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Heller on Nevada Veterans Affairs

U.S. Senator Dean Heller spoke at the Senate Committee on Veteran's Affairs Wednesday in Washington D.C. to discuss the state of the VA health care system in Nevada. Reno Public Radio's Esther Ciammachilli has more.


Heller addressed issues regarding VA centers throughout the state, but one of his major issues involves the office here in the north.  

"Reno has the worst VA regional office in the country. And I think it's a management problem.  I don't think the rank and file in that office are at fault here. I truly do believe it's a management problem, and I'm certainly hoping and have called for changes in that particular office."

With more than 300 thousand veterans living in Nevada, Heller expressed concern over the care and treatment these people are receiving.  Including, what he says, was a five year failure to reduce the state's backlog claims.

"The average days to complete now a pending claim is about 340 days. I have been harping on this for five years.  And they're making progress, in five years they've reduced it ten days. And you've gotta imagine it has to be really frustrating. And I'm not frustrated for myself, I'm frustrated for every veteran living in the state of Nevada."  

Along with Senator Bob Casey from Pennsylvania, Heller introduced legislation to fix the backlog issues in their states.  That legislation is currently under review.

Esther Ciammachilli is a former part-time broadcaster at KUNR Public Radio.