Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today made the following comment on the interim report from the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general on medical care wait times at veterans facilities. Grassley has co-sponsored legislation that would make it easier to fire senior employees at the department for poor performance. He also urged the Veterans Affairs secretary not to allow employees to be assigned to long periods of paid leave as a result of the scandal that, in effect, result in extended paid vacations. When the allegations were first reported about the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix, he called upon the inspector general to conduct a thorough nationwide review of the Veterans Affairs health care network.
The report is available here.
“Today’s report shows false wait times aren’t isolated. The false wait times are systemic. By any measure of common sense and human decency, putting the health and welfare of those injured while serving their country at risk by manipulating appointment records is unconscionable and unpatriotic. The inspector general’s continued work is critical to learning whether the delays for treatment led to preventable deaths. When the inspector general completes his work, all responsible employees have to be held accountable for their actions at all levels of the VA. The stakes are too high for anyone to duck accountability.”