Tags: Dan Benishek | Choice Act | Veterans Affairs | pain | chronic

Rep. Dan Benishek: VA Not Implementing Choice Act Well

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Jun 2015 02:58 PM

Michigan Republican Rep. Dan Benishek, who is also a medical doctor, tells Newsmax that the poor patient care that some are experiencing in the Veterans Affairs medical system is happening because the Choice Act is not being implemented well.

"Last year, we passed the Choice Act, which gives patients from the VA more choice on where to go," Benishek told John Bachman on "Newsmax Now" on Newsmax TV Tuesday.

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"Unfortunately, the VA has not been implementing this plan as well as they should've, and they're not giving the patients the opportunities to seek their own care in the private community," he explains.

According to a recent investigation released by the Government Accountability Office, the VA is failing to properly treat veterans with depression, The Fiscal Times reported.

In addition, the Military Times reported that the VA has also come under fire for overprescribing prescription drugs to veterans, which reportedly led to the death of a veteran, who died from an accidental drug overdose after he checked himself into a VA hospital in Tomah, Wisconsin, in August 2014. 

Benishek told Newsmax that lawmakers have "been working on making the VA more accountable for their poor treatment of patients with chronic pain for a long time. We've been holding hearings, both in the subcommittee, and on the full committee level."

The Republican contends that "the VA doesn't have the right staff for managing chronic pain. They're saddling primary care providers with taking care of patients with chronic pain issues, and the only tool they have at their disposal are narcotics."

"To me, as a physician who's been taking care of patients for over 30 years, I know that narcotics was a last choice," Benishek explained.

"We need to have our patients have access to more pain specialists," he said.

"The VA's been ineffective in getting more specialists on board, and the problem with the VA is they keep saying they're going to do better," Benishek told Newsmax.

"They keep saying, 'We're improving, we're improving,' but then they don't really have any metrics to prove that," he added.

"Whenever you ask them, 'Who's in charge?' They don't know."

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Michigan Republican Rep. Dan Benishek, who is also a medical doctor, tells Newsmax that the poor patient care that some are experiencing in the Veterans Affairs medical system is happening because the Choice Act is not being implemented well.
Dan Benishek, Choice Act, Veterans Affairs, pain, chronic
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2015-58-16
Tuesday, 16 Jun 2015 02:58 PM
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