Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Clinton Cant Ignore Americas Vets ; Veterans Are Dying While Awaiting Care at VA Facilities

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Clinton Cant Ignore Americas Vets ; Veterans Are Dying While Awaiting Care at VA Facilities

Article excerpt

Veterans Day is a chance to honor the 167,000 West Virginia men and women who put their lives on the line for your freedom. Its also a chance to reflect on the challenges they face here at home. Chief among them is the ongoing crisis at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which in many respects has only worsened since it made national headlines last year.

Unfortunately, the leading Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton refuses to even admit such a crisis exists. Two weeks ago, she claimed the VAs problems havent been as widespread as theyve been made out to be. She even tried to speak for the veteran community, claiming most of us are satisfied with the VA.

As a veteran myself, I wonder whether Mrs. Clinton has picked up a newspaper, turned on the television or even so much as spoken to a veteran in the past year. If she had, she would know the crisis at the VA is still ongoing in West Virginia and across the country.

As Hillary Clinton travels across America, she should examine how long veterans wait for health care at their local VA. When she comes to West Virginia, shell see that waits for thousands of doctors appointments within the state VA system still drag out longer than 30 days a wait the VA calls unacceptable.

Even the VA admits problems are widespread. According to agency officials, excessive waits are up 50 percent across the country since last years scandal. If thats not widespread, I dont know what is.

Keep in mind: These wait times cause veterans pain, suffering and even death. Last years scandal left at least 40 veterans dead while being stuck on secret-wait lists designed to hide excessive wait times. The VAs internal investigation later revealed these waitlists existed nationwide.

That puts Mrs. Clintons claim in context. If anything, the VAs problems are more widespread than theyve been made out to be. …

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