KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The VA scandal hits home with U.S. Senator Roy Blunt's office dropping a bombshell Thursday afternoon. Senator Blunt (R-MO) made a loud call for VA hospitals to service veterans more efficiently.
During his weekly press call the senator said he's learned of an 'unauthorized' waiting list, some of which have kept military veterans in the metro waiting for care for more than 90 days. The senator's Twitter account makes mention of this concern.
— Senator Roy Blunt (@RoyBlunt) June 5, 2014
News of Senator Blunt’s mandate echoed to Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. Retired Army sergeant Issac Sims was laid to rest Thursday at that military installation. He was killed during a May 25 shooting after a family fight got out of control.
Police say Sims was eventually killed by SWAT team members during a subsequent standoff. He served two tours of duty in the Middle East. His family is speaking out and telling other veterans to get the medical help they need.
Senator Blunt's office issued a statement on Thursday that read in part:
“These so-called ‘unauthorized wait lists’ for America’s heroes are simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” said Blunt, who serves on the defense appropriations and authorizing committees. “I’m going to do everything I can to ensure this stops immediately. Our veterans should not be forced to wait for care.”
The Kansas City VA Medical Center also released a statement on Thursday:
"The Kansas City VA Medical Center is working with VA Central Office as they continue a nationwide audit to ensure a full understanding of VA’s scheduling policy and continued integrity in managing patient access to care. We are also systematically reviewing capacity at the medical center and each of our community based clinics in an effort to maximize our ability to provide Veterans medical appointments when, and in the manner they want them. If we find situations where we are not able to increase capacity, we are authorized to increase the use of care in the community through non-VA care. No Veteran should have to wait for the quality health care they have earned and deserve. This is our top priority."