An explosive new report blames poor care at VA hospitals for the deaths of more than 1,000 veterans. Nearly one billion dollars was reportedly paid out by the VA for medical malpractice over 10 years.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) released the 123-page report and joined Your World today with his reaction.

At the beginning of the report, Coburn led with a quote from President Abraham Lincoln that’s also the motto of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

It reads: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.”

Coburn told guest host Stuart Varney, “We’re failing.”

He said the widespread criminal activity cited in the report includes harassing patients, over-utilization of police, stealing veterans’ belongings and even rape.

“We can’t … seem to do anything in an efficient, effective manner, with few exceptions, at a lot of the VA organizations in this country,” he said. “Poor management is the problem. It’s not money. It’s not access to available facilities, it’s lack of management.”

Coburn said the rules need to be changed for federal employees working at the VA, including giving managers the ability to fire employees and holding them accountable for performance and outcome.

“If they’ll cheat on the data associated with appointments, they’ll cheat on quality data and outcome data, so the fact is we need real transparency at the VA,” he said.

Coburn said he won’t be voting for legislation that doesn’t hold people accountable.

A physician himself, Coburn was asked if he would accept the job as VA secretary if offered. Watch the interview above to hear his response.


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