Veterans wary of proposals to close VA clinics, cut emergency services

Some veterans are concerned about a bipartisan plan that would close 172 out of 800 clinics nationwide and reduce capacity or stop certain emergency services in several locations, including in Kansas.


State News

June 29, 2022 - 3:06 PM

Under the recommendations made by the VA, the Topeka VA medical center would cease emergency, inpatient medical and outpatient surgical services. The facility in Leavenworth would also see a reduction from a 23-bed inpatients facility to a 12-bed observational hospital. Photo by (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — When retired U.S. Army Col. Lynn Rolf enlisted and went to war, the federal government made a promise it would take care of his medical needs.

Rolf, who began his 31 years of military service in 1970 in Vietnam, says he is still fighting the battle to ensure that commitment is fulfilled and veterans’ medical services remain in place. Recent recommendations from the Department of Veteran Affairs to the Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission suggesting an overhaul of its health network are the equivalent of reneging on that promise, Rolf said.

“In my personal experience, VA care is pretty darn good,” Rolf said. “But I’m used to fighting bureaucracies and it’s easy for me to when someone tells me ‘No, you can’t do this can’t do that’ I don’t take that as an answer.”

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