Almost One Year after the Scandal, Obama Meets with Veterans and Calls for Improvements to the VA

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President Barack Obama visited a Veterans Affairs facility in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday and called for major improvements to the services provided by The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

In 2014, the administration faced heat for the troubling treatment of veterans, with many forced to wait for much needed medical care.

Obama and VA Secretary Robert McDonald met with veterans, hospital workers and Congress members during the trip to the VA facility.

Malpractice was first discovered at the facility in Phoenix, with evidence pointing to long wait times and falsified records. This led to an investigation revealing VA facilities around the country had similarly falsified records.

president obama commented on the scandal that forced Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down last year:

“We all know that there have been significant problems at this facility: the kind of cooking the books and unwillingness to face up to the fact that veterans were not being adequately served went on too long and, as a consequence, we didn’t fix what needed to be fixed.”

During the President’s visit, he announced the formation of a new advisory group for the VA. The group will be made up of public officials and private sector leaders. It will advise further improvements to the program.

Not everyone was satisfied with the announcement. Republican Senator John McCain, who represents Arizona, criticized Obama’s response:

“It is truly stunning that nearly a year after the scandal of VA health care was first uncovered, president obama used his long-overdue visit to the Phoenix VA to announce the creation of yet another advisory committee to study the problem.

The truth is that while thousands of Arizona veterans continue to experience unacceptable delays in VA care, the obama administration has been slow and reluctant to fundamentally reform VA operations.”

Obama made a trip to Phoenix earlier this year, but did not visit the VA facility. Veterans expressed outrage that the President’s motorcade drove right by the hospital but failed to stop.

—Courtesy of IJ Review

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