Kansas veterans react to VA vote in Congress

Robert J. Dole, VA Medical Center (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – Some Kansas veterans say they would gladly go outside the VA for health needs, if given the choice. On Tuesday, the U.S. Congress voted to allow veterans to go outside the system for care.

“It’s about time,” says Vietnam veteran Craig Daniels. “I don’t know if this is a done deal, but I would give the local VA here in Wichita about a C-Minus right now for a lot of reasons. And I’ve gotten some good care in the past. But the waiting is too much.”

Congress passed a measure, 426-0, and Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp offered a response.

“This legislation would require the VA to offer non-VA care to any enrolled veteran who cannot get an appointment within the VA wait time goal of 14 days or who lives more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility,” said Huelskamp.

“Well, I’ve waited more than 14 days, that’s for sure,” said Daniels. “I waited a little more than two months for seeing a doctor. That’s just not right.”

Daniels says is talking publicly, reluctantly.

“I am afraid of some retaliation on this,” says Daniels. “I mean, I wonder, I have gone more than a year now on not getting a claim looked at. Even looked at. I think that’s the real story here.”

Many veterans continue to contact KSN and say they are not getting the care they need, either from long wait times, denial of benefits or claims taking too long.

Other veterans have contacted KSN to say they have received very good care at the Robert J. Dole VA Hospital and Medical Center.

If you’d like to have KSN investigate, or just leave a comment or contact information for getting care, good or bad, contact craig.andres@ksn.com.



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