Johanns hears Nebraskans' health care concerns - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Johanns hears Nebraskans' health care concerns

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SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KTIV) -- Health care reform is the dominating topic all across the country. Today, folks brought some of their questions to US Senator Mike Johanns during a stop in South Sioux City.

NewsChannel 4's Rebecca Sunshine reports, some say lawmakers should shift their focus off reform at least for now.

"My husband is a veteran... over 21 years in the service," said Vicky Galindo of Lyons, NE.

Julian Galindo proudly served as a marine officer until 1993, when, during service in the first Gulf War, he came in contact with a G-rated nerve agent.

"We started noticing the twitch in his hand in 2003," Vicky said.

Julian had been diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy -- or PSP -- which caused Julian to shake uncontrollably and forced him to use a cane when he walks.

"Sometimes my legs give out on me," Julian told Sen. Johanns.

It was then that Vicky started looking for medical help for her husband. But that help didn't come until this week.

"My husband needs a neurologist, so they're going to set us up, after 5 and a half years, with an audiologist," Vicky said.

Her frustration with the system is what led this wife and now mother of a marine to Senator Johanns' town hall meeting on health care.

"Let's take care of the veterans before we start taking care of these 12 million who could have gotten insurance," she says.

"It just tore into my soul to listen to the wife of the veteran who talked about the difficulty they've had with the government health care plan," Sen. Johanns said.

Johanns has been traveling around the state all week. He says folks just like the Galindos have packed meetings to make sure he's aware of their setbacks.

"They just want an opportunity to express their anger and talk about what they're concerned about," Johanns said.

Senator Johanns says when he returns to Washington after the August recess, he'll take all of these stories with him, using them to spread his message to slow down on reform to make sure the bill is done right. It's time that Vicky hopes will changes the Congress's plan to reform health care.

"They're opening up another can of worms, when they're not even fixing the veterans. I feel they should take care of the veterans first," Vicky said.

Before he left today's meeting, Johanns did give the Galindos some contact information to hopefully get them in to see a proper doctor.

Online Reporter: Rebecca Sunshine

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