TOPEKA, Kan. Governor Sam Brownback today issued a statement in response to reports that 385 Kansas veterans were on a 'wait list' for healthcare at the Veterans' Affairs medical facility in Wichita.
"The existence of these 'waiting lists' for our veterans to receive medical care is unacceptable. We have an obligation to provide these men and women who fought for our nation with timely, quality healthcare.
"Along with five other Republican governors, I sent a letter to President Obama urging him to act quickly to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs to address this situation and prevent similar failures going forward. Specifically, we requested that states be granted authority to review all Veterans Affairs medical facilities within our states as it seems clear there is no significant oversight program at the federal level. The states could partner with the Veterans' Health Administration to ensure there is accountability and that changes are implemented.
"Any veteran who is unable to to get an appointment at the VA within 30 days, should receive federal vouchers to seek treatment from other healthcare providers in the state.
"We must honor the sacrifice of our military and provide them the quality care they have earned. In addition to working to improve this current situation at the Veterans' Affairs medical facilities, we have budgeted funds for additional beds at our military homes in Kansas and for hiring officers who will help veterans identify available services to help them return to their homes and communities."