You may recall that the VA hospital in Waco, despite an excellent reputation, is threatened with closure, something which has locals and area veterans very concerned. They're now also frustrated, because they've got a review of the facility coming up and they can't get the information they need to address questions concerning a funding shortfall.
Leaders of a group trying to save the Waco Veterans Affairs Hospital from possible downsizing or closure are frustrated that the Department of Veterans Affairs has not yet provided them with crucial data outlining the source of financial problems at the 73-year-old complex.
Former Waco Mayor Linda Ethridge and U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco, said Wednesday that community supporters of the hospital need the information to learn what's responsible for the hospital's $10 million annual deficits.
Since VA officials began considering closing the hospital more than two years ago, Edwards and Ethridge say proponents of closing the hospital have pointed to its $10 million deficit without detailing what causes the shortfall.
Ethridge and Edwards said without sufficient time to review the figures, it will be difficult to propose alternatives and adequately defend the hospital before a federally appointed panel meets next month in Waco to take an important step in the closure or downsizing process.
A spokesman for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said she has been carefully watching the Waco case and said without the release of the data, it will be difficult to determine how best to serve veterans' health care needs in Central Texas.
Meanwhile, Barbara Radnofsky, who's been pointing out the need for action on this for some time now, is on a tour of West Texas, where she's getting a great reception and some good press in El Paso. She'll be in El Paso and Lubbock for the next few days, then in Kerrville and Fredericksburg later next week - if you're in one of those areas, check her upcoming events and meet her if you can.
UPDATE: Anthony Gutierrez reports on Barbara from El Paso.Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 18, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack