Treatment of Veterans at King is Shameful


Madison – State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) issued the following statement today in reaction to a Capital Times article detailing poor quality of care at the State Veterans Home at King:


“I am glad to see the problems at King finally come to light.  I have been hearing from veterans and their families about the conditions at King, but my attempts to get the Walker administration and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to take action were met with denials and excuses.


“In March, 2015, when I shared what I was hearing about King with the Division of Quality Assurance at the Department of Health Services, their response was that ‘We have determined that no member suffered a negative outcome and so no further action can be taken by us at this time.’  When I called on the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to investigate, I was forwarded a letter of denial from the Department of Veterans Affairs that called my charges ‘untrue and harmful.’  And I have discussed the situation at King directly with Governor Walker on two separate occasions.  No action was taken until the Capital Times story was about to appear.


“The facts clearly show that Governor Walker, WDVA Secretary John Scocos, and Republicans in the Legislature used the veterans’ homes as a cash cow while they let our veterans suffer with substandard care.  Their mismanagement of the veterans’ homes is simply shameful.  I call on the federal government to investigate the situation at King.  At this point, we simply can’t trust the administration to investigate its own mismanagement at the state veterans’ homes.  Secondly, the raiding of funds from the veterans’ homes should halt immediately and the funds be used to improve veterans care.   In the meantime, I warn WDVA that any retribution against veterans or employees at King who spoke out against the abuses there will only delay the reforms needed to make sure our veterans finally receive the care they deserve.


“The veterans who have given so much for us deserve the best possible care.  This is not a partisan political issue, it’s an issue of mismanagement and neglect.  This is shameful, and our veterans and their families deserve better.”


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