Magazine article VFW Magazine

VA: Time to Act Decisively

Magazine article VFW Magazine

VA: Time to Act Decisively

Article excerpt

The Department of Veterans Affairs is in the midst of a crisis in confidence. Decisive action is called for immediately to remedy it.

scathing interim report released by the VA Office of the Inspector General (IG) in late May found that delays in medical care and cover-ups to conceal them is "systemic throughout" the VA health care system. This revelation came after the Phoenix VA Health Care System was investigated because of allegations of widespread mismanagement.

An internal VA audit confirmed the IG findings. Among other things, it found that 64,000 veterans enrolled in the VA system who requested an appointment never got one.

Clearly, the time for action is long overdue. As an organization, we called for immediately firing every employee and supervisor who knowingly manipulated the reporting system.

VA is entrusted with the care and treatment of the nation's former defenders, and there are people in Phoenix, and elsewhere, who failed miserably and, quite possibly, criminally.

There are no second chances when you deal with people's lives. That includes everyone in senior VA leadership who should have known but didn't, or didn't care.

Veterans are used to waiting in lines, but no veteran should ever have to wait for timely access to care. I want to make it clear to the acting VA secretary that he needs to move immediately to terminate the employment of those bearing any responsibility for this travesty.

If the final IG report confirms willful negligence, then those responsible must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. …

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