What needs to be done to better serve veterans in 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WPBN/WGTU) -- President Trump promised the American people that his administration will do right by veterans.
While covering the State of the Union address last week, our political reporter Nick Minock was able to get multiple exclusive interviews are the White House.
He sat down with Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin to talk about what changes need to be made to better serve our veterans.
"I think this is something the President has clearly said this is one of the issues that is most important to him. He feels we haven't done right by veterans in the past and he is committed to making sure that we do," said Secretary Shulkin. "But this is not going to be an immediate process. We are taking important steps. We have made great progress during this first year, but our work is not done. We have a lot more to do."
Shulkin said the Department is having trouble with staffing V.A. facilities, especially in rural areas.
"We still have to get the right people to staff the V.A. to the appropriate level that it needs to be staffed. We have a lot of openings. We have to modernize our facilities. We have to replace our information technology systems," said Shulkin. "We have to continue to make sure that veterans are getting the type of choice that they want, so they are getting the services where and when they want them."
On Capitol Hill, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow is trying to usher in new legislation to help improve veterans health care.
Stabenow says her legislation would reduce wait times for veterans, require the V.A. to hold private contractors accountable for the care they schedule on behalf of veterans and require quicker payments to Veterans Choice Program Providers.