CNN Investigation: 40 Veterans Died in Phoenix Waiting on VA Care

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.

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.

0 Response

  1. Charlie Welch

    As a combat Marine Veteran of Vietnam 1969 The VA must have me on a list waiting on me to die so they don’t have to pay me for my claim that I filed in April 2000. Last year the VA called me in August 2013 and stated they had heard I was terminal and said they were going to hand walk my claim through so I could get a little money for my claim for service connected disability that the VBA Judge had granted in March of 2013. So I asked the VA rep how far back did they go on my claim and he replied 2007 I ask him why they did not go back to 2000 and he said he did not know but my attorney told them we were going to file a notice of disagreement. Well we did and now I am waiting again for the VBA judge to tell the VA to grant me the additional time and other medical conditions that the VA denied even after my attorneys stated case laws that were granted and match my case exactly. My Primary VA doctor retired in 2012 and it took the VA 2 years to find me another primary VA doctor who is brand new to the VA and did not know how to put in an order to pay for my oxygen that my outside Doctor had ordered while the VA was looking for me a new primary VA doctor.
    I can not depend on the VA health system to cover my medical needs because they are just unreliable.

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