Senator Tester's Listening Tour in Missoula: Best Ideas Come fro - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Senator Tester's Listening Tour in Missoula: Best Ideas Come from Veterans

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MISSOULA -

As the Veterans Affairs Department is seeking to address widespread problems in the VA health care system, Montana's senior U.S. Senator is touring the state to hear from veterans, themselves, about the problems they are facing.

Senator Jon Tester held a listening session in Missoula on Friday, where dozens of veterans raised their hands and voiced their concerns, which included long wait times or a down-graded disability status.

Veterans offered improvements to the current VA health care system, which included choosing their own doctors, hiring patient advocates, expanding services and resources for caregivers, and enhancing care for women.

Many veterans present cheered at the idea of privatizing VA health care.

"There's a lot of folks in Washington, D.C. that want to privatize the VA. Make no mistake about that, but I think we have to think very, very carefully about that," said Senator Tester. "I'll tell you why, because the veterans who fought for this country, earned their health care. If we screw it up and they don't have health care, we will be paying a lot of money to get them healthcare back."

Earlier this month, the Senate and the House of Representatives each passed bills to address the medical backlog and increase transparency in the VA.

Senator Tester is one of nine Senators and 14 members of the House of Representatives to be recently appointed to the congressional committee tasked with crafting a compromise between the two bills.

 

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