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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 29, 2014 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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embracing oregon's growing diversity. we disagree on the importance of maintaining oregon's environmental natural wonders. our state is a vastly better place than it was four years ago ago. that is due to the fact that we did not allow the great recession to tear us apart. it reflects a change in the tone at the top and reflects leadership that has delivered for oregonians. we have found common solutions to some very difficult issues. we erased our budget deficit and set out to create 25,000 new jobs each year and we have exceeded that goal. we security huge capital investment from some of our major trade sector industries with intel. we created four-year university here in central oregon. we brought two data centers. we have kept timber mills open and we are working together to bring more water for irrigated
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agriculture. across this state, communities are coming together working on kindergarten readiness and third-grade reading. we had the first tuition raise in 14 years. today 95% of all oregonians have health insurance coverage. tens of thousands of them for the first time and they don't have to choose between the utility bill and taking their child to the doctor. they are healthier and happier and more productive on the job. together we have delivered for oregon, but we have more to do. it requires leadership based on values and based on the belief that we are all in this together. based on the belief that oregon will be a good place for any of us to live. it requires the ability to bring people together to tackle these problems as a community.
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we have brought our state together over the past four years. we have delivered for oregon. we cannot allow ourselves to return to the divisiveness of the past. this is about values, the ability to deliver. i'm john kitzhaber, and i'm asking for your vote on november 4. >> thank you. we actually have a little bit of extra time. i will ask one additional question. one of the members suggested this to me yesterday. representative richardson, can you tell us one thing that you like about your opponent in this race? [laughter] >> we get along fine. this is competition. he wants a fourth term and i think i can do better.
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we will both be glad. i think john is an affable guy. what is the difference between you and governor kitzhaber, and he said, "i like people." it's about the ability to lead and we have different backgrounds and a different focus on what the future is of our state. >> i will not debate any more. he was one of the first people -- i walked across to his office. we had a divided legislature and i knew we needed to work together. dennis and arnie and hannah and peter were largely the reasons we took what appeared to be a toxic environment and made lemonade out of those lemons. >> i appreciate you both ending on a positive note. that concludes our debate this
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morning on behalf of the oregon association of broadcasters and voters in this great state, i want to thank both of you for being here and for everyone at home for watching, tuning in and making an informed decision. the last day to register to vote is october 14. election day is tuesday, november 4. your vote does indeed matter. thank you for being with us today. [applause] our debate coverage continues live on c-span. tuesday night, the final texas governors' debate. night at 8:00 eastern, the oklahoma governor'' debate. the it 8:00 on c-span2, nebraska governors' debate.
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2014, morempaign than 100 debates for the control of congress. >> join us tonight for remarks by bill gates eric he sat down earlier -- he sat down earlier today to discuss the ebola outbreak. the bill and melinda gates foundation earlier this month pledged money to fight the virus. politico'st of lessons from leadership series. it :00 eastern on c-span. commissioner on net neutrality, privacy, and data security. >>y nets tt can from big data. are health-care, other
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kinds of research, providing new insights. it is some of our more difficult to solve problems that we face as a society. are there risks from big data? that is true. previouslye pieces, separaconsumer, and the questior me is, you have all these benefits and risks. what do you do then? >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> this election season we are bringing you over 100 house, ' debatesd governors from across the country. the iowa u.s. senate race debate.
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is ernst too extreme for iowa? >> i do not support a federal minimum wage. >> what does she think is right for iowa? owansnst believes i'l can survive on $15,000 a year. >> want to know what i care about? i care about protecting social security for seniors, like my mom and dad. about good schools, could-paying jobs, and health care we can afford when we need. and i approvet this message because i will go to washington as a mom, a soldier, and someone who really cares about the iowa we leave our children. and i cannot think of anything more important than that. >> should you have a right to
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make your own choices? politicians in washington make those choices for you? i'm talking your right to self-defense. you should be able to choose the firearm that is right for you. it should be your choice, you're right. ley doesressman bra not defend your right. >> [indiscernible] promises to shut down the department of education. that is why extremist sarah palin wants ernst in washington. >> [indiscernible] , promises for them, too extreme for us. you're watching a special,
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commitment 2014. the united states senate debate, "the des moines college. and simpson >> good evening, everyone. welcome to a special event. tonight, the first debate between the two candidates for the u.s. senate from iowa, democrat bruce braley and republican joni k. ernst. they are vying for the seat of tom harkin. many iowans have woken up to a poll that shows joni k. ernst leading with 44%. we will dig deeper into those poll numbers. a little bit of housekeeping. our format will change. it includes a chance for you to
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tweet us your questions to ask the candidates. if you would use #iadebate. that is #iadebate. each candidate will get 90 seconds. our coin toss determined that bruce braley will go first. >> thank you for moderating tonight. i want to thank the des moines register and kcci-tv. i want to thank the viewing audience here. thank you, senator ernst. i am bruce braley. i grew up in a working-class home in a small farm town called brooklyn. my mom is a schoolteacher. my dad ran a grain elevator before dying in 1981. i've worked for "the des moines register." i got my first job in the third grade grade i worked a lot of different jobs to pay my way through law school.
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i met my wife at an eagles concert, and we have been together for 30 years. i am running for the senate because i am going to stand up for iowans, which is what i've been doing 30 years. i will work with anyone that has a good idea that is good for iweb. i am a bridge builder, not a bridge burner. this election is about a clear choice about moving forward or following a radical tea party agenda. on issue after issue, senator ernst has stood with the koch brothers and their extreme agenda, opposing the farm bill
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and the renewable deal standard. i'm here tonight to listen, learn, to share my views, and ask for your vote. thank you. >> thank you very. >> i would like to thank our hosts. i am joni ernst. i am a mother, i am a soldier, i'm someone who cares deeply about the nation we leave our children. i believe washington is taking her country in the wrong direction. for the past eight years, congressman bruce braley has been their voting with nancy pelosi, higher taxes, bigger government, wall street bailout, obamacare. this is his washington record. he can't defend it, so he is running a negative campaign iowans have ever seen. washington has failed. i believe in the iowa way. i believe that you know what is best for iowans, more than
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politicians in washington, d.c. our working-class families deserve better. social security and medicare for seniors, because our generation has worked hard for our american dream. as your you next united states senator, i will fight washington to make sure more americans can achieve that dream. >> thank you for your opening remarks. we will move on to the questions. in this particular section, each candidate will have one minute 15 seconds to answer questions. there will be a chance for a rebuttal. ms. ernst receives the first question. >> let's talk about some of the negative things that have been raised in the that you mentioned.
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the latest report asked voters if criticisms against the two of you were a big problem, a little problem, or not a from it all. 56% of votes say it is a problem to privatize social security as a option. what would you like to say to those voters? >> i will say i will fight to protect social security and medicare for our seniors. those are sacred promises that have been made to those receiving those benefits. we have to honor those promises. anyone that is on retirement, social security, medicare, and those nearing retirement, we have to keep those benefits. that promise has been made. we have to acknowledge that there is a problem with social security and medicare. within 20 years, the system will
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be broke. we have to address those problems. we need to look at many options out there. i have not endorsed one option over another, but we need to come together in a bipartisan manner to solve these issues. congressman bruce braley has been there for eight years, but we have not seen any resolution. every two years it comes up as a campaign talking point, and yet we are no further down the line. we need to protect our seniors. >> thank you. >> in our poll, 66% of likely voters say it is a problem that you have missed a large percentage of the congressional committee hearings on veterans' affairs. what is your response? >> if people want to know my true record, they can go to my website. it lays out all the things that i have done for veterans and
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-- in eight years. one of the things that i have done is that i have helped members of the iowa national guard coming back from iraq. i also helped a young man in dubuque who was a wounded warrior not able to stay in his home and had applied for a benefit and was denied. i help him get that. i introduced a bill in his name so other wounded warriors can stay in their homes. i've also helped over 400 iowa veterans with disability claims. i have helped women in the military get more protection when they are the victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse. if you look at my record, you will see that this is very personal to me. my father was a world war ii combat veteran. he brought the wounds from that war home. i have been there for veterans.
