Senator Daines hears veteran healthcare concerns

MISSOULA- Saturday veterans met in Hamilton and sat down with Senator Daines to discuss veteran healthcare issues.

Earlier today a group of veterans had the opportunity to sit down with Senator Steve Daines and open up about positive and negative feedback with the veteran healthcare system.

With Ravalli County having a strong model of what healthcare should look like for veterans, Senator Daines believes their model should be spread throughout all of the treasure state.

“This is a great example of veterans serving and helping other veterans. I hope they can take the model here in Ravalli County and spread that across Montana because veterans are getting help, better assistance, because of the veterans here in Ravalli County,” said Senator Daines.

Veterans concerns with their healthcare were issues like getting proper care in a timely manner as well as cutting down on unnecessary travel to healthcare providers.

Veteran officials say the VA struggles with giving the veterans the proper care they need.

“The red tape with the VA is long and thick and hard to get through, if they could get rid of some of the red tape I think that would be better for our veterans,” said American Legion Commander, Ruth Bizarro-Cook.

With the mission act being implemented in June, Senator Daines says that the veteran healthcare system does indeed need changes to make their healthcare system and more accessible.

“Why should a veteran have to drive all the way to Fort Harrison to get a box checked for a new pair of shoes if they have special shoes because of problems with their feet instead of going to a facility where they can get on a video camera and make that connection while they are here in Ravalli County instead of driving half way across the state,” added Senator Daines.

At the end of the day veteran officials say veterans just want the healthcare they served for.

“I think that they just want the system to work, and it doesn’t work currently,” added Commander Ruth Bizzarro-Cook.

Leaving the meeting veterans were thankful for the opportunity to sit down with Senator Daines and they believe that by him hearing their stories, he’ll be able to make a positive change for veteran healthcare.