U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi visited the Knoxville V-A Medical Center today — A facility that’s scheduled to close. Principi took part in a town hall meeting with Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell. Boswell, a democrat, says Principi listened to the veterans — but would give no assurances the plan would change. He says it seems they’re “pretty much on course with where they’re going to go.” But Boswell says the secretary promised to review it and talk to the congressman again. Boswell says the center would undergo dramatic change under the current plan. He says they plan is to close the medical center and move the care to Des Moines, but leave a clinic there. Boswell says that’s what the V-A is doing with other V-A facilities, but he says the Knoxville clinic would have expanded care for psychiatric care. Boswell says there’s been 12-million dollars in repairs and upgrades at Knoxville, and that’s what they stressed to Principi. He says he thought it was good to expose Principi to the situation and have him talk to the veterans. Boswell says, “What will come out of it remains to be seen.” Boswell says Principi has promised to get back to him after reconsidering the Knoxville situation, but he says there’s no timetable for talking again..
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