VA officials: 47 percent of Omaha area veterans accessing care available to them

Feb 21, 2014

A VA official estimates 53 percent of veterans aren’t accessing care available to them.

Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs Dr. Tommy Sowers visited Omaha Friday to talk about VA health care. He says 40 percent of veterans nationwide, and about 47 percent in the Omaha area, are accessing care through the VA.

But Dr. Sowers says many more are unaware of the services available to them.

"We did a survey of veterans and it turns out that 59 percent of veterans know little to nothing about their benefits. And that comes at an enormous human cost. Right now there are a million uninsured veterans that are eligible for veterans’ health care. And they’re going in to debt, they’re walking in to emergency rooms, they’re having to purchase health care where they don’t need to."

Dr. Sowers says VA healthcare is particularly important in rural areas, where he says more than 20 percent of veterans live.

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