Senator Durbin talks veterans healthcare

Jun 20, 2014


Credit Tamie Yost

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin met with veteran Service Organization leaders in Peoria Friday. Health care access needs of military veterans and the problems facing the VA Department were the topics.  

Several VA sites in Illinois were flagged in a national audit investigating waitlist practices. The investigation prompted legislation passed last week by the House and the Senate. The measures have moved to conference committee.

Senator Durbin says changes are necessary.

“We’re going to build some new facilities,we need ‘em.  We’re going to find ways to attract new medical professionals into the VA.  We need that too.  We’re going to say to vets “If you can’t get the treatment you need, you can go outside the VA administration.  And we will compensate the hospitals that treat you.”

The Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act is intended to give veterans access to private doctors, hospitals and health clinics and make it easier for the VA to hire and train more doctors and nurses.