WZTV Fox Nashville – Veterans Push For Shorter VA Waits

WZTV Fox Nashville – Veterans Push For Shorter VA Waits

August 20, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A group of veteran activists says the wait for VA medical service is too long in many cases.

The Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America has been meeting with members of Congress recently to talk about the issue.

Iraq Veteran Michael Blazer says his story is a case example.

Blazer spent 8 years in the Army working on helicopters but once out he faced a year wait for psychiatry help and is still waiting to see a VA chiropractor.

“There’s really just not enough people handling all of these claims,” said Blazer.

Blazer’s group has been pushing Congress to make changes.

Tuesday it met with Congressman Jim Cooper who tells Fox 17 News he agrees there’s a big problem.

“The backlog is bad it can be 200 300 days now,” said Cooper.

The 5th District Congressman says government itself is to blame for a lot of the problem.

Cooper says the Democratic controlled Senate and Republican controlled House have struggled to agree on appropriation bills that fund the VA.

“Congress has been very slow and inefficient in passing these bills so we’ve gotta get it done to make sure we treat our vets with respect and honor they deserve,” said Cooper.

Blazer’s group is proposing something else to help.

It wants the VA’s budget to be guaranteed a year in advance.

Blazer says that will prevent a problem that plagues veterans.

“So that when we get close to the end of the fiscal year like most Federal departments are doing they slow down because they don’t know what kind of money they’re gonna end up with,” said Blazer.

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