SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The fight over a citizenship question on the upcoming census is getting a lot of attention, but there’s another battle that’s flying under the radar.
It would have a big impact on those who serve our country and a Utah man is behind it.
“After 2000 they stopped having the veterans question on the census. They had it on since the 1800s and then for some reason they took that question off, and they rely on what they call American Community Survey,” said Terry Schow, retired director of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs.
Schow says it’s a smaller sampling and isn’t as accurate as the census.
He believes it’s off by about 50,000 veterans in Utah alone, and that leads to less funding.
“The formula they use now we can not get any more nursing home beds or allocation for nursing home payments,” he said.
That problem extends to other veterans services as well.
Schow has been in touch with Representative Rob Bishop, a member of the Armed Services Committee, who wrote a letter to the census director.
He asks him to include a veterans question saying: “I believe that this small change will have a big impact on our ability to take care of our nation’s heroes and the proper allocation of resources for veterans cemeteries and homes.”
Schow says the need is critical, and it can’t wait.
“Every nursing home in the state is full. Every one of them has about a year waiting list,” said Schow.
Bishop’s office says the bureau has received the letter but hasn’t responded.
They have no timeline on when that may happen.