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i have made 90% of the votes at the v.a. hearings to stand up for veterans. >> with move on to another question. social security. everyone seems to agree that in 20 years, social security will no longer be able to pay the benefits. what can you say tonight that will protect social security, not only for those who are seniors are close to becoming eligible, but what about the people in their 30's or 40's or 50's who will need it after 2033 and beyond. what about some of the people in this audience here who are seniors in college, maybe 20-somethings? >> social security is based on a solemn promise. if you work hard and pay into it, it will be there for you when you need it. that is why i have a four-point plan to strengthen social security. it includes raising the minimum wage, giving 300,000 iowa
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citizens a pay raise. we also need to expand our economy by investing in infrastructure and our manufacturing base and get people off unemployment and pay into social security, which will be another great thing. let me make this perfectly clear. privatizing social security is not an option for me. senator ernst has says that it is an option for her. privatizing is not protecting social security and it's not protecting iowans. it is a retirement plan for wall street investment bankers. >> ms. ernst, you use the term sacred promise. and you have repeatedly said that you want to protect our seniors, but what about the 20-somethings and 30-somethings.
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--? >> yes, you are correct. it is a sacred promise. one thing that i have stated when it comes to social security is that we should not raise the retirement age. people work very hard throughout their lifetimes and put into the social security fund, and they expect to have those dollars here for when they are retiring. for our younger workers, we need to make sure that they know that they are retiring at a certain age. we have to preserve and protect it. what the congressman is proposing, by raising the minimum wage, it is not an answer. that is less than 1% of our annual social security spending. it is not shoring up the system in the long term. we have to come up with other options to put on the table. but again, making sure we are working in a bipartisan manner so that these young people, after getting out of college and working their lives, know that social security will be there for them. >> is there a rebuttal?
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>> i have made it clear raising the retirement age is not an option, not only because it imposes a burden people like nurses and construction workers on their feet all day, but because it is not fair to put the burden of continuing these programs on those workers. not only have i said that, i voted that way. in fact, in the last four years, i have voted four times not to raise the retirement age on social security and medicare. >> thank you. >> again, raising the minimum wage is not the answer to shoring up the system. we need to look at our our economy. what we have done here in iowa, by lowering taxes, balancing our budget, we have a growing economy with 150,000 new jobs. those are good-paying jobs. those are workers that will contribute to our social security system. >> thank you. let's move on.
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>> what do you think is the greatest foreign threat facing the united states today? what should we do about it? >> there are a number of growing threats. right now the threat of isil. they must be stopped. i am someone who has served in the military for 22 years, i am a combat veteran. my boots have been on the ground in iraq. i will stand with our troops and making sure that we think through our actions carefully. and i do have a number of criteria put in place whenever i would consider military action. the first is that we know there is a credible threat, we have actionable intelligence. second, do we have a clearly defined mission, and do we have the resources necessary to support that mission? third, once that mission has been accomplished, what is the
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withdrawal plan to bring our men and women home? and are we going to support them when we bring them home? congressman braley, when we were engaged in iraq and afghanistan, he voted twice to defund our troops. >> you agree that isil is the greatest threat? >> let me respond to that last point. iowans know that i made it clear and those votes that i was voting to make sure that we were ending our decade-long involvement in iraq, not to penalize the men and women serving our country so bravely. i made that statement on the floor because it is important to me. i agree with senator ernst that the rise of terrorism is the greatest threat we face as a country. i also agree with those four
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criteria she laid out, but another important critera that general colin powell made as part of that risked assessment is making sure that the american people understand that importance and are supportive of why we are sending our brave men and women all to work late i recently had the opportunity to vote to get the president -- give the president limited authority to begin strikes against those in syria and iraq. isis is a threat that must be stopped. anytime american citizens are attacked by a terrorist group, they need to be brought to justice or to the grave. that is what is happening, and that is what we will continue to do. >> would you have voted to allow that attack to go forward? what criteria would you put in place to decide whether to continue that beyond the limit?
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>> yes, i would have supported that. the criteria that i have laid out previously is what i would use as we move through the process to determine if further action is needed. i would use the same criteria. americans are resilient. we will support our men and women in uniform. unfortunately, congressman braley, when he had a opportunity, was not present for 75% of full congressional hearings. he could've done something. >> we will give you a few minutes to respond. >> the day that she is referring to, i was reading an honor flight. i attended a 90-minute veterans affairs hearing that same day great i went to a classified
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-- because i care about what is happening to our men and women overseas. those are what you can learn if you go to my website. you will learn the true story about what i have done to fight for veterans. we need to make sure that every time we honor our veterans it is in a way that is honoring their service. >> we will move along to another topic, one that we will want to hear from you about affordable care. it is the law of the land, as you know. there have been some reports that show it has even reduced medical costs and some states that have expanded the medicaid eligibility. tell us what you like and dislike about obamacare. what can the government do to hold down health care costs? >> this is an issue where there is a clear difference between us. i think that the affordable health care act needs to be fixed and improved. senator ernst would repeal it and continue to obstruct efforts to improve it.
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i have made it very clear that there were problems with the rollout that needed to be fixed. i voted to allow people to continue to keep their policies during a period of time when we are making the transition. there has been some significant, positive things that have happened in iowa. we can't go back to where we were before. iowan citizens were able to get health care because we expanded access. over 130,000 citizens now have access that they did not have before. seniors are seeing their prescription costs drop. we are closing the donut hole. i have a nephew who was diagnosed with liver cancer, and he would not have been able to get coverage because it was a pre-existing condition. now his parents do not have to worry about that. it has also eliminated lifetime caps and prevented discrimination for women in
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health care coverage. we need to continue to fix what is wrong and improve the affordable air act. we cannot go backwards. >> every iowa citizen deserves access to affordable health care. obamacare is not the answer. what it has done in iowa is, first, we are seeing that it costs jobs. 29 positions were laid off from mercy hospital. layoffs continue. it is an increased tax on the people of iowa and americans, $1.2 trillion. it is taking the personal health care decision out of our hands and placing them in the hands of nameless bureaucrats in d.c. it has also cut $716 billion from medicare that our seniors rely on. i don't agree. this is something we will continue to disagree on.
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i believe that we need to have patient-centered care. the way we do that by allowing insurance agencies to sell products across state lines, allowing tax credits for those that privately purchase insurance. there are a number of ways that we can provide good insurance. >> just in terms of what he said she said there were elements that needed to be fixed. what needs to be fixed? what is broken? >> one of the things we did is address a problem that was creating hardships for small businesses. we eliminate that hardship by making it easier to deal with the paperwork. one of the things that senator ernst mention is that the people of iowa did not receive a cut because of the affordable care act. we cut wasteful spending out of the system. there is a big difference.
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"the cedar rapids gazette" looked at that claim and declared that it was false. because benefits to seniors have not changed. in fact, because of the affordable health care act, medical solvency has been extended for a number of years. iowan now is eighth in terms of the lowest number of people who don't have access to health insurance. that is something we should be proud of. that resulted because of a bipartisan effort to get a waiver to expand access. >> you have something to say? >> when it comes to the medicare costs, the congressman has stated that he did every page of that bill. that he would not change a thing with that bill. however, we do see there are a number of changes that have been made or delays that he has supported. when it comes to that $716 billion in medicare costs, that was a number that comes from the congressional budget office.
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maybe you just need to walk down the hall and visited with them to see if that is accurate or not. >> lets move on. >> turning to the economy. the two things we hear most often, one is that it benefits businesses and high income americans that the expectation that they will create more and better jobs, yet middle income americans spend more and stimulate the economy. which one of these works better? >> when it comes the economy, i have my own way. it is exactly what we have done here and i were. the iowa way is working. -- here in iowa. those policies that i have implemented -- the first is by lowering taxes on all iowans. we have the largest tax cut in
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iowa history, 4.4 billion dollars to i would taxpayers. two iowa taxpayers. we have balanced the budget. because of these great policies that we have put into place, the iowa economy is booming. we have been able to create 150,000 new jobs in iowa. unemployment is down from over 6% to 4.5% in iowa. that means more of our neighbors and friends are going to work in providing for their families every day. if you look at the congressman's record, he is supporting failed policies, higher taxes, more job killing growth regulation, and that is why unemployment has gone up. in the past eight years. >> which of the purchase do you think works best -- of the approaches you think works best? >> the most important job for
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the next senator is to fight for working-class families. if 300,000 islands would get a -- iowans would get a pay raise by simply increasing the minimum wage to $10 and $.10 an hour that tells me a lot of iowans are missing out on this booming economy. she not only wants to not support raising the minimum wage, she wants to repeal the federal minimum wage, and she does not want to raise the statement among wage. -- the state minimum wage. that means that these iowans will continue to be left out by -- of this recovery. i think it is important to focus on job creation that will benefit iowans and not wall street investment bankers. the land she has laid out -- the plans that she has laid out consistently does that. privatizing social security, talking about an investment strategy that is not going to create the types of jobs we need. we need to invest in our infrastructure.
