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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Congressman Kind Calls for investigation into use of Federal funds at King Veterans’ Home

LA CROSSE – U.S. Rep. Ron Kind sent a letter calling for Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald to investigate the administration of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s use of federal funds at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King.

This comes on the heels of deeply disturbing allegations of poor care, deteriorating facility conditions, and staffing shortages at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King despite millions in surplus revenue each year. These were revealed in an article in the Capital Times newspaper in Madison.

“In light of the recent allegations of poor treatment of our veterans at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, I am calling on Secretary McDonald to investigate how the Walker administration is using federal funds at the King facility. It is concerning that our Wisconsin veterans aren’t receiving the care they have earned and deserve while the Walker Administration is spending millions of dollars from the King facility to cover state budget shortfalls,” said Rep. Kind.

Congressman Kind also recently wrote a letter to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee 
requesting they take immediate action to bring up his bill to address the shortage of medical personnel at VA facilities. This would help fill staffing shortages at the Tomah VA Medical Center, the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, and other veterans facilities in Wisconsin. 

 “As I talk with both veterans and VA officials one of the biggest concerns they discuss is the problem recruiting and retaining medical staff. Our veterans are entitled to the quality care they have earned and deserve, and as we have seen first-hand when there are staffing shortages they are not receiving it. I urge the House Energy and Commerce Committee to move my legislation forward so we can address the problem by providing additional incentives for health care professionals to work in our veterans facilities,” said Rep. Kind.

Rep. Kind’s bipartisan Veterans Access to Care Act would designate VA medical facilities as Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). This designation would allow these sites to compete for National Health Service Corps fellows, which is a program that pays student loan repayment or gives scholarships to doctors, dentists, mental health professionals, nurses, or medical students who pledge to practice in a HPSA for at least two years.

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