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Portman tours Columbus VA hospital

Karen Kasler
Ohio Public Radio

U.S. Senator Rob Portman said he thinks most Ohio veterans are getting good care, but he’s still concerned about the scandal over patient delays and falsified waiting lists at Veterans Administration hospitals and clinics across the country. Ohio’s Republican Senator toured a VA center in Columbus Friday, and said he got a good report on what’s happening there.

Portman said he’s backing a bipartisan bill that would allow veterans who experience long waits for VA appointments, or who live at least 40 miles from a VA hospital or clinic, to use private doctors enrolled as providers for Medicare or other government programs.

Portman said he doesn’t think the resignation of Eric Shinseki  as VA Secretary will solve the problem. But he said he’s encouraged by reports that Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove is being considered as Shinseki’s replacement, saying he understands how to operate a big, complex medical organization.