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we need to invest in our manufacturing base, because that is what is going to create jobs in iowa and condiment our economy. -- and complement our economy. every dollar we invest in infrastructure increases the national gdp by $1.60. every billion dollars we invest creates 25 jobs. >> thank you. i expect you want to respond. >> yes. i grew up working minimum-wage jobs. i understand and believe that we need a minimum wage. i believe that can support that. however, i believe that needs to be set by the state, because what is good for iowa is not necessarily what is right for california or new york. i do believe that the states need to set that. >> do you want to respond to that? >> 60% of iowans who would get a pay raise by raising the minimum wage, 50% of them are over the
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age of 30, many of them have children and are depending on the jobs. that is why my promise is to go to washington, raise the minimum wage. senator ernst is not think that minimum wages or problem. my promise is that it is your priority. >> thank you. moving from wages, lets talk taxes. everyone can agree that something needs to be done to simple by the tax code. -- to simplify the tax code. it's 8000 pages or so. what do you say should be done? what deductions should be eliminated? what simplification's could be implement it? -- implemented? should the taxi flat or flatter? -- should the tax b-flat or flatter? do you think the tax burdens should be shifted?
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>> i brought in a nonpartisan group called the concorde coalition to have townhall meetings so that we could talk about how the federal government raises money and spends money. if you ask everybody in the room, how many of you thinks the tax code needs to be simplified, every hand goes up. and you start talking about specifics. how many of you would like to give up your charitable contributions to church? hands go down. how many of you want to give up your home mortgage? hands go down. we need to have a meaningful conversation where we put all of this on the table and talk about the trade-offs. making things simpler. what i do not support is the proposal that the party -- tea party, a national sales tax. why? the people who will be hardest hit are the working class iowans who will be paying 23% national sales tax, 6% state sales tax,
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and it will get them most severely. that is why that type of misguided proposal is not the solution to simplifying our tax problems. the solution is that republican and democrats need to come together and solve the problem. >> i have not endorsed any tax plan. i want to make that clear. what i do believe is that iowans need to keep more of their paychecks in their own pockets. my family worked very hard. i know many families work very hard. lets allow them to make decisions on how their spending their paychecks. i do believe that we need to lower taxes immediately on our hard-working families. whether that is fairer, flatter, or simpler, i am ready to have that discussion. this is where you will see a
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clear contrast between the congressman and myself. i have voted for one of the largest tax decreases in iowa history. as i stated before, we are saving i would tax payers $4.4 -- billion over the next 10 iowa taxpayers 4.4 years. the congressman has voted for one of the largest tax increases in the united states history. that hurts all of us. we need to lower taxes immediately, but work in a long-term manner to fix the tax code. >> what should be done, you talked about having a meeting, can you tell me some specifics? what deductions should be eliminated? >> part of the challenge is when you get people in the room and start saying, lets eliminate this trade you have to look at how much revenue that is going
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to eliminate and what you're going to do to replace it with. >> how do you feel? what are some of your feelings about this? we want to know what you think? >> i think we need to start by eliminating corporate tax loopholes that reward companies for shipping jobs overseas. that is something that should have been done it long time ago. we need to do it now. one of the other things we should have done, we should have given the government the ability to negotiate lower drug prices when that prescription drug or was passed, because that would put billions of dollars of revenue into the treasury, and then we can start eliminating some of these other things are talking about very -- talking about. >> you talk about lowering taxes, i just want to follow-up on that, how you lower taxes? >> you start by working in a bipartisan manner. we knew need to sit down and
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talk about these issues. i am a member of the minority party in the state senate. yet, we were able to sit down and work through this and lower taxes on hard-working iowans. yes, we need to close loopholes. i don't think anybody disagrees with that. flatter, fair, and simpler. we need to cut spending in the federal government to. with the economy growing, our text from will be fixed. -- our tax problem will be fixed. >> thank you. we talked about the difficulty in coming together on taxes. another difficult issue facing all of america is immigration. you believe that undocumented immigrants are a drain on law-enforcement? or are they a source of needed labor and entrepreneurship that helps the economy?
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how will you act on that? >> thank you. america is the greatest nation in the world, which is why so many families want to come to america and do better. when i was young woman, i participated in an exchange program with the soviet union. the families i stayed with did not talk to me about prices. they talk to me about what it was like to be un-american for they so badly wanted our freedom. i understand why people want to immigrate to the united states, but we are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. i believe we need to enforce those laws. first, we need to secure the border. second, we need to enforce the laws. over the long term, we need to modernize our legal immigration system.
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we do have a need for workers here in the united states. i disagree with the congressman when it comes to issues of immigration. i don't support amnesty. i certainly don't support executive action to grant and the state. -- grant amnesty. >> is it a law enforcement problem? >> this is another great example where key party obstructionism is keeping us from getting this problem solved. the senate passed an overwhelming reform, 14 republican senators voted for it, to address the long-standing problems. it increased border security. it increased the ability for people who are living here to find a pathway to citizenship, not through amnesty, but by admitting they broke the law, paying a fine, going to the back
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of the line and solving this problem. i talked to dairy farmers and i withdrew depend on immigrant -- in iowa who depend on immigrant labor when they used to have a fired man who grew up -- a hired man who grew up in the united states. i talk to the corn companies. 30% are immigrant labor. high-tech companies are in desperate need. we educate them, and they get sent back home. senator, will you join john mccain and senator rubio to call on john boehner to pass this bill? >> we are a nation of laws. we have wonderful immigrants here. i don't support amnesty. i do support bringing a lot of these illegal immigrants, a 11.5 million of them, forward, but not granting them amnesty.
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we have 5 million people waiting in line right now to receive united states citizenship. we need to honor that commitment. >> the response? >> senator rubio and senator mccain did not vote for amnesty. amnesty as when you break the law and there are no consequences. that is why they voted for this bill. it has tough consequences. it includes an and mission that you broke the law. -- it includes an admission that you broke the law. >> one more question before you move on. what does any's legislation pursue, support, or sponsor at the federal level that deals with abortion, abortion funding, or drugs connected to abortion, or contraception? >> what i won't do is support the type of legislation that senator ernst introduced in iowa that would ban all forms of abortion, that would have
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prevented certain forms of contraception from being available to hire women, that -- to iowa women would have prevented in vitro fertilization and prosecuted doctors for performing legal procedures. i don't think it is the role of government to get in between women and their physicians in making decisions related to their health care. that is what i won't support. >> very good. >> i support life. i believe in life. that is a discussion that we need to have. the amendments that are being referenced either congressman would not do any of the things that you stated they would do. that amendment is simply a statement that i support life. my faith has shaped me on this issue. it is a very personal issue. i think that it is something that we will continue to disagree on. i will support life.
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the congressman believes and partial birth abortion. these are the things that will continue to disagree on. we can disagree on them severally. -- civility. >> senator ernst, i respect your faith. i have my own faith that is very deep and personal to me. lets be clear, the cedar rapids gazette did a fact check on the amendment you introduced and said it would do all the things that i said it would. it would ban forms of contraception. it would prevent people from getting in vitro fertilization. you personally said that doctors who perform those procedures, under your bill, should be prosecuted. that is the reality. that is what the cedar rapids gazette said. >> that is only if legislation was passed. this amendment was a statement of life. my favorite shaped me on that. -- my faith has shaped me on
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that. when it does come to a woman's access to contraception, i will always stand with women on affordable access to contraception. again, that is something that congressman braley would mislead our women voters on. i do believe in a women's right to contraception. >> we want to thank you for those answers. we are going to begin the next part of our debate with questions from viewers and readers, plus questions from twitter submitted during this broadcast. if you would like to say that a -- to submit a question, use the #1adebate. # >> my name is jake. i am a junior. you said you would like to eliminate that apartment of education. what implications does this have for students who received pell grants and student loans?
