La. veterans secretary describes VA complaints

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana’s veterans affairs secretary says he’s heard complaints for years about problems with veterans having trouble getting treatment in the federal VA hospitals and clinics around the state.

David LaCerte told a state House military committee the state veterans department reported the complaints to the federal VA and its inspector general but never saw any substantive response.

Friday’s special hearing comes after allegations that veterans around the nation have faced long waits and other roadblocks to health care that have been deliberately hidden.

State lawmakers pushed for LaCerte to offer ideas for ways the state could improve health care for its veterans.

LaCerte says the fix must come from federal officials because the federal VA is charged with veterans’ primary care. He urged pressure on federal officials to get improvements.

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