Kansas City veterans demand changes, better care - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Kansas City veterans demand changes, better care

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Missed medication and no care for a cancer diagnosis are just some of the complaints local veterans have about the VA health system. Missed medication and no care for a cancer diagnosis are just some of the complaints local veterans have about the VA health system.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Missed medication and no care for a cancer diagnosis are just some of the complaints local veterans have about the VA health system.

As all eyes around the country focus on the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal, Kansas City veterans say they want to see some real change.

Local veterans, who gathered Monday in a town hall meeting at the Uptown Theatre, say they have been neglected a long time, and they didn't want to miss Monday night's opportunity to voice their concerns.

Joe McDaniel is a Vietnam veteran who suffers from diabetes, PTSD and neurological issues. He's on several medications for those illnesses, but now they're running out and his next appointment to see a doctor for his annual physical is in 120 days.

"This 120 days goes quite a bit beyond what medications I have. So it concerns me about what I'm going to do for medication when they do run out," McDaniel said.

Kevin Allen was a specialist in the Army who is now battling cancer, which he says is service-related. He had it for a year before it was diagnosed, and he has yet to see a specialist.

"I was told that if they didn't get me on a timely manner to be retreated for this stuff, they'll get me outside. My appointment is due now, and I still haven't been seen," Allen said.

These are just some of the horrifying stories veterans face in the metro and beyond. It's part of national narrative of delayed care at VA hospitals.

As for McDaniel, he wants his healthcare outsourced.

"They should issue a voucher and let us go outside the medical system to get our medical care," he said.

A VFW spokeswoman said they are gathering all the information to take back to Washington and hopefully get a meeting with President Barack Obama.

The meeting here is one of two held nationally. The other was in the Washington, DC area.

Nationally, more than 57,000 veterans have been waiting 90 days or more for their first VA medical appointments. An additional 64,000 appear to have fallen through the cracks, never getting appointments after enrolling and requesting them, according to an audit released Monday.

The House Veterans Affairs Committee grilled VA officials on Monday for answers over the healthcare scandal.

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, led the charge.

"This has been going on for years after years, and scheming, making up numbers, and misusing a system. So I can't believe this is the end of this audit. There's much more to come," he said.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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