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>> that is a great question. it does not do anything to those who received programs and student loans. those are programs that are necessary for our college students. they can easily -- when it comes be housed in the department of treasury but when it comes to to the department of education, 94% of those employed at the department of education at the federal level were deemed by the department as nonessential. i would rather see the dollars that go to those nonessential employees go directly to the state, so they can be utilized by our teachers, administrators and making sure that our iowa students receive a great education. >> jake, thank you for that question. your question? >> i am a junior here. i have majors in religion in spanish. my question is for you congressman.
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in light of new terrorist threats, what specific advice would you give president obama? >> the most important advice is to make sure that you do everything you can to engage our partners in the middle east and our allies around the world in dealing with his global terrorist threat. i thought it was very encouraging that last week an arab-muslim fighter pilot was fighting. -- who is a woman was fighting in the sorties with u.s. fighters. we need to engage that we are doing this not as the world's police force, but as a community of nations bringing to bear the full feet of world opinion on -- the full weight of world opinion on these horrific acts that we keep seeing. that is one of the most important things a president can do in addition to keeping congress engage. only congress can declare work a -- war.
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>> thank you for those answers. and thanks to the studio audience. we move on now to some other questions from viewers and readers that have been submitted. we received dozens of them. candidates will get 45 seconds to answer these questions. a chance for rebuttal, if needed. the first question goes to congressman braley. >> why are you opposed to tort reform for people suing for damage is a medical malpractice cases? >> i think we need to be doing more to protect iowa consumers and families, and not taking away their rights under the constitution. one of the things that we need to be talking about is when people are making radical proposals to take away your rights, you need to be thinking about what that is going to mean when something happens to me. i think that something that is important to iowans.
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i think i once -- iowans have always known that they need to hold people accountable. that is why i don't support those proposals. >> do you not believe that defensive medicines and -- is a significant part? of why health care is so high? >> there are a host of different factors that contribute to the cost of madison -- medicine. we are seeing significant growth in medical cost to level off and not be as high. that is in part due to some of the measures we put in place with the affordable care act to cut wasteful spending. we know there are certain parts of the country where there is a lot of spending. that iowans end up paying for. >> thank you. we have received a number of
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e-mails about client may change -- climate change. what you believe about climate change? what would you do about it? >> i grew up drinking well water on a farm. my dad is a conservationist. most iowa farmers are phenomenal conservationist. i do believe protecting our environment for our generation and are children. i drive a hybrid carpet my family recycles everything. i don't know the science behind climate change but i cannot say one way or another whether it is man-made or not. i have heard arguments on both sides. i do believe in protecting our environment, without regulations coming out of the epa. >> you do accept that climate change does exist? >> i do believe our climate is
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changing. again, i'm not sure what the impact of man is on that climate change. >> look, there is a significant difference between us on this issue. senator ernst was to abolish the epa and clean water act. i think that is a misguided decision. we know i was farmers do a great job in trying to preserve the land they farm. stewardship is a big part of farming. the reality is that iowans want a strong, robust agricultural economy and clean air, clean water. they want to be able to hunt, fish, hunt, and bike. if you don't accept that this is a real problem, which it sounds like senator ernst doesn't, many iowa companies believe it strongly and think that if we don't do something, it will harm our economy.
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>> a chance to respond to >> thank you. again, iowans know what our natural resources are and how best to protect those natural resources. however, congressman braley stood with the epa in voting against the rule that would have protected our farmers from epa federal government overreach. he tried to mislead iowa voters. by saying he would fight against this rule. >> i have to respond to that. i voted against the epa having the power to regulate. ditches and farm plots. what i did not vote for was throwing everything out and going back to square one. i will farmers have been waiting -- iowa farmers have been waiting for guidance under the clean water act, and that is what that bill would have done. >> lets move on to another
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reader question. how can we eliminate or reduce the national debt without raising taxes are cutting entitlements? can you give that answer and 45 seconds? >> it has to be about the approach. that is the whole focus of these debt reduction workshops where iowans came down and sat down with their neighbors and talk through the same types of decisions we have to deal with in congress. those are the hard choices that need to be made. it has to be a balanced approach. when iowans face financial problems, they tighten their belts, but often times they go often look for a part-time job to help supplement their income. what we have to do is bring that balance approach and find those wasteful programs. we should be reviewing every federal program for potential fraud and waste, and getting rid of those bad programs, and we
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also need to look at increasing our economy. >> we do have to reduce that. -- our debts. in the eight years that congressman braley has been in washington he has voted eight times to raise our debt ceiling. our debt has doubled in the time that he has been in washington, d.c. we need to take a good, hard look at the way our federal government is funded. we need to eliminate waste, even within the department of defense. we can find examples there of contracting where we could cut back to save dollars. next, if we look at medicare. justin 2013, $60 billion of waste that was identified. maybe last, we should cut congressional dollars if we don't get a budget approved.
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-- congressional salaries. >> if it's ok, i would like to move on before run out of time. this one from an eye with your. -- from an iowa viewer who says -- your campaign website talks about job killing regulations crushing small businesses -- a topic you mentioned earlier. can you tell it's some specific regulations that are hurting i went employers today? -- iowa employers today? >> cap and trade would be one example. not only is it an increase tax to iowans, but it would also cost iowans an additional thousand dollars in utility costs every year. this is something that was supported by congressman braley. other areas would be the epa, as it applies to the clean water act, and the overreach the epa has. if you look at the role that allows the federal government to come in and regulate water on
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farmers lands, they would have to go to the federal government and ask permission. >> each of these items that senator ernst just mentioned are not law. she talked about cap and trade. she talked about the proposed rule on clean water. it is a proposed rule. i have been working to make sure that it is a balance rule and is not harmful to farmers and agriculture. that is not become a real yet. >> you mentioned rules and regulations. these are things that the congressman has supported which would kill jobs in iowa. i believe we need to do what is best for iowans and stand up to those rules and regulations.
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>> congressman braley, where do you stand today on the keystone pipeline? if your position has changed, why? >> i am opposed to the keystone xl pipeline. when the pipeline was first brought before congress and was being discussed, in terms of the benefits it would provide, there were a lot of promises made. that is why i voted for in committee. when it came for vote on a floor, i look at those promises and they did not live up to what was supposed to happen to the was no assurance that the oil was going to be sold here in the united states. there was no guarantee that it was going to create a significant number of jobs that would benefit iowans. for me, on energy costs, and you need to look at whether it will be reducing our dependence on foreign oil, promoting renewable energy, 75,000 renewable energy jobs and i were, it did not pass a test.
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>> you say philosophically -- you support the renewable fuel standard. -- and you opposed subsidies. how long would you make an exception for the renewable fuel standard? >> i think we are on equal footing. if you look at all the subsidies that are going out to oil and many other sectors in the energy industry, we need to be on equal footing. i am someone who will continue to support -- the rff. i grew up on a southwest iowa farm and my father is a farmer. one in six jobs are created by the iowa farmer, and that is why i am proud to have the endorsement of them. i will continues to port that -- support that and will do that is your next united states senator. >> i'm not sure that is what senator ernst told the koch brothers when she went to their secret meetings.
