by Channel 2 News staff
Thursday, April 15, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski questioned Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki Thursday on why so many Alaskan vets have to go to the Lower 48 for health care when the same care could be purchased from providers in Alaska.
Murkowski said more needs to be done treat Alaskan vets in their home state.
"Sometimes its demand exceeds the capacity, sometimes our veterans are told they have to travel to Seattle because the procedures aren't available in Alaska," Murkowski said.
"We are going to look at very closely why we would send a veteran on a 2,000-mile journey if there is competent, safe health care available close by," Shinseki said.
The undersecretary for the VA said he knows of nearly 700 Alaskans forced to leave their families for some sort of treatment outside of Alaska.