Veterans hotline bill heading to President Obama's desk

Published: Nov. 17, 2016 at 6:52 PM CST
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The U.S. Senate has passed a bill to improve help for suicidal veterans. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the bill is more necessary now than ever for Iowa veterans after recent suicides.

Grassley co-sponsored the Senate version of the "No Veteran Crisis Line Call Should Go Unanswered" bill. Iowa Congressman David Young introduced the House version of that bill.

It would require the development of a plan to ensure that someone calling the Veterans Crisis Line or the backup call center gets an answer in a timely manner.

Two Iowa veterans have committed suicide since August. Curtis Gearhart's family says he took his life after doctors told him that he had to wait five to six weeks to get an appointment for severe headaches.

And the VA inspector general is investigating the case of Iowa veteran Brandon Ketchum. He took his life after the VA allegedly denied him treatment.

The crisis line bill is now on its way to President Obama's desk.