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in a perfect world, it would not exist. she said she was opposed to the renewable fuel standard. my support of the renewable fuel standard has been clear, strong, and unequivocal. in my first term, i voted to triple it. i stood up to big oil. >> i would like to respond. congressman braley you are not running against these other people. you are running against me. i am a mother, soldier, and an independent leader. you are being funded by tom stier, a california billionaire and environmentalists. remember, please, you're running against me, not against any of these other groups. you are running against me. >> i realize that. president obama's name is not on the ballot. i am echoing to go president
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-- i am not going to oh president obama anything on election day could you will oh the koch brothers everything. >> please continue. [laughter] >> i nobody anything except the oh iowan people. i will stand up and do what is right for iowans, not california extremist. not harry reid. not president obama. the iowa people. i am someone that has stood up for my community, my state, and my nation. i have not left my rule roots, -i have not left my rural roots but i think the congressman has but i think the congressman has, left those behind in the beltway. >> 15 seconds to wrap it up. >> i have never forgotten where i came from. that is why i voted to pass a five-year farm bill. every major farm group and i was supported it. that is why the eye with corn
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growers are supporting me in this election. i have not forgotten my rule values. -- my rural values. >> may i respond? >> am going to ask you one more question. we would like to turn a question submitted life during the broadcast from twitter. this is a question for joni k. ernst. you have stated your against a national minimum wage. what should i was minimum wage be? what should the iowa minimum wage be? >> that is something that is to be set by the state, because our cost of living is low. currently, it is seven dollars ratifies and's an hour. -- $7.25 an hour. we can do better for our iowa families. we can grow i was economy and -- our economy and make sure
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that we have good paying jobs to go out to. making sure our college graduates are finding jobs. with the policies that have been supported by congressman braley, in 2013, 11% of our college graduates could not find employment. we need to make sure that our hard-working iowan families financially get up in the morning, go out to a great thing job, and provide for their family. >> senator ernst has made it clear that she is opposed to a federal minimum wage. she would not vote to raise it. she would vote to repeal it. she would not raise the state minimum wage. that means that if you're working a full-time job on minimum wage, you will be making $15,000 a year. i think that is wrong. she has called the federal minimum wage ridiculous. you know what i think is ridiculous? that families working full-time in the state is making $15,000 a year. >> lets continue on with one more twitter question good we are almost out of time. why do you think you and the
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democratic party are better qualified to make decisions for me and other i once, such as health care. >> i am a bridge builder, not a bridge burner. i have a proven track record of working with republicans. the very first bill i entered his greater the job training at in biofuel through the iowan community colleges. i got that passed by working with a republican from alabama. i work with republicans are minnesota, because it benefits the iowa national guard that was being denied them by the pentagon did i worked with a republican from georgia to keep i would manufacturing jobs here, instead of having them go overseas. i have a proven history of working across the aisle with republicans in the house and senate, because that is what iowans deserve from a senator. senator ernst would have voted to shut down the federal government with ted cruz , she has called president obama
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a dictator, and things it did -- and thanks impeachment should be on the table. >> i would like to respond. congressman, you threaten to sue a neighbor over chickens that came onto your property. how do we expect to believe that you will work across the aisle when you can't work across your yard? >> 10 seconds. >> that is not true. i never threaten to sue anyone. it is not true. >> we have 30 seconds left. we want to ask you some quick questions. >> if you're elected to the senate on who would you call? >> chuck grassley. >> is this country receiving aid that you would cut off? >> i would have to look at that. >> which of the presidential candidates do you identify with?
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>> chuck grassley. i wouldn't urge them to do it. >> i think that the field is not shaped up yet. i don't know her you can identify the candidates. >> we want the candidate to bring us together. >> thank you to the candidates. thank you to simpson college and thank you to the people here. we appreciate it. thank you. [applause] >> c-span's campaign 20 debate coverage continues. tuesday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span. the second and final televised debate between the candidates running for texas governor. wendy davis and gregg abbott. that will be live tuesday, 9:00 the minnesotay,
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governor's debate. on thursday, we will bring you the oklahoma governor's debate between the republican commented . saturday night on c-span at 8 p.m. eastern, live coverage of the montana u.s. house debate between the democrat and the former state senator republican. c-span campaign 20, more than 100 debates for the control of congress. microsoft cofounder bill gates talked earlier today with mike allen about the outbreak of a bowl in west africa and the bill and melinda gates foundation pledged $50 million to fight the deadly virus. that conversation is part of the lessons from leaders series and you'll be able to watch that tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span.
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tonight, federal trade commission or on net neutrality, privacy and data security. >> big data is the tool and it can be used well or poorly. there are many benefits that can come from big data like consumer benefits and there will be rate insight in certain areas, many areas, but some that are top of mind are in health care, and other kinds of research and underserved populations in providing new insights. these are the more difficult to solve problems that we face in society. there are risks from big data so that is true. i think if you take pieces of separate pieces of information and assemble them into a profile, that may give sensitive insight into a consumer. you have all these benefits and you have some risks. what do you do then? >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on "the communicators," on c-span2.
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c-span 2015 student can competition is underway. this nationwide competition for middle and high school students will award one to 50 price, totaling $1000. created -- create a five-minute to seven minute documentary on the topic. it must be submitted by january 20, 2015. go to student for more information. grab a camera and get started today. the phoenix arizona v.a. medical center held a townhall meeting in mid-september for veterans and their families to ask questions and share comments about their medical care and experiences. this particular site was the center for the department of veterans affairs inspector general's rate port which had reports about long wait times and other systemic problem's delivering patient treatment. event contains some
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language viewers may find offensive. that we willforms be holding on a regular basis and the secretary announced he wants to do these on a quarterly basis. is that better? we will duties on a quarterly basis and i will be here for the next time and back to dayton, i will do them in ohio. i am recommending to whoever comes behind me that we hold these out in the community and will be moving around the city of phoenix and going to some of the out patient cities where we have outpatient clinics on those kind of areas. let's start off by asking everyone to stand and we will have a moment of silence to send our thoughts to those who are fighting the war on terror.
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thank you and let's remain standing and join me in the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of united states of america and to the republic for which it stands one nation, under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. thank you. i want to take a moment and acknowledge the time of year when we think about our pow and mia veterans and i did not know if we had any former pows or family members in the audience that wanted to stand. thank you and we will keep them in our thoughts. i am gland, the director of the dayton ohio v.a. and i was asked to come to phoenix to help out for four months. i arrived on july 9 in the end
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of my tour will be the sixth of november. towas an honor to be asked come and help leave the organization as we continue to this is and important way for us to receive feedback and hear good things we are doing as well as things you need us to do better on. we are excited to hear your feedback and i want to thank the family members that support you and we know that it is a labor of love to work with helping our veterans. i also want to thank our stakeholders because it does take a community of folks to work with all of the needs we have before our veterans and many things the v.a. does and things that v.a. can't do and we have a nice partnership here in phoenix with many of our stakeholders are it i want to thank them forever support. there was an example where we
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were embracing our congressional delegation and the congresswoman was showing us a wonderful veterans resource guide in partnership with the v.a.. lets -- it lists all the benefits for veterans offered by the v.a. and the state and the city and other nonprofits. it's a very nice resource you should have. office willwoman's make sure you get a copy if you contact her. other parts of the v.a. and we have folks in the benefits office? the young lady in the back, if you have any benefits questions, we will be having her try to address them either as a group response are individually. if you have those kinds of questions and national cemetery administration or service? for those that honor veterans upon their death. with thought we would have them questionsf you have
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about that, we got the cemetery administration we can work with. i wanted to give you an update on some things that have been going on at the medical center and we will open it up for some questions and feedback. it's important for everybody to know that the access issues at a fixedremain in condition. that may not be the right way to say that the we have solved the access problem and we now have provided the resources we need to ensure that we are properly using the scheduling packages, the near list in the electronic waitlist and so far, for 7000 veterans, they have been contacted you wanted to get care at the v.a. in phoenix and we have been able to get them scheduled in. we also have been working very hard on the recommendations from the office of inspector general and of the 13 recommendations that were specific to phoenix, 10 have been corrected and we are submitting documentation to the ig to support removing those
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conditions from their report. i also want to make sure everybody knows about appendix k and that document is a response in writing to many of the concerns that were raised in the report and there is a lot of good information there about what phoenix has done in response to those findings. also this week, we were in washington providing the chairman's house veterans affairs committee information about the ig report and there was almost six hours of testimony which was really unprecedented. a lot of good information was committeeh the h-vac so we wanted to make sure people took a look at that on c-span. our secretary mcdonald is working on a plan that he will be rolling out on veterans day. he calls it the road to veterans day in every couple of weeks, there are more initiatives that he is showcasing.
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we are all expecting to see a wonderful announcement of some good programs that he will be implementing on veterans day. we're also working on the veterans choice act. we had a briefing on that this week. we were looking at early november, probably around veterans day to announce some actions with that as far as how you use the choice cards and things of that nature. secretary mcdonald has emphasized a recommitment of all v.a. employees to eye care, that stands for integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and commitment and we are committing ourselves to those values and living them every day. locally, we've got some actions that will be happening in the fall. ae will be the beginning of valet parking system we will have here in november. this will help with the issue of arcing at this campus and allow you to drop your car off and
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have a cap save for you and re-delivered to you at the end of your visit. we also have a construction rocket that will begin on a parking garage. that will be given the fall as well and we are trying to lease some parking spaces in the community to help with that transition. hopefully, we will have some remediation through our parched -- parking deficiencies. where also working in the community to leave additional space for primary care. at the end of this month, we hope to sign a lease in the scottsdale area, about 7000 square-foot building, that we are working hard on. leases all 200 other totaling 50,000 square feet that we hope to have signed in the first quarter of this coming fiscal year and be able to open them up in the spring and summer. in the choice act, we have a very large health care center of 300,000 square feet. that will be completed probably in 2019.
