Portage Co. father reacts to federal funding for bill in memory - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Portage Co. father reacts to federal funding for bill in memory of Marine son

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The father of a U.S. Marine is speaking out after the Senate Appropriations Committee approved federal dollars to fully fund a law in his son's name. 

Last year, The Jason Simcakoski Memorial Promise Act was signed into law, which aims to improve V.A. healthcare. 

The bill was named after Jason Simcakoski, a Marine from Portage County that died from an opioid overdose while under the care of the V.A. facility in Tomah. 

"It's been a long road. It's been a painful journey," said Jason's father, Marvin. "There's a lot more work to be done." 

The bill now holds doctors accountable for the amount of opioids that they can prescribe to patients under their care. 

"Make doctors more accountable for what they're doing and actually them being fire if they're not doing their job," Marvin said. "I know my son is up there and he's happy that he's been able to help other veterans." 

Marvin tips his cap to the effort from politicians on both sides of the aisle that was able to make the passing of this law possible. 

"This is bipartisan and that's how you get things accomplished. I mean, you all have to work together," he said. "A lot of people thanking us." 

Marvin said that the bill is a way to thank veterans for their service in memory of his son. 

"It's our responsibility to give them the best health care possible," he said. 

Marvin and his family plans on joining democratic Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin at the end of the month for a two-and-a-half hour tour of the Tomah V.A.

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