Congressman Duncan wants new policies for veterans hospitals

Congressman Duncan wants new policies for veterans hospitals

Posted:
Army veteran Darryl Henderson says he's happy with the medical care he gets in Johnson City, but he wants the freedom to go to a Knoxville hospital. Army veteran Darryl Henderson says he's happy with the medical care he gets in Johnson City, but he wants the freedom to go to a Knoxville hospital.
By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter


KNOXVILLE (WATE) - U.S. Congressman Jimmy Duncan wants new policies for veterans' hospitals, saying veterans should be able to go to any hospital they want.

In a speech Thursday on the house floor, Duncan says the only effective solutions to the system's lingering problems are more competition and closing under-performing  hospitals.

Duncan's speech: Let veterans choose any hospital

Army veteran Darryl Henderson says he has permanent injuries from chemicals he breathed while serving in Desert Storm. He's had eight surgeries and is unable to work.

He's happy with the medical care he gets at the Mountain Home VA Medical Center in Johnson City, but wants the freedom to go to a hospital closer to his Knoxville home. He's also frustrated that a claim he started 10 years ago is still being processed.

"I didn't hold on when you asked me to go fight this war for you, so why are you putting me on hold now? I think that's wrong. I don't think it's fair. I'm a veteran," Henderson said.

After numerous attempts to solve this with the Nashville office, Henderson got a lawyer and is reaching out to Duncan.

"Complaints have been growing against the VA by leaps and bounds for years. The complaints haven't worked," Duncan said.

He says the overall problems with the system aren't about money, but accountability and the lack of competition.

"We're hearing horror stories now about some of the treatment that veterans are receiving at some of the hospitals and VA clinics around the country," Duncan said.

He proposes starting with a pilot program to help bring some changes.

If you have any questions or concerns about veteran's hospitals and policies, Duncan says to call his Knoxville office at 523-3772.
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