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we want to try to move on some of the smaller leases to provide some help for the space problem we are having here. we also made some progress on hiring additional providers for our patient aligns care team in the primary care area and for the first time in phoenix, we have all her primary care teams staffed up and we have six additional teams that we have commitments for and arrival dates for positions that we will be staffing those groups as well. we are really doing a nice job trying to get the staffing issues fix for the area and provide the teams that we need to take care of our veterans finally, there has been a lot of concern of our staffing lever at our outpatient clinic. we are taking care of covering that clinic or using our tele medicine program.
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we will be looking at other nurse practitioners. i want to turn it over to my acting public affairs officer to talk about some of the ground rules for today's session and then we will open it up for you to give us some feedback. >> good evening.
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i am the acting public affairs officer at the phoenix va medical center. just a few ground rules. it will be short , simple, sweet. we have two microphones set up here. we would like folks to step up to the microphone. in the interest of time try to make statements as concise as possible. we will take comments and answers if we can get them tonight and if not we will be getting the answers to you as soon as we can so the process will be one question from the left and one question from the right and we will see what we can do to get through this evening. any questions for me at this point or step up to the microphone. yes, sir. [inaudible] >> usually what happens is we have to set some sort of a time in a meeting. we are not restricted to an hour. as mr. cortie mentioned the good news is in the future these will be a regular recurring quarterly meeting at this facility
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throughout the va so some of the folks are starting to line up and we will start with questions. yes sir. >> let me say thank you for your efforts. i am sure everyone appreciates an honest effort here and there. my concern is i have been misdiagnosed. i have waited long time to tell mine and i'll bet i'm telling some of your stories. i've been misdiagnosed many times in the years in and this hospital that almost resulted in my death. i am facing a situation right now where for at least two years they have diagnosed me as having pneumonia. all at once they say ocoee are -- oh, we are going to look
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closer. after two years of this, oh you have end-stage cancer. i try to address this by going to the cancer center of america. they are doctors here are behind the times. their cancer doctors are so far behind they are not aware of a corporation called t. jan which is a genetic research for cancer treatment. when i asked about these new treatments, the oncology doctors here laughed at me and said that's all garbage. i need, in my opinion i would like to meet very much at this critical time in my life right now, not next week, right now, i need a referral to the cancer center of america and anyone who is facing a situation like mine needs the same kind of referral. we don't have time. their motto around this hospital is okay i have a carotid artery
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that's narrowed. what do they do? we need to watch that. they haven't looked at it for five years. i have an aneurysm in my stomach. what are we going to do about it guys? we are going to watch that. so years and years of misdiagnosed and in adequate treatment has led me to this position right here tonight. i am darned angry. i am darned angry and i would like a referral tonight. cancer treatment center of america has given me phone numbers and contacts that they said they would be more than willing to negotiate some kind of an agreement with the va. i have those numbers. does anyone hear me? thank you. [applause] > > i don't know if i got your name but we need to get your
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contact information so we can get with you and try to help you. if i could have one of the staff staff -- have you got that there are? that would be great. thank you sir. >> also on hand tonight we have a couple of our patient advocates and social workers that could help some of you discussed some of the care, your personal care, your family members care. >> that is what the advocate does, cover stuff up. >> those folks are in the topaz clinic so if you would like to speak to a patient advocate or a social worker this evening we can arrange for that. we will go to the next question here. yes sir. >> good evening sir. i am an army veteran. i am william mclaughlin. i have a problem with the va on outsourcing. as you can see i have had
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neck surgery about a month and a half ago but it took a six-month wait to get that surgery with excruciating pain and many visits to our doctor. i went through this on july 28 and i'm having complications on my left side, the same things i have on my right. i saw my surgeon that was outsourced to good sam just on tuesday and he ordered a c. a. t. scan with contrast so i started checking on this yesterday and today. my pcp doesn't have it. fee basis does matter. -- doesn't have it. i called back to the doctor's office. they said it's in the processing center and they have up to 14 days to process it. i asked, why? for insurance verification and everything else. i said i'm outsourced from the va. it's a guaranteed payment.
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i can't give it to you so they'll have to wait. -- you will have to wait. i go to the patient advocate. they could not do anything outside the va i'm told. the va outsourced me so if i have problems with being outsourced to another doctor or another hospital that va ought to be backing me up. i should not be the one running back and forth from the va to this outsourced doctor for medications or anything else. i shouldn't be doing the legwork. our fee-based section has 30 given unsatisfactory -- about triwest. -- has expressed unsatisfactory west and iout tri have not heard anything about them good. i was scheduled to go to barrels -- barrows in the beginning and had everything set up but that rug was pulled out from under date me when i was told i had to go to triwest.
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so the choice of where we want to go as veterans is not there for us. it's not there. this outsourcing problem needs to be addressed and we need to be backed up. if we are having problems with the doctors. >> i agree with you. we have put the veteran in the middle of it rather than be an advocate for you. it should be one-stop shopping. it should be one call to the va and that's it instead of having it do all the legwork. >> is going through triwest and the doctor is going to be obsessed -- outsourced from and you're sitting there and all you have to tear coming out of your eyes because you are in so much pain. i will admit and i'm proud of it that i may employee of the va. >> thank you sir. [applause] >> i am steven robert shakopee senior and i'm madder than hell. i asked for a biopsy for 18 months. it took my wife threatening
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a nurse practitioner with legal action to get that biopsy. your urology department tried to force treatment down my throat that would have killed me. the whole 18 months they treated me with antibiotics, high doses which gave me other health problems and they don't want to take care of it. they didn't want to pay the bill at the mayo for the right type of procedure for my cancer. i had a heart attack. i waited 45 minutes on the phone for somebody to answer. they said call an ambulance. we will take care of it. they still haven't paid the bill. that was in 2010 and i'm madder than hell. i have another question. the urology department as it was were they taking kickbacks from radiation in chandler? i have had six people that have the same problem as me. also, why is sharon hellman
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still earning six figures on paid administrative leave? isn't it time to stop the clock? [applause] stopped the clock. that's all i have to say. [applause] > > do you think you can follow that? >> i don't think i can follow that. my name is jake. on november 17, 2011 i came here to have my right rotator cuff repaired. during the procedure a surgeon encountered a solid tumor that he wasn't expecting to find. without my knowledge or consent he removed the entire tumor in one piece without first performing a biopsy. a tumor turned out to be benign meaning it didn't need to come out. unfortunately when he removed the tumor he caused a severe
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injury to my axillary nerve which prevents me now from lifting my right arm. after the procedure, the surgeon refused to acknowledge the injury. he refused to order any test and he refused to make any referrals. i saw three nerve repair specialists outside the va at my own expense and they all agreed that the injury could not be repaired. we sense the slides of the tumor to ucla were where the chief of pathology found the nerve embedded in the tumor. this injury destroyed my own career as an orthopedic spine surgeon. i filed a claim for economic damages but your regional council sat on my claim for six months and then sent me a denial letter telling me that my current disability is my own fault.
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i then filed a lawsuit under the federal tort claims act and the assistant u.s. attorney who was assigned to defend the va has done nothing but attack me personally and professionally for the past year. meanwhile, the surgeon who did this has escaped scrutiny. at the time of my surgery he was a part-time employee working here one day a week. earlier this year the va rewarded him with a full-time job. so i have two questions for you. first, what are you doing about the inadequate care of this facility? wait times mean nothing if the person you are going to see is going to maim or kill you and second -- [applause] second, what are you doing about the process that veterans have to go through when they are injured at the va because congress did not pass the federal tort claims act so that veterans who are injured at va hospitals can be further
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victimized by your regional council and members of the u.s. attorney's office. >> thank you. [applause] >> i don't think i can do better than that. i have a situation here that kind of blends between here and claims. i have been bounced back and forth. turn up the volume, will you? i hate this thing. is it on? it's got to be. anyhow i have been bounced back and forth. i came in here, i came in here to the facility with a claim form and i don't want to get anybody in trouble here. it's not my intent to get anybody in trouble but i have been bounced back and forth between the hospital here and barrow neurological and all i
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keep doing is getting nowhere and they keep coming back. they want to have a test. no we are not sure, we have to have a test. the law -- the last test i got, i happened to look it up him wine and what is it due? it does nothing. how much did it cost the va? how much did it cost everybody here? it cost everybody here are shot in my arm for $3000. radioactive iodine. what happened was that shot? on the note for me to get that shot, i was informed that i am claustrophobic and i cannot lay down for a half-hour or 45 minutes motionless on the table. i need a sedative. guess what? nobody signed the thing. where do you think that $3000 shot went?
