Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

McConnell Optimistic about Passage of Bipartisan VA Reform Bill

mitch mcConnell 300WASHINGTON (7/29/14) — U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate Floor regarding the bipartisan VA reform conference report:

“America makes a promise to every man and woman who puts on the uniform. In exchange for their service, our country pledges that they will be well-trained, well-equipped, and treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

It’s the least we can offer to the brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who put everything on the line so that we can live in freedom.

It’s a solemn pact, and that’s why the American people were so shocked to read some of the headlines we’ve seen over the past few months.

Headlines like, Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital's secret list.

And then, as the Obama Administration tried to cover its tracks, headlines like this: Veterans Affairs spies, stonewalls on people investigating it.

It’s a national disgrace.

Ailing veterans being put off for months by a hospital system that should be rushing to their aid…

Veterans dying while waiting for care

According to the government’s own report on these failures, we also know these problems were so ‘systemic’ that they spread to more than three-quarters of VA facilities surveyed — to nearly every corner of the country.

Including Kentucky.

Kentuckians heard shocking news stories like the one about a Harrodsburg veteran who was being treated at the VA’s Lexington hospital.

The staff there declared him dead. And yet, when the veteran’s wife came to say her final goodbye, she found her husband breathing. With a pulse.

I was glad to learn that this veteran is now back home with his family recovering. But no veteran and no spouse should ever have had to go through such a horrific ordeal.

And yet, I continue to receive letters from Kentucky veterans who’ve been denied the care they deserve.

Like this one from a disabled veteran in Gradyville: ‘…I have had some of the most frustrating of times trying to receive the quality of health care that anyone deserves,’ he wrote.

Not only has it taken me months to be seen, but I have been told by a primary care physician that ‘He did not need to see me until my 6 month checkup’…I simply no longer have the time and money to invest into the run around I receive in trying to make an appeal…I gave up 4 years of my life and proper use of my right arm in this nation’s defense. I would have given my life without question to protect a country that I love. It breaks my heart to no longer be a part of an institution I so lovingly became a member [of]. Our nation’s veterans deserve so much more.

He’s right.

And thousands of Kentuckians have had to wait for more than a month at VA facilities in Louisville and Lexington.

So the Obama Administration needs to use every tool available to address the systemic failures of the VA — and it needs to work with Congress on reforms that can help address these challenges too.

Initially, the Obama Administration was slow to respond to the crisis.

The White House tried to treat it like some PR predicament to get beyond, rather than the true tragedy it was – a tragedy that required bipartisan action to investigate and address.

Ultimately, pressure from Republicans and revulsion from the American people forced the White House to take this crisis seriously.

Audits were conducted. Management changes were undertaken. And the necessity of serious reform was accepted. Eventually.

I was proud to support bipartisan VA reform legislation that passed the Senate last month.

And I’m encouraged by the progress of the conference committee towards completing a final compromise that can pass Congress and be signed into law.

The compromise legislation would introduce some much-needed accountability into the VA system and help increase patient choice.

In fact, the compromise bill appears to include two initiatives I specifically pressed with the President’s nominee to head the Veterans Affairs Department when I recently met with him.

One, I said we need to make it easier to fire VA bureaucrats who fail our veterans, and two, I said we need to allow veterans to seek care outside the VA if they face long wait times or if they do not live near a VA facility.

The conference report appears to include both. And I want to thank Senators Burr, McCain and Coburn for steadfastly fighting for the veterans choice part of the conference agreement that will allow our deserving veterans the option of accessing care in hospitals when VA facilitates are not available.

As for the President’s nominee to run the VA, Bob McDonald, we all know that he has a tough job ahead of him if he’s confirmed.

I made clear my expectations for dramatic changes when I met with him.

But if Mr. McDonald is willing to work in a collaborative and open manner with Congress, he will find a constructive partner on this side of the aisle.

We know that there is much we can, and should, do to address this crisis together.

So I’m hopeful.

Because when veterans are denied care, it’s a priority deserving of bipartisan attention. And the government needs to start living up again to the promises it made to our veterans.

We owe them no less.”

SurfKY News
Information provided by Robert Steurer

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

button coupons
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
button classifieds

In Other News...

P'Pool Among Top Performing Child Support Servicers Honorees

FRANKFORT, Ky. (11/22/14) — The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has announced the state's 20… Read More

Light of Chance, Inc. Re-Launches New, Innovative Website

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (11/23/14) — Thriving nonprofit, Light of Chance, Inc. recently re-launched its website,… Read More
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week

November 21, 2014 5328

Man Accused of Assaulting Coach During Basketball…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
November 18, 2014 5148

Couple Charged for Concealing Food in Infant Car…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 17, 2014 4628

Police Charge Woman for Drug Possession After…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 17, 2014 3850

Bremen Woman Ejected From Vehicle During Kentucky…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper S.C. Recke
November 21, 2014 3265

Crashing Dump Trucks in Work Zone Cause Pennyrile…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
November 18, 2014 3185

Area Talent to Film Music Video at Merle Travis…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 19, 2014 3063

Three Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision on South…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gwen Smith
November 19, 2014 2869

Two Killed When Vehicle Becomes Airborne, Strikes…

in Local (Owensboro) Top News by Daviess County Sheriff's Office
November 21, 2014 2456

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
November 21, 2014 2329

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Nov. 21, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

November 22, 2014 1866

One Injured in Two Vehicle Collion in Greenville

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Miria Thomas
November 21, 2014 1506

KSP Announces 'Cram the Cruiser' to Feed the…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Stu Recke
November 22, 2014 1415

Greenville Representatives Taking Part in Austin,…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 21, 2014 1403

Kentucky Employers to Save About $112 million

in General News For All Sites by Cathy Lindsey
November 22, 2014 1380

SAR Planning 'Triple' Revolutionary War Patriot…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Geoff Baggett
November 22, 2014 1308

Pennyrile Dulcimer Players Demonstrate Unique…

in Top News For All Sites by Ron Sanders
November 22, 2014 1301

Carve a Turkey Like a Pro

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 1240

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 1144

P'Pool Among Top Performing Child Support…

in Hopkins News by Cabinet for Health and Family Services
November 21, 2014 1087

Kentucky State Parks Winter Holiday Events

in General News For All Sites by Gil Lawson

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss