Rep. Gabbard calls for reform of veterans’ health system

Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard

Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard criticized the Veterans Affairs (VA) health system in a prepared statement on Thursday, this in light of a recent report ranking Hawaii 6th in the nation for health care for retired veterans.

Her criticism is based on recent allegations of misconduct in Department of Veterans Affairs health-care facilities in Phoenix, AZ, in particular VA officials allegedly falsifying wait-time records for veterans seeking services.

“The bottom line is our veterans are not getting the service they deserve,” said Gabbard, “whether it be inordinate wait-times for doctor’s appointments, issues with medical records, or long delays in claims being resolved, change is long overdue,”

A former Iraq War veteran herself, Gabbard is a member of both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee.

The report ranking Hawaii high in retired veterans’ health care came from Wallethub, a personal finance social network based out of Washington, D.C., and released in time for Memorial Day.

Out of a ranking of all U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Hawaii is considered the 12th best state for military retirees.

While the overall report on Hawaii is good, the state, however, is ranked 48th out of 51 for the number of homeless veterans per number of veterans.

Wyoming is ranked number one according to the Wallethub report, and California 51st. Each state’s and the District of Columbia’s overall ranking was based on an average of ranking in the categories of economic environment, quality of life, and health care.

Besides ranking 6th in health care, Hawaii was ranked 21st in both economic environment and quality of life for retired veterans.

Some of the data used to create the rankings came from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


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