Senator Blunt Addresses Columbia VA Waiting Times

5 years 8 months 21 hours ago Thursday, May 29 2014 May 29, 2014 Thursday, May 29, 2014 11:06:00 AM CDT May 29, 2014 in News
By: Nicole Neidenberg, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Sen. Roy Blunt spoke at Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital Thursday. Blunt said The Excellence in Mental Health Act aims to help veterans get treated for mental health issues.

"The Federal government, frankly, has lagged behind in our requirements for doing this," Blunt said. "People on Tricare will get the same benefits of with mental health that they get with physical health." 

Blunt also talked about wait times at VA hospitals. "I don't think we should be satisfied with any of our veteran facilities right now, I think they can all be better and I hope they're going to take this moment to try to be better."

Disabled veteran, Robert Bell, said Missouri needs to step up.

"I don't think they are doing all that they can right now and as I said they need a full time doctor for the disability veterans that get benefits instead of having them wait for St. Louis to send somebody here to do it," Bell said. 

The nation average for wait times is 70 percent. Columbia's Truman Memorial Veteran's Hospital is at 74 percent.

"Wait times, whenever your 74 percent meeting the wait time, what's wrong with 100 percent, what's wrong with 90 percent," Blunt said.

Sen. Blunt also spoke with St. Joseph Mental Health Care advocates and Kansas City Behavioral Health Professionals.

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