VA clinic. He said he was intitially told that there were 9 people on the list. That number then changed to 385. Huelskamp said that he fears that the number is even larger.

The Congressman said that he has been told that the problem with veteran’s healthcare is not money, but the problem is the system. He says there are a couple ways it can be fixed. First, an independent commission needs to be appointed to oversee the VA. Secondly, veterans need to been given the choice to seek treatment at a local hospital.

Over 100 veterans were at the event in Salina Saturday morning.