Thursday, March 29, 2007

Kathy Castor On Walter Reed

Kathy Castor talks about the difficulty of finding out the medical status of Corey McGee. Castor was seving on the Hillsborogh County Commission. McGee's family and Castor knew he was in Walter Reed.

Castor said she and McGee’s family had a hard time trying to get a status report on McGee or even track him down. Castor, who wasn’t in Congress at the time, said she enlisted help from election officials, but found the bureaucracy incredibly difficult to navigate.

Castor’s speech came during the debate today on the Wounded Warrior Assistance Act of 2007, which is supposed to address many of the deficiencies uncovered by a Washington Post investigation earlier this year.
She said the legislation is critical to “erase the moral stain on our nation’s conscience.”

"Supporting our troops does not mean that you simply salute as you send them off to war, ask them to serve and sacrifice for our great country," said Castor. "But it also means that they are supported when they come home."

In related news: the Wounded Warrior Assistance Act passed 426-0. The White House said the bill was premature and Congress should wait for the task force findings on Walter Reed. It is amazing how the White House fights Congress on stupid stuff and keep controversies on the front page.

One of the best parts of the bill is for each wounded U.S. military personal to have independent medical advocate.

(a) Assignment of Independent Medical Advocate- Section 1222 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

`(d) Independent Medical Advocate for Members Before Medical Evaluation Boards- (1) The Secretary of each military department shall ensure, in the case of any member of the armed forces being considered by a medical evaluation board under that Secretary's supervision, that the member has access to a physician or other appropriate health care professional who is independent of the medical evaluation board.

`(2) The physician or other health care professional assigned to a member shall--

`(A) serve as an advocate for the best interests of the member; and

`(B) provide the member with advice and counsel regarding the medical condition of the member and the findings and recommendations of the medical evaluation board.'.

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