U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar Hosts Roundtable in Carson City
Presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar hosted a roundtable with veterans and military families in Carson City on Thursday.
Minnesota Senator and presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar hosted a roundtable with veterans and military families in Carson City on Thursday to discuss some of the issue they face.
Veterans talked about issues ranging from cybersecurity to troop deployment to treatment of LGBT veterans, but the issue discussed the most was healthcare.
Multiple veterans at the table mentioned the Mission Act, passed last year. Veterans argued it essentially moves the V.A. towards privatizing. Klobuchar says it's important is implemented properly so medical care access isn't hindered.
"Which means they're going to have access to their V.A. healthcare," Klobuchar says. "And it's not going to be replaced by them having to drive hundreds of miles to get healthcare."
She also talked about her plan to prioritize mental health and the quality of healthcare for vets in rural areas.
"Rural healthcare for our service members and for civilians that live in rural areas is never easy."
Roger Rock is a former Combat Engineer in the U.S. Army and lives in Winnemucca. He sat at the roundtable Thursday.
"She did good," Rock says. "She had good answers. And I believe she's dedicated to what she says."
While the Mission Act was meant to create more opportunities for veterans to seek care, Rock says he often has to wait 30-45 days to get an appointment with a physician not in the VA, so it's not any better. Plus he says the V.A. offers superior care to veterans compared to general hospitals, because they better understand certain health problems.
"They don't understand. It's like, 'well, I have a headache,' and they say, 'well, take some aspirin," Rock says. "That's the [non-V.A.} doctor. You go to the V.A., it's 'ok, let's figure out why you're having that headache. Is it psychological? Is it physical?'"
Klobuchar brought up burn piles during the discussion. Considering the type of illness and how recently it's developed, it's likely one of the illnesses better treated, or at least diagnosed, by a doctor at the V.A.
"Our service member were located right next to major pits where they were burning all kinds of stuff that they never burned before in war," Klobuchar says. "We have a significant number of them coming back with respiratory illnesses ... This is our generation's Agent Orange."
While Rock enjoyed the discussion and felt Klobuchar heard what they had to say, he would've liked to see republicans attend her roundtable.
"So that [Klobuchar] can get the Republicans questions and answer them," Rock says. "And in doing so, maybe change some people's minds."
Rock says he's still not sure who he's voting for because there are so many Democratic candidates.
Klobuchar was first elected to Senate in 2006 - and was re-elected to her third term in 2018. She's the first female Senator ever elected in Minnesota.
"As a granddaughter of an iron ore miner, and the daughter of a teacher and a newspaper man," Klobuchar says. "So I believe anything is possible in this country, but not if you give people an unfair playing field."
Klobuchar actually has some familiarity with the Silver State through her work in the Senate.
"I spend a lot of time here," Klobuchar says. "I head up the Tourism Caucus of the U.S. Senate with Roy Blunt. And I've done a lot with bringing in funding especially, we'll never forget, the low point during the downturn."
She's the second Democrat to visit Northern Nevada this week. Senator Bernie Sanders held a rally in downtown Reno on Wednesday.