Politics
5:33 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Senator Blunt addresses VA wait times at Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital

Senator Blunt leaving Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital in Columbia on Thursday.
Credit Katie Hiler / KBIA

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt continued his tour of mental health facilities in the state on Thursday with a stop at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital in Columbia. 

Blunt spoke with Veterans Affairs administrators about how to better assist veterans experiencing a mental health crisis who need treatment immediately. Blunt says he is encouraged by the efforts the hospital has made to shorten waitlist times but says there are also many ways it can still improve.

"I don’t think we should be satisfied with the performance of any of our veteran’s facilities right now," Blunt said. "I think they can all be better and I hope that they’re all going to take this as a moment to try to be better."

Pressure has increased on VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign after an Inspector General report confirmed that a Phoenix VA hospital lied about the number of veterans that were being treated. Blunt says he does not think Shinseki’s ouster will solve the department’s current problems, but would like to see Shenseki, along with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, respond to previous studies of the VA system and decide how to best implement the findings.