In our news wrap Tuesday, the International Coalition in Afghanistan launched an investigation after five U.S. special operation soldiers were killed in what was reported as friendly fire. Also, the House of Representatives voted unanimously to make health care more accessible to veterans. The bill would pay for vets to get care outside of the VA system under certain circumstances. Continue reading
WASHINGTON — United and eager to respond to a national uproar, the House overwhelmingly approved legislation Tuesday to make it easier for patients enduring long waits for care at Veterans Affairs facilities to get VA-paid treatment from local doctors. Lawmakers were so keen to vote for the bill, they did it twice. Continue reading
A Veterans Affairs Department audit reveals that 57,000 veterans have been waiting 90 days or more for their first medical appointment at its hospitals and outpatient clinics. It also found that the 14-day wait time target was not attainable. Gwen Ifill talks to Ralph Ibson of the Wounded Warrior Project and Dr. Sam Foote, a former doctor in the Phoenix VA Health Care System. Continue reading
Monday’s data release blames internal confusion about the complicated appointment process and that goals to see first-time patients within 14 days are unobtainable. Continue reading
WASHINGTON — An investigative agency is looking into allegations that Veterans Affairs supervisors retaliated against 37 employees who filed whistleblower complaints, including some who complained about improper scheduling practices at the heart of a growing VA scandal.
The independent Office of Special Counsel says it has blocked disciplinary actions against three VA employees who reported wrongdoing. One of them had been suspended after complaining to the VA’s inspector general about improper scheduling. Continue reading
Four Republican senators, led by John McCain (R-AZ), introduced the Veterans Choice Act — a new bill aimed at providing better health care to veterans across the country as well as increasing accountability and transparency at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s top news, including the resignation of VA Secretary Shinseki and President Obama’s foreign policy speech at West Point. Continue reading
Eric Shinseki ended his five-year tenure as secretary of Veterans Affairs after more than 100 members of Congress demanded he step down. How will the VA clean up its problem-plagued health system? Jeffrey Brown talks to retired Army Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis, M.D., Joseph Violante of Disabled American Veterans and Paul Rieckhoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Continue reading
WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized in public and then resigned in the privacy of the White House on Friday, driven from office by a mushrooming scandal over the agency’s health care system that serves millions of the nation’s former warriors.
President Barack Obama said he accepted the resignation “with considerable regret,” and appointed Sloan Gibson, the agency’s No. 2 official, as temporary secretary. Obama also said that the Justice Department would determine if any illegality had occurred, and that a top White House aide who has been detailed to the Veterans Affairs Department would remain there for the time being. Continue reading