(Host) An oversight committee of the U.S. House will conduct hearings next month into conditions at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington.
Vermont Congressman Peter Welch serves on the oversight committee and had requested the hearings. Welch visited a Veteran’s Administration clinic today in Colchester to assess health care services provided to veterans.
A series of articles in the Washington Post have revealed that outpatients at the hospital were housed in unsanitary conditions. But Welch drew a distinction between VA medical centers and the Walter Reed facility in Washington.
(Welch) “That is an isolated situation as far as I can tell. That Walter Reed is run by the Department of Defense. I’m here today in the Vermont VA getting confirmation that the services and the facilities are the highest quality and the highest standard.”
(Host) Welch said the Bush Administration’s proposed budget would cut VA programs and increase the fees and co-pays required for veterans seeking health care.
(Welch) “Paying for veterans’ health care has to be a cost of the war. And it’s just not right for the administration to be spending billions and billions on this war without including in it everything that we need to help our veterans who are injured in service to their country during the war.”
(Host) Welch was among several congressmen who wanted Congress to investigate conditions at Walter Reed. The oversight hearing is scheduled for March 5th at the Washington hospital.