Hospital kept “secret” list of Veterans needing appointments.
Last night, in a heartbreaking exclusive news broadcast, CNN revealed shocking, tragic news that, “At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list.”
CNN also reported that top VA medical center leaders were involved or knew about the secret list. The CNN investigation also alleges VA shredded documents about the scandal where Veterans waited months, and scores of Veterans died, awaiting VA medical treatment.
In continuing coverage of the widening scandal, Congress, led by Senator John McCain (R-AZ), promptly called for an investigation.
*Update, 4/24 PM: Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT), announced he would hold a hearing after VA’s Office of the Inspector General completes an investigation of the Phoenix VA medical center.
Another news report claims the director of the VA medical center apparently was paid large cash bonuses, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Long History of Appointment Problems at VA
Veterans have constantly complained about long delays obtaining VA medical care. Here are three examples:
- In 2005, VA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reported how VA had problems meeting the demand of new patients from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.
- During 2007, Veterans for Common Sense filed suit against VA, alleging VA systematically delayed Veterans’ medical appointments and disability claims. The Supreme Court refused to hear the Veterans’ appeal in 2013.
- During 2007, VA’s OIG again reported on VA’s appointment problems
Veterans also wait for VA claim decisions, especially claim appeal decisions. As of April 21, 2014, there were 274,262 Veterans waiting for VA to process an appealed disability claim that languishes at VA an average of four years before VA issues a decision.
The bottom line: By serving honorably in our military, Veterans deserve and earned a VA where no Veteran waits or is forced to jump through bureaucratic hoops to obtain prompt and high-quality VA medical care or fast and accurate VA claim decisions.