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Kind works with Simcakoski family to fix problems at Tomah VA
He works on a bill to prevent similar tragedies in the future
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LA CROSSE–U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) participated in and asked questions at a Veterans’ Affairs committee hearing Nov. 17 on bipartisan legislation he is working on to fix the problems seen at the Tomah VA Medical Center.

He also submitted statements for the record from the family of Jason Simcakoski, an ex-Marine who died at the hospital last year.

“I am honored to work with Jason’s family to tell his story and make sure no other family has to go through what they have,” Kind said. “Today’s hearing was a positive step forward in building support for my bipartisan legislation, the Jason Simcakoski PROMISE Act, which works to give our veterans the care they have earned and deserve.”

Simcakoski died Aug. 30, 2014, in the Tomah VA’s short-stay mental health unit after having taken 13 prescribed medications, including several that cause respiratory depression, in a 24-hour period.

Kind is working with Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) on the Jason Simcakoski PROMISE Act that would fix some of the problems seen at the Tomah VA and look into improved pain management practices. The legislation is expected to be introduced soon, and would be similar to the Senate’s Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act, which U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced in June with U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

In Washington, Baldwin announced that the Wisconsin Medical Society is supporting the legislation that is aimed at providing safer and more effective pain management services to veterans.