Veterans Share Concerns About VA Healthcare At McCain Town Hall In Phoenix

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Friday, August 28, 2015 - 8:19am
Alexandra Olgin/KJZZ
Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Veterans voiced their grievances about VA health care Thursday at a town hall at Burton Barr Public Library in downtown Phoenix.

Arizona Sen. John McCain addressed complaints and updated vets on progress. He introduced a bill earlier this month that would extend the choice program which allows qualifying veterans to seek private healthcare.

“The major issue now is this issue of choice,” McCain said. “A veteran should be able to have a choice card and if they don’t want to go to the VA they should be able to get the provider of their choice.”

The choice card program was part of a reform law passed last year in response to nationwide scandal of delays in patient care that started in Phoenix.  

“Only one person has lost their job,” McCain said, referring to former Phoenix VA Director Sharon Helman. “When veterans hear that, veterans who in their military time were held accountable, they don’t understand.”

Helman was fired last November, nearly eight months after the delays in patient care were made public.  

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