Republican South Dakota Sen. John Thune introduced a bill Monday to require a nationwide independent investigation into deadly wait times at the Obama administration’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Thune’s bill seeks to require the VA inspector general to issue a report to Congress on VA wait times at facilities nationwide, and would prohibit VA from closing any facilities until the report is submitted and any examples of intentional delays at VA clinics are resolved.
“Veterans across the country are being forced to wait for necessary medical care due to poor management by the Veterans Administration,” Thune said in a statement. “Our veterans have served with honor and dignity, only to be told to get in line to receive treatment for the results of their service and sacrifice. The current state of affairs of our veterans’ health care is embarrassing and change is needed. This report would give us a clear picture of where change is necessary so we can address this critical issue.”
Republican lawmakers and veteran groups, including the American Legion, are currently calling on VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign following a stream of reports about delayed care, preventable deaths, and even secret waiting lists at VA hospitals. The Daily Caller has extensively reported on problems at the VA, including the purging of veteran medical records at multiple facilities overseen the department.