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With millions of new veterans joining the system, VA medical centers have become overwhelmed, with patients sometimes waiting a year to see a primary-care physician and then months-long delays for specialist appointments.
Senators plan to address VA accountability when they return to Washington next week. Franken and Klobuchar have been awaiting data they requested on wait times at Minnesota’s Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals and outpatient clinics.
“Until the final report comes out I don’t want to make a final conclusion about Minnesota, but ... I think we’re going to do much better relative to some of the disturbing things we’ve heard,” Franken said.
The problems are almost certain to be an issue as Senate and House races heat up.
“We do not see it as a Republican or Democrat thing,” said Pete Hegseth, CEO of Concerned Veterans for America and the newly appointed treasurer of the Republican Party of Minnesota. “It should not be a partisan issue. But it will be a political issue.”
Corey Mitchell is a correspondent in the Star Tribune Washington Bureau. Twitter: @C_C_Mitchell
Abby Simons • 651-925-5043