Texas veterans share VA care horror stories

By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - If the scandal-ridden VA can't give United States veterans the medical care they need, when they need it, then the state of Texas will just have to step in and help them get it.

That's the goal of The Texas Senate Veteran Affairs and Installations Committee, which met for a special hearing in Pasadena Thursday afternoon.

As chairman of the committee, State Senator Leticia Van De Putte is asking the Texas Veterans Commission to start-up a special, strike force team that Texas vets could call on for help in navigating through the complex VA health system.

That strike force would have a phone bank that veterans could call for help in getting prompt appointments from the Federal VA system.
Strike force workers would act as advocates for our veterans who need medical treatment.

Officials with the Texas Veterans Commission said they could have this strike force up anĀ  running by the end of June.

Speaking in front of the committee today was Georgia Hernandez, who's own father George Barraza died while waiting for treatment at the Michael Debakey VA Medical Center in Houston.

When he died, George had been suffering from diabetes, heart disease, liver cancer and Hepatitis-C.

When Georgia brought her father to the VA in late March, she told the senate committee her father had been vomiting blood, could not eat, or use the bathroom and was in great pain.

She told committee members instead of treating her father, VA health workers gave him prescription drugs and set him up with an appointment more than a month later on May 5.

George Barraza died on April 16.

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