WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) released the following statement regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Inspector General’s preliminary report, which stated at least 1,700 veterans were never scheduled for an appointment or placed on a wait list at the VA medical center in Phoenix and that 42 VA medical centers across the country are also now under investigation.
“I am outraged by reports of delayed care and falsified records at VA facilities in Arizona. I am equally appalled that dozens of other VA clinics are now under investigation for the same. Anyone at the VA who participated in or was aware of this gross mismanagement must be held accountable, without exception. Secretary Shinseki is a great American who has served his country well , and I have tremendous respect for his service abroad and here at home—but when something goes wrong, the commander is responsible. It is in the best interest of those who have put their lives on the line in defense of our nation for Secretary Shinseki to stand aside so new leadership can right these unfathomable wrongs. It is important to remember, however, that Secretary Shinseki did not create these problems, and we must mobilize the resources and the willpower necessary to fix them now. It is absolutely crucial we ensure that our veterans get their full and timely care and benefits, and I will accept no less for them.”
Himes has joined the rest of the Connecticut delegation in urging Secretary Shinseki to make public the findings from audits of Connecticut’s VA clinics to ensure Connecticut veterans are receiving timely care. He has also voted for legislation to make it easier to punish those responsible.