Answers demanded about Wichita VA's 'secret list'

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Wichita, Kan. -- Kansas 1st District Representative Tim Huelskamp sits on Veteran's Affairs Investigations subcommittee in the U.S. House in Washington. Still he says he couldn't find the answers he was seeking from administrators of the Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita.

Huelskamp says, "I'm disturbed. We still have more questions than when I walked in there." Huelskamp says he's tried for days to get answers by phone from the Wichita VA but wasn't satisfied with what he got. So he and an aide show up at the Wichita Veterans hospital Wednesday afternoon.

KAKE news was first to report May 23rd of what's now being called a 'secret list' for veterans waiting to get home health care. Administrator Francisco Vazquez told KAKE's Chris Frank he'd been alerted of an unsanctioned or non-VA approved list two days prior to the KAKE news interview. Vazquez said then he immediately had it shut down.

Since then we've learned that 385 veterans were on that list. Huelskamp wanted to meet with Vazquez in person at the hospital but says the administrator was in meetings in Denver. So, Huelskamp says he talked with him by phone from inside the Dole VA Medical Center.

The republican congressman says, "It's unclear of the disposition of those 385 veterans. Now they assured me that their care had been met eventually. I asked for a report in 24 hours. They were unwilling to agree to that report. But finally the director said by 4:15 tomorrow we'll have a full accounting of those 385 or perhaps 394 veterans who were waiting care on a secret waiting list here in Wichita."

That would be by 4:15 Thursday afternoon.


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