Special panel sought to probe delays in VA care
The Obama administration was asked on Tuesday to set up a special, bipartisan commission to investigate accumulating allegations of health care delays at VA hospitals, dozens of the cases linked to findings or allegations of patient deaths.
The request came from the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla. In a letter to Obama on Tuesday, Miller said an independent commission was necessary “to thoroughly investigate veteran access issues, patient harm and preventable deaths as a result of delays in care across the VA health care system.”
Miller cited as a precedent the presidential commission set up in 2007 in the wake of the scandal at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where there were allegations that wounded soldiers were getting caught in a bureaucratic labyrinth of sometimes delayed care or processing.
The VA has come under intense pressure over charges or findings that veterans have waited months to be seen by a doctor. In dozens of cases in recent years, some died before treatment was provided.The VA said its internal review found 23 veterans deaths in the last three to four years linked to delays in cancer screenings.
There have been calls from some sectors, including the American Legion, for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down. The agency chief responded last week by saying he would take “swift and appropriate” action should new problems surface.
On Monday, two Department of Veterans Affairs workers at a hospital in Durham, N.C., were sent home on administrative leave amid allegations linked to delay of health care. It was the third round of administrative leaves in recent weeks connected to charges of healthcare delays.
The VA issued a brief statement that a tip from an employee at the Durham VA Medical Center “indicated that some employees at that facility may have engaged in inappropriate scheduling practices at some point between 2009 and 2012.”
The VA learned of the allegations on Monday and two employees at the hospital were immediately placed on administrative leaving pending a review, the agency said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- White House ricochets in nonprofits’ birth control coverage fray
- NASA expected to hire private rocket
- Mudslides plague Washington state after wildfire strips hillsides
- U.S. could have done better, says brother of slain journalist
- Ferguson residents fear return of rioting, looting
- Oklahoma City officer accused of sex assaults
- Kentucky firefighters recovering from ice stunt shocks
- Reid apologizes for jokes at Asian business event
- His murder-arson conviction overturned, man walks free 24 years later
- Charities reconsider fundraising activities
- Obama pressured to obliterate ISIS as attack risks rise