Veterans Could Get Funding
The VA hospital in Columbia is a hub for veteran health care in mid-Missouri. It's paid for by the federal government, but funding for other veteran care isn't as reliable.
That's why state representative Joe Smith wants the legislature to pass funding for care in veteran homes. He believes veteran's health care is a problem, and wants to see his resolution pass.
"They made the ultimate sacrifice. Of everybody in our nation, I strongly believe that the veterans deserve health care more than everyone else," Smith said.
Local veterans groups appreciate the support that could come from the extra money.
"We provide skilled nursing care, and we have a waiting list of over 1,000 Missouri veterans who need our services. And we are very much in need of additional funding to hire staff to fill empty beds and take care of Missouri veterans that need us right now," Assistant Superintendent of the Missouri Veteran's Commission Bryan Hunt said.
Smith says it often takes a six month wait to get into veteran's homes. In the meantime, most veterans continue to lean on places like local VA hospitals. The legislation could find ways to provide immediate access to home care instead.
Several other states are trying to pass veteran home care funding resolutions including California, Hawaii, and Michigan.