ASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) says as he travels through his district and listens to calls for help to his office from his constituents, the number-one cry for help comes from veterans trying to get benefits from the Veterans Administration, which he calls a massive bureaucracy.
“We come in to try and help navigate through the process,” he said. “I do hear that, for the most part, if veterans can get through the process they’re pleased with the quality of the health care they get, especially at Walla Walla.”
Walden said the request for help from veterans to his office are enough work to keep two full-time employees busy. He said 50 percent of all their calls for help come from veterans.
“We’re probably not unique in the Congress,” he said. “That tells me there are probably 1,000 Congressional staffers that do nothing but try to help veterans get through the process. That tells me we’ve got a problem with the process and we should fix the VA.”
Walden said fixing it is complex and that some legislation has already passed both houses and is becoming law. Other bills are still works in progress. He says he’s convinced with today’s technology, filing for veterans benefits can become a simpler, more intuitive process.