The US House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would finally allow our veterans to seek private healthcare to avoid the backlogs and long wait times at Veterans Affairs facilities. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.,) who sponsored the bill, said, “It’s unfortunate I have to introduce legislation to address this problem, because the department has had the authority to offer veterans healthcare services outside of the VA system for years.”
However, these new legislative reforms came too late to save Amy Thill’s husband’s life. “He was the most selfless person you would have ever met. He was about helping others,” Thill said of her late husband Larry Van Anne, a Vietnam veteran.
Thill told KCTV 5 that the poor quality of care and the time it took for Larry to see a specialist at the VA is why her husband lost his life.
Thill’s husband was an addiction counselor in a Leavenworth County clinic. She says when her husband needed help with his lungs, the VA in Leavenworth didn’t lift a finger to help.
“Somebody dropped the ball. The Leavenworth VA dropped the ball in my opinion,” she said.
During a visit to a different VA in Texas they heard a much different report on Larry’s lungs, KCTV 5 reports.
“The doctor in ICU told us he should have had a transplant three years ago,” Thill said. Larry never left the ICU and died in mid-May.
Thill now says she would have done things differently had she known better. “I would have started yelling a lot louder.” She also has a message for other veterans’ families who she hopes will fight for care, even if it means going outside the healthcare system setup to help vets.
“Get to a private doctor and get a second opinion,” she said.
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