The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local Politics

June 13, 2014

Congressional leaders want answers from VA

Brooks concerned about Iraq conflict

ANDERSON, Ind. — What is taking place at the Veteran Affairs medical facilities around the country is a tragedy, Rep. Susan Brooks said.

Brooks and Senators Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats are pushing for answers on how to resolve the problem of providing quality health care to the nation’s veterans.

Brooks was in Anderson on Friday to address the Females Active in Business luncheon at the Edge and commented on the investigation by Congress into problems with the VA health care system.

“The problem is with veterans young and old,” she said. “There are long waiting lines and the veterans are not being seen.”

Her concerns about the VA are echoed by Donnelly and Coats, who received a letter from Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson.

“The gross misconduct recently identified in the OIG’s (Office of Inspector General) interim report and the VA’s own internal audit is unacceptable,” Donnelly said. “Over the last two weeks, I have met with representatives of the Indiana VA health care facilities to identify and better understand the challenges facing the delivery of timely and quality care to Hoosier veterans.”

While the VA continues to gather information on facility specific problems, Donnelly said he will continue to work to ensure Indiana veterans receive quality health care.

“As the VA’s internal audit revealed, too many Hoosier veterans are waiting too long to receive the care they earned,” Coats said. “Significant uncertainties about VA facilities in Indiana and across the country remain, and I will continue to push for answers. We also must eliminate the culture within the department that allowed this crisis to develop.”

In a letter to Gibson on June 5, the two senators wanted a complete and timely assessment of Indiana’s VA facilities.

Brooks said the administration of President Barack Obama did not put the right leader in place to fix the problem, a problem that has been known about for a long time.

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