In the News

Pratt Tribune
Gale Rose

Too many veterans are slipping through cracks when it comes to receiving medical treatment. That was the message U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran presented when he stopped in Pratt on Friday, Sept. 21 as part of his annual listening tour. Moran said he has seen some veterans have been treated and he has vowed to make sure that every veteran receives the benefits they deserve.

To that end, a push was made to get the Veterans Administration to open outpatient clinics. A plan was devised that if a veteran had to travel more than 40 miles from home to receive treatment or it would take more than 30 days to receive treatment, then the veteran could go to a local doctor for treatment.

But the Veterans Administration made it difficult for the cooperating doctor to receive payment.

In one instance, a veteran needed a colonoscopy and lived within 40 miles of a VA facility so they wouldn’t pay for a visit to a local facility. The problem was, the VA facility didn’t do colonoscopies so the request for payment at a local facility was denied because the veteran lived within 40 miles of a VA facility. It didn’t matter that they didn’t do colonoscopies, Moran said.

In another case, a veteran needing a transplant was told to go to a facility a long distance away but the veteran lived just 10 away from the University of Kansas transplant hospital that does the transplant the veteran needed.

Moran was one of the sponsors of the John McCain Choice Law Act that established if it is in the best interest of the veteran, the VA would pay for procedures at a facility of the veteran’s choice.

Moran said he would continue to ride herd for the best interest of veterans.

Also on Moran’s radar are the tariffs President Trump is applying to other countries and the impact it is having on U.S. exports.

Kansas produces much more wheat than it consumes. Exporting wheat and other crops is necessary to bring revenues to Kansas farmers. Without those exports, Kansas is harmed in a significant way. Kansas may never be compensated for its loss in exports.

“Exports are how we make a living,” Moran said. Trade agreements need to be established. Right now, there is uncertainty with the trade policy of the current administration. Without trade agreements, it could be dangerous for Kansas, Moran said.

Right now, other countries can get better trade on beef with Australia and Canada than the U.S. because of tariffs. Soybeans prices have fallen $2 a bushel. These issues will continue to impact the income from outside U.S. borders.

“I don’t see a quick resolution in trade agreements and tariffs,” Moran said.

Other areas are also impacted by tariffs. In the newspaper industry, a tariff on aluminum has impacted the price of producing the newspaper because aluminum sheets are used in the printing process.

Having trade agreements are important and necessary. Moran said he would continue working to keep trade agreements in the forefront.

On the issue of broadband service, Moran said a Federal Communications Commission map, created with information from AT&T and Horizon, totally misrepresents where broadband is located.

“It doesn’t reflect reality,” Moran said.

The map needs to be correct so funding can go where receiving broadband is a problem, Moran said.

Moran had some good news for college students. Congress has reauthorized Perkins and Pell grants.

Moran offered his respects to the family of Sedgwick County Sheriff Deputy Robert Kunze who was killed in the line of duty Sept. 16.

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