How A Possible VA Reform Deal Impacts Oklahoma Veterans

Monday, July 28th 2014, 6:44 pm
By: News 9

The overwhelming argument with Veterans Affairs is the entire system needs to be fixed. And while a veterans’ wait at the Oklahoma City VA hospital isn't as long as other centers, some feel Monday's changes are a step in the right direction.

Director of the VA Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Daniel Marsh, has stood by his hospital's reputation, ever since veteran care became the center of federal attention.

"I would stack us up against anybody," said Marsh.

In early June, Marsh told News 9 he anticipated federal reform, citing needs for more doctors and competitive salaries. But with Monday's reform still awaiting a vote in the house and senate, the Oklahoma City VA has been told not to comment on purposed legislation.

But Veterans in Oklahoma continue to be invested in the reform.

"I have a ton of hope," said Attorney Bob Brown, with Tommy Klepper & Associates.

Once a Sgt. in the Army, Brown is now on the frontlines of battling the VA in the court room over veteran benefits.

"Of course people don't hire lawyers when everything is going well. I get all the scary stories," said Brown.

Those stories come from over 600 clients nationwide and detail issues dating back to the Korean War. And while Brown deals with benefit claims, the medical care issues are frequent. So Brown sees today's reform as one part of fulfilling the social contract America has with its soldiers.

"Whenever the soldiers are called on to go, they go, and that's their side of the social contract. When those gentleman come back they're expecting the American people to perform their end of the contract so every time that doesn't happen there's a breach," said Brown.

While the Oklahoma City Medical Center could not comment on the details of the reform, News 9 was told future business plans are waiting to be developed until more information is released from Washington.