Lawmakers Meet To Discuss VA Problems
State lawmakers held a special meeting at the capitol Friday to discuss problems with federal VA hospitals and clinics.
Veterans are having trouble getting access to treatment at VA facilities nationwide. State Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David LaCerte says his department has sent complaints to the federal VA and its inspector general for years.
"It's an issue that's been going on for a long time," LaCerte said. "And for the VA to continuously say their goals were being met and VA was treating Veterans in a timely manner — a lot of people feel insulted about that."
Our veterans bravely served us with honor and distinction and we owe it to them to do everything in our power to advocate on their behalf.
Reports have surfaced that vets are facing long wait times and other lapses in care. LaCerte says he's even had trouble making an appointment. He says it will be up to the federal government to improve health for its veterans and urged lawmakers to apply pressure to get something done.
Federal officials in charge of the veterans health care system in Louisiana did not attend the hearing. LaCerte advised legislators to subpoena them for a future meeting at the capitol to answer the tough questions.
"Our veterans bravely served us with honor and distinction and we owe it to them to do everything in our power to advocate on their behalf," LaCerte said.
Lawmakers agreed with that suggestion and plan to have another meeting, where they'll subpoena federal VA health care officials to force them to testify.