Missouri’s Senators agree the Veterans Affairs funding bill approved by Congress can solve a lot of problems for veterans and for the Veterans Administration.
Senators McCaskill and Blunt are members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and have been involved in the long investigation of failures in the Veterans Administration.
The bill puts millions of dollars into veterans services programs, gives powers to the new VA Secretary to clean house of administrators who have failed to do their jobs, and requires independent assessments of hospital care.
McCaskill sees improved care. “We are wanting to make sure that veterans living in rural communities who are very sick don’t have to drive a hundred miles to get health care,” she says, “or that veterans who live nearby a veterans facility are not having to wait months to see a doctor when they are ill.”
Blunt agrees, but says this bill sets the stage for the next one: “This is a step toward looking at new ways to deliver services, and hopefully the next veterans bill will say, ‘Okay, this is how we create even more choices for veterans’ and looking at facilities that no longer make sense.”
Both say pressure on the VA should continue. Both have introduced legislation calling for improved service. Blunt likes to say the goal should be what’s good for veterans, not what’s good for the VA.