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right down the toilet and where am i? right down the toilet with it because i'm no closer to getting my claim satisfied. i want to have if it's possible get a referral out of the situation to mayo clinic. i'm tired of bouncing around between here and barrow. i'm not saying barrow is not good and not saying it's not good here but this is getting crazy. i'm two years on this now. not as long as some people but it's getting old. it's getting old. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. are we going to be able to get his information and? we will get back with you sir. >> hello sir. i want to thank you for coming tonight because the best way to solve the problem is face-to-face with the veterans. i come here tonight to stop one of the abusive policies that's causing veterans to commit suicide and killing veterans. veterans in an abusive situation
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and with a pack team, doesn't matter if the pack team leaders are abusing the patient or of the nurses are abusing the patient and it doesn't matter if the doctors are abusing the patient. any of those three can cause a patient hell and can you require a veteran to wait 90 days before he can switch to another provider and you assign him another provider for a whole year that means they are going to get abuse or greater than the one they left and they will be stuck for a whole year without -- with that abuser. this policy in memo hc 02 started by sharon hellman, the police queen. we all know her i think. but the whole thing is i know a lot of veterans and they are all suffering because they are being thrown through hoops and stuff like that in order to get the treatment they really need. i know of veteran that has a brain tumor. they are doing everything but getting an mri for two years. i think the last time they had
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them doing a sewing class so he could get the mri. now he has a brain tumor that they can't treat and his losing his eyesight in these losing his hearing. these scams are making veterans wait 30 to 90 days to switch from abusive doctors and it's not right. these scams are making veterans wait 30 to 90 days to switch from abusive doctors and it's not right. this is why veterans are committing suicide because they are stuck in abusive situations. don't get me wrong, there are a lot of good doctors and a lot of good nurses here and a lot of good pack teams here but the abusers here are the teflon abusers because they have -- the -- nothing to fear from the people in the veterans administration who cover up the situation. i know the fbi is looking at this and i know the fbi is covering this up because i have been on the fbi's case for many years. they are trying to stop these deaths at the va. i know what i'm talking about because i thought corruption in the united states government and i united states government nipp and as his government and the supreme court.
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i know the cover-up is going down. they are swiping and deleting my information. i can give her my information. they stole it out of my files. this is going on. i don't know if you come in the fbi, the cia, the nsa i could care less, you have to stop this nonsense. >> patient advocates are trained how to change the records. >> let me say something about the patient's advocate. they are overworked and understaffed. >> they are affirmative action employees. they do the same job month after month after month. >> they send all the complaints to the director and which the director director ignores other patient advocates have to do the same job month after month after month.
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for some reason they don't want to change that situation or do anything about it. so we suffer and continue to suffer. if you could do something about this policy to allow veterans to change their abusive providers instead of being stuck with a provider for 90 days with no medication, which kills veterans and a lot of them commit suicide because they see no way out. also just tried in 90 days without your medication and see how many veterans die from that. >> is that the actual policy that you are reading from? can i see that? >> i got a copy for everybody. i will give it to you. thank you. is the inspector general here tonight. >> no, no. >> yeah, well let me just make one last comment. >> yeah, well let me just make one last comment. the inspector general -- says no veteran is dying from time delays from getting their medication. no veteran is dying from the misdiagnosed or late diagnosed or whatever diagnosed but it
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seems very strange to me that the media, the propaganda parents say that the whistleblowers are wrong. the whistleblowers are not wrong. in fact they underestimated the number of deaths. [applause] that's all they want is a fair deal. we serve their country. that's all we want, not to be served by tough line of users who have no worries about losing their jobs no matter what type of abuse they do to the patient. this is a setup like i said. he may have the best doctor in the world. if you have an abusive pack team you are still screwed because by the time he gets from the pack team to the doctor it's a 180-degree change of story and then they send you down to the mental health department because they think you're crazy. [applause] [inaudible] >> he doesn't trust you.
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>> you said it better than i did. now the situation is, we can't keep on doing this. it's just got to stop. it's why veterans are so frustrated here tonight. they come here and they tell you and nothing happens. so i suggest you take a patient advocates office, double it and then triple it and then quadruple the patient advocacy office. they don't have a chance. if you could pass on a message to the inspector general, tell him and i think i speak for a lot of people here, the inspector general has his head so far up his but he is looking at the world through his p. hole. thank you so much for talking to us. [applause] >> thank you. >> i see despite the scandal
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that we haven't lost her sense of humor. >> is not a sense of humor, it's the fact. >> i don't dispute that at all. is there a ms. karen craig here? is karen craig here? no? okay. on thursday september 4, 2014 at 10:46 a.m. a message was sent for ms. craig on your behalf mr. costie to exchange users. i'm assuming that's all hands within the va. >> that's our employee e-mail. >> the subject of this e-mail that was sent out on your behalf is called message from the interim director. more of the rest of the story. "washington post" overblown claims of deaths from waiting times at the va sent on behalf of mr. costie to the va health care system staff.
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i wanted to share the story with you from the "washington post." it's nice to see more the facts are getting out into the media. it is a "washington post" fact check article which was actually just recently itself fact checked and proven incorrect by the house va committee that proceeds to bash members of congress that basically came out and brought to light the scandal at this facility and includes my former employer represented david schweikert. along with publicans and democrats. as a bipartisan affair. this gentleman proceeds to say it was all overblown. fortunately the va committee and the fine representatives they have pretty much demolished that hearing. >> that's washington for you. >> exactly. about a week ago, about a week ago today there was an incident where there was an e-mail sent from this facility that was
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leaked to the press with private patient information on a veteran committed suicide that use this facility. it was very clear the intent of that was to undermine a representative that was running a political ad. you have the ig report that dr. sam foote and dr. mitchell called a whitewash with this one statement in their and then you have other statements were not only other va facilities that would seem to indicate that many within the va think that this scandal was overblown. you know based on the e-mail that was sent on your behalf, do you think that our congressional reps who have representatives here, do you think they got out in front of the media and over blew the scandal? thank you think that they misled and lied because it would seem from this e-mail that you are implying that. do you believe that?
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>> no, i believe the ig report found really important issues and challenges for the phoenix va and we are working on fixing them and looking for. >> why are the staff members here trying to undermine the congressional representatives? just so you all know there is another investigation of this fine facility at the hippa violation. why do staff members here try to undermine our congressional representatives? won't answer it? okay, got it. might as well just talked to the wall. have a good evening. [applause] >> yes sir, how are you doing. william quayle and i'm a vietnam vet and what this whole thing is about is disrespect of the people. last month they cancel that thing and they didn't tell anybody. i drove 55 miles and i'm glad i didn't live where you live. the whole thing is you get the
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frustration and so foreign to people. that's why we kill ourselves, because we don't know who the hell to kill and this whole facility like i say, this young lady over here, you maam, yes. the bureaucratic part of the va. they don't help you. you turn in the thing and if it's wrong they don't say oh send it back. you have to send in this. they wait for 425 days. then you get a thing insufficient evidence and if you don't find somebody that knows to tell you, you re-enter and you sit there forever. i mean that's the whole bureaucracy. if you get a paper on your desk that says you need this and this and it's not there, why wait two years? and that's all they do. if you want us dead, tell us.
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we will have a big beer party, and we will blow our brains out but it's disrespectful and the whole god thing place, we are people that were taught to make ourselves hard. we make ourselves hard and then you walk into the va you go, you get your post-traumatic stress interview and they go at the -- do you ever think about killing yourself? oh yeah many times all the time. when it's time to go i will go but then he goes to jamaica plan? no so you change the subject instead of saying do you have mental health, did you see anybody? the whole thing is they just want to keep their job and as long as they have us that's their job. this facility when you gentlemen, girls and ladies walk in here, when you walk into this place we all feel at home because we thought we were walking onto a military base. but you are with military veterans that you are in a bureaucracy. i mean it's just you know, if we don't save this thing now when we still have a lot of veterans, god help the young kids when they come back because they are going to have a lot of tours of
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duty but not a lot of people. the politicians are going to go, you can't do anything for me, son. so god bless america. [applause] >> my name is howard rice and i'm a korean veteran and i had combat missions. the reason i'm curious i do not understand how they work benefits in this va. i tried to help an awful lot of people to get benefits and i have an afro-american gentleman who's in the hospital right now. the guy was in korea. he was supposed to get its benefits and base told him we need this and we need that. you can't go back 65 years. the guy got frostbitten and everything done to him and i just don't think it's right. i know i'm here and i made a move to come because he can't even come down here.
