Senator Baldwin hosts roundtable to discuss Simcakoski Promise Act

Roundtable brought lawmakers, health care providers, veteran advocates together

Veteran care and pain management was the focus of a bipartisan roundtable hosted by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin.

The event, called ‘Realizing the Jason Simcakoski Memorial and Promise Act,’ was held in Washinton D.C.

Simcakoski was a veteran patient who passed away while being treated at the Tomah VA. Simcakoski’s death sparked the investigation into the VA’s use of opioids and the removal of Doctor David Houlihan and former Medical Center Director Mario DeSanctis.

As a result, Wisconsin representatives moved to improve veteran health care across the country following the Tomah VA investigation with the Simcakoski Promise Act.

Wednesday’s roundtable discussion gave lawmakers the chance to hear from health care providers and veteran advocates.

“In terms of the guidelines that are being developed, I think they have the real potential with regard to prescribing to the examples and models for the entire nation, including the private sector health plans,” said Senator Baldwin.

The Simcakoski family attended the roundtable as well, giving first-hand accounts of how lax regulations impact both veterans and their families.

“We want to see the progress of the bill and we want to make sure that, you know, the bottom line is we’re trying to help the veterans out there, and the service men and women. Obviously what happened to Jason we don’t want to happen to other veterans and service men and women,” said Simcakoski’s father, Marv Simcakoski.

Lawmakers hope the roundtable becomes an annual discussion to continue improving veteran care.