Portman hosts VA town hall in Mount Carmel - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Portman hosts VA town hall in Mount Carmel

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MOUNT CARMEL, OH (FOX19) -

Mixed stories on Friday were told to Sen. Rob Portman, R-Terrace Park,  during a Mount Carmel town hall meeting.

Portman listened to dozens of vets tell stories about area veterans hospitals.

Portman said problems remain in the VA hospitals in this area and he said Congress doesn't yet know everything it should about why the VA system is in the shape it's in.

Portman called this town hall to talk about Congress' plan to give veterans a choice to use private doctors if they can't be seen at their VA hospital.

Veterans living more than 40 miles away and who can't be seen within their hospital's average wait time--could go to a non-VA hospital.

The legislation--if passed--would also give the veterans affairs secretary the power to fire administrators who run VA hospitals that don't perform.

Veterans gathered on Friday told Portman they've seen the best and worst out of Cincinnati VA hospitals.

Earlier this month, the Veterans Affairs Department released a report on VA hospital wait times in the area.

The department has Cincinnati area VAs set for follow up visits but there is no timeline set for a final report.

The veteran's choice bill is making its way through Congress.  A final bill could still be several weeks away.

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