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'Biggest healthcare scandal' needs Commander-in-Chief to step up says House Rep.

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Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs believes that the VA is in the middle of "the biggest healthcare scandal in its history," and he wants President Barack Obama "... to safeguard evidence of possible wrongdoing at local VA facilities so VA employees who may have allowed patients to fall through the cracks will be properly held to account."

Miller said in his recent press statement:

"President Obama must direct Sec. Shinseki to take emergency steps to ensure veterans who may have fallen victim to these schemes get the medical treatment they need. Additionally, President Obama must direct Shinseki to ensure VA officials in Washington are working to safeguard evidence of possible wrongdoing at local VA facilities so VA employees who may have allowed patients to fall through the cracks will be properly held to account."

Further, he believes that "VA is in the middle of the biggest health care scandal in its history. At least 26 VA facilities are under investigation, and by the department’s own count at least 23 veterans are dead due to recent delays in VA care."

Ending the 'culture of complacency'

Following the House passage of H.R. 4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act, Chairman Miller also released this statement:

“The House has voted to take an important first step toward ending the culture of complacency that is jeopardizing patient safety within the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system. VA’s widespread and systemic lack of accountability is exacerbating all of its most pressing problems, including the department’s stubborn disability benefits backlog and a mounting toll of preventable deaths – including 23 recent fatalities due to delays in care – at VA medical centers across the country. "

"While the vast majority of the department’s more than 300,000 employees and executives are dedicated and hard-working," the statement from Miller said, "VA’s well-documented reluctance to ensure its leaders are held accountable for negligence and mismanagement is tarnishing the reputation of the organization and may actually be encouraging more veteran suffering instead of preventing it. With all the problems VA hospitals and regional offices have recently had and new issues continually arising, we need to give the VA Secretary the authority he needs to fix things. That’s what my bill would do, and I applaud my colleagues in the House for supporting it."

Miller called upon the Senate to help. "Now the Senate is faced with a stark choice: stand with veterans who rely on VA health care or stand with poorly performing bureaucrats entrenched in a dysfunctional personnel system. For the sake of our veterans, I hope the Senate chooses wisely."

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