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he just got out of the hospital. his name is will robinson and i'm really upset that the va has to take this long. and i also found out the va here doesn't do anything. i'd rather go to the dav. at least they do something over there for you. but they don't do it here and that's it. i got a better reaction down there within two months than i did here in six months. the only thing i will say is i had cancer surgery and it ran $18,000 they didn't keep me but i have to wait long enough until i finally got it done. i don't have a lot to complain about. there are people here that probably have a lot more. i'm trying to get something for unemployed ability and i've been waiting two years to get this for a lousy 10%. now i don't know if you guys have ever been on a carrier or not and i'm telling you what, came back here and i told the doctor here, my hearing is really getting kind of bad.
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he says well let me give you a hearing test. he gives me the hearing test and he says you hear fine. i said wow wait a minute. have you ever been on a carrier gonick catapult crew when the jet takes off? i will blow your ears out so don't tell me what i'm doing with my ears. he said i'm sorry we will give you a hearing aid. i set out need a hearing aid i needed compensation for what i did. i fought and finally ended up with 90% and i want that 10% and i'm unemployable now. if you think you can get a job at 82, forget it. i'm finished. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. >> good evening. united states army 83 to 86. i'm not sure if the media is aware that every year millions of men and women veterans are denied health care because their income exceeds the threshold established by the va.
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so can you tell me what is being done currently to ensure that millions of veterans and priority groups seven and eight received the health care they were promised when they swore to defend their country? >> yes, i know the priority groups six, seven and eight the ability for us to treat those groups is really based on congressional laws that are passed. the president signs them and implement them. i don't doubt there's anything going on right now for the veterans that are in those higher income brackets to try to bring more care to them. i can try to find out. >> that would be great. >> i don't know if there's anything happening right now. i know there are some coming in for some veterans. >> 37,000 combined income in phoenix. if you make more than 37,000 you don't get what you were promised.
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>> when we joined, that was no limits. >> exactly. >> that into you had to make $37,000 a year. >> i will need to get some follow-up. i really don't know what they are doing about that right now. >> thank you. >> by name is ted and i appreciate you having this meeting here with everyone that's in this room. first of all i want to say that i have been to other meetings and i keep hearing the same thing. the suffering and the pain and as long as all these vets are having these issues we are going to keep complaining. when he we joined our military ranks of service we took an oath to take care of this country and this is all that we want is the va to take care of us. that's not asking a whole lot. [applause]
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the other issue is this. listen to this. when all of you go home today, look up bonus in your dictionary. look it up. if the government award to a veteran. hey, that's us. why on earth are they giving bonuses to people that are not taking care of us? if they can provide a service they shouldn't be getting a bonus. for what? and the people above them that are covering for them, there are too many pinocchio's out there covering each other. you can't hide the truth. you can have these meetings and you will keep appearing the same things. as long as they are getting these bonuses, look at us. just look at us. look it up in the dictionary and see what it tells you. thanks. >> thank you sir. [applause]
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>> good evening. my name is bob ansell and i was in the united states navy on an aircraft carrier. i was a third class petty officer. i've been coming to the va medical center for 33 years. in the 80's things were slow but you still got care. it took a little while. all that changed when this new wing was built onto the old building in the parking lot was vastly enlarged. then the staff had the room, the tools and the resources to be organized and enough to deliver the outstanding care all the veterans enjoy today. when i had to go to a different emergency room they helped me financially. when i got a favorite team of -- valley fever, a team of specialist put me in an mri machine and they came back and said they thought i had lung tumors that they said they merely had damage to my lungs from valley fever. when i broke bones they were there for me. when i was in terrible pain they were here for me.
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when i was suicidal they gave me mental health and medications. the times i came here dying, they saved my life. very often over the years i have seen -- all i want to say is if you walk the walls of this hospital, watch and talk to the workers, doctors and administration here nowhere else will you find a more positive, caring and truly truly dedicated team of caregivers are you perhaps nowhere else in this country -- i just had to come up here today and tell the truth about this than i have. [applause] >> thank you sir. >> nothing like having flashbacks because over the period of time that i have come to the va post here,
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tucson and through the satellite clinic in prescott is nothing but a nightmare. let me explain. the only way to understand music let me write a book and let you read it because i have seen laws broken. little children did my blood sugar here and that's why i kept coming here. tucson is a diabetic didn't turn me away but wouldn't give me test strips because i had doctor down there in tucson wanted to put me on pills. i almost died of a brain tumor, misdiagnosed me. i almost died -- not the only thing that's helped me is going to outside doctors and having to pay for it myself. one of the best doctors on the planet here, dr. roger wilcox was a thoracic heart surgeon who saved my life
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because of what happened in vietnam that i never got anything for. i'm a vietnam veteran marine corps 65 to 69 in vietnam. the sixth of september i almost died simply because of the care the va was not giving me. what happened was dr. wilcox at a private practice, i get every once in a while and i'm 100% service connected, get these so growths that pop up in different places all over my body. i had another friend of mine who was in the army. he said phoenix police detective detective. we go to church at the same place and he had asked me this one time, do you ever have the things that look like a boil and it comes out looking like a little sausage thing? i said i had one before i got other marine corps. it grew in my nose and i thought i was going to die. he said well, i have this too.
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that's about the same time they started -- when you lose weight -- wait they start coming out in the fatty cells of your body. one of these growing in my leg. i thought well i'm not going to the va because if i go to the va i will bleed to death. i have had them pop and the whole side of my body, they have to be surgically removed. i saw had another one on my leg so i figured well i have to take this stuff to the dump in the city where i live and i'm going to go to john c. lincoln emergency and have them look at it. when i got there i told them what it was. most people don't know about this kind of thing. he said let me take a blood test. so he took a blood test and he said man, here's what you are going to have to do. i said what?
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he was upset. i started getting upset because he was upset. he says you are going to have to go to the hospital now. i said i'm in the hospital. he said nope this is just emergency. it's either sierra valley or sunnyslope. i said what's the matter? he said your kidneys had shut down. my kidneys had shut down. it all started when you're a diabetic and you have infection, your diabetes, your blood sugar doesn't balance. for for almost five years prescott va kept sidestepping this whole issue until it became antibiotic resistance which means there to death sentences on me now. one is my diabetes and i want this to be heard by everybody witnessed. i almost died because like this one gentleman was talking about going from one to another, 90 days the first one wasn't doing anything so i wanted to go to another one. 95 days later when i talked to her she said you don't do protocols because that's not
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what they were doing. a simple urinary tract infection is going to cost me my life with diabetes. that's what happened with the situation in the hospital. then i found out matt foreman for diabetes and a heart medication or the blood pressure medication, i forget what it is. anyway according to the book and they gave me the information for me to see what they were so i've got it written down the worst things to give a person with kidney problems. it all started from a simple urinary tract infection and they wanted to emphasize that it's your diabetes we have to take care of. and once we do that than we have to get your weight off. i've already lost almost 140 pounds. i've lost all my muscle mass. i can hardly walk. my buddies had to push me here. i go to a bike show somewhere in westborough and i have to find a way to get there.
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i can't walk. i can't do squat. i'm luckier than most guys, to get that so that's what i can fall on. right now i'm using my medicare but i have to pay for my own medication. my question is instead of talking on deaf ears i understand that i can get outside care at the va can pay for because i refuse. this is the last time i'll ever be in the va because i've been doing this since 1972 and all they have done is screwed me up and it almost cost me my life, major times, two times. i want to know without me just saying this i want somebody to get hold of me and tell me. i have one patient advocate liz, she hasn't gotten back with me. i think that's her name. to be able to talk to me and tell me is this possible or what do i have to do what do i have to sell my house, finish up my will and kiss my own goodbye? what have i got to do?


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