Kind and Republican opponents react to VA situation

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Congressman Ron Kind was in the area to talk about the situation with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

On Tuesday Kind was at his field office in La Crosse, the VA medical clinic in La Crosse and the VA Medical Center in Tomah.

He said an internal audit is being done within the VA system.

Kind said the audit team was in Tomah last week, and VA staff was happy with the outcome.

Kind supports a bi-partisan Blue Ribbon Commission, which he said would improve delivery of care, and investigate allegations that some VA personnel hid long waiting times for veterans wanting treatment.

We talked to Kind and Republicans running for his seat about the situation.

“Any excuse to create false lists and false waiting lists and to cut corners is not acceptable,” said Kind.

“I think the situation is disgraceful. I think our veterans deserve a lot better,” said Republican candidate Karen Mueller.

“These issues need to be paramount. Not just an election issue, not just in the forefront or if somebody has problems, they should be front and center,” said Republican candidate Tony Kurtz.

“It’s unconscionable that people who are coming back broken from war situations aren’t taken care of,” said Republican candidate Ken Van Doren.

Kind also said he voted for the VA Management Accountability Act of 2014, which would make it easier for the department secretary to fire senior officials who aren’t doing a good job.

It’s passed in the House, and action in the Senate is pending.

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