The GOP Congressional runoff as I have written about before has become unhinged. There was a bit of controversy over public records with regard to Samuel Williams Jr. Whenever you run for office you make sure there is no “negative marks” against you.
Recently Williams has began speaking about a VA full on Hospital. According to his platform or “points” Williams is very vague. Please see the following.
VAMC El Paso serves approximately 74,083 Veterans thru Census data the numbers within the El Paso region are as follows:
El Paso: 48,167 Midland: 7,149 Odessa: 4,857 Ruidoso: 1,060 Alamogordo: 4,580 & Las Cruces 8,270
Currently Veterans who have specific medical needs are sent out to the private sector via TriWest. Community Care at VAMC El Paso does a fair and very good job in ensuring Veterans get the care they need out of the VAMC.
VA Hospital vs VA Clinics, with the Veterans population in El Paso on the rise and slated to be the 5th highest Veteran population in the country a VA Hospital would be in our best interest. VA Hospitals offer all the specialties under one roof without Veterans having to drive out of town which we are reimbursed at 41.5 cents per mile.
VA Clinics are basically like Family Practices, the Dr sees you at least every 6 months to check on your health and medications.
As I stated previously, one of Mr. Williams points with regards to Veterans healthcare is “Speed up the process that allows veterans to control thier own health care decisions so they don’t have to drive hundreds of miles to a substandard provider”
The process was started by the previous Congressman who understood the need for care. This is how TriWest came about. Now if the need arises that requires a Veteran to be seen after regular business hours Veterans can go to any emergent care facility or any hospital emergency room. Which really answers “speed up” point.
William Beaumont Army Hospital is slated to move from is current location, which is attached to VAMC El Paso. It’s new location not far from the intersection of Spur 601 and Loop 375 will leave a considerable void in the former Ft Bliss/VA Compound.
The economic impact of just doing a serious “remodeling” of the current William Beaumont would amount to a “money pit” of sorts. It would be far better to just “tear down” and rebuild.
A similar situation occurred in Los Angeles, Ca. specifically around the East Los Angeles area. The Congressional district in that area procured the land and funding to provide a Veterans Compound, similar to what San Diego has in place. There is a document that explains how this particular Congressional District went about it.
We are at a very pivotal place here in El Paso and now more than ever we need a Representative who can take the needs of El Paso to Washington D.C. Now is the time to put the correct candidate in that seat. Unfortunately Mr. Williams has flubbed way too many times to be any reasonable representation of El Paso.