House VA Cmte Chairman: 'I Don't Trust the VA's Numbers'
The House Committee on Veterans Affairs grilled VA officials late last night following the release of a stunning report on veterans’ health care. Peter Johnson Jr. sat down with Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), chairman of the committee, for an exclusive interview.
According to the preliminary report, veterans waited an average of 115 days for their first appointment at the Phoenix VA Medical Center – that’s three months longer than hospital workers originally admitted. It also found that schemes to hide wait times are systemic at VA hospitals across the country.
Miller said he does not trust the VA numbers given that they’ve made false claims about wait times and cutting disability backlog in the past. He is now joining others in calling for the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.
As for possible criminal prosecution, Miller said, “Any time somebody manipulates numbers for their own personal gain, especially where human beings are involved, and these are federal documents, I think there is some criminal culpability there within the department.”
Johnson delivered emails from military families and veterans who have been affected by this scandal – including those who say vets died while waiting for care. Miller said members of Congress will read the emails and added that the VA needs to hear those stories as well.
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