VA Hospital Scandal

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By Alabama News Network

A preliminary report looking at the scheduling problems at VA hospital in Phoenix is fueling calls for the head of the agency to step down. The report found inappropriate scheduling practices are common throughout the entire VA health system. 

Craig Boswell has the latest from Capitol Hill.

<More lawmakers.. from both sides of the aisle.. are calling for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down.

 

(Sen. John McCain/(R) Arizona)

"SOME KIND OF BOEHNER OUTRAGE BITE WILL GO HERE OR WE WILL PUT BACK IN THE MCCAIN BITE."

A preliminary VA Inspector General's report found 17-hundred veterans who requested a primary care appointment at the hospital in Phoenix, were not placed on the electronic waiting list.

The wait time for veterans who *did* get appointments was 115 days, not the 24 days the hospital reported.

The investigation has now expanded to 42 facilities where scheduling managers may have manipulated wait times in order to boost pay and bonuses.

At a late night hearing on Capitol Hill, lawmakers expressed anger at VA officials for not being more forthcoming.

(Rep. Jeff Miller/(R-FL) Chariman, House Veterans Affairs Committee)

"VETERANS DIED.  GET US THE ANSWERS PLEASE!"

(Craig Boswell/CBS News/Capitol Hill)

While lawmaker outrage is growing, the Inspector General's report points out both Congress and the VA have known about scheduling issues for nearly a decade.

The IG wrote: "since 2005, the VA office of the Inspector General has issued 18 reports that identified deficiencies in scheduling."

(Thomas Lynch/VA Health Official)

"WE DISCOUNTED THE OIG REPORTS AND PATIENT CONCERNS AS EXCEPTIONS, NOT THE RULE."

The White House says President Obama found the report "extremely troubling."

Craig Boswell, CBS News, Capitol Hill.>

So far, President Obama has stuck by Secretary Shinseki saying he has confidence the former Army general can fix the problems.

 




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