Obama Promises Accountability in VA Scandal; Kinzinger Calls for VA Secretary to Resign

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WASHINGTON (WIFR) – President Obama has spoken publicly for the first time about the VA Medical Center Scandal.

As of now, the Secretary of Veteran Affairs will keep his job. President Obama is meeting with VA Secretary Eric Shinseki on reports of delayed care at veterans’ hospitals. The president has chosen his deputy chief of staff to oversee the VA investigation of 26 medical facilities nationwide.
Whistleblowers in Phoenix, Arizona say staff kept secret waiting lists. As many as 40 veterans may have died waiting for care. President Obama is also again expressing his support for the secretary to continue leading the VA and says if misconduct is found, those responsible will be punished.

“If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful and I will not tolerate it. Period.”

The President says he wants a preliminary report by next week. The current director of the Phoenix VA health care system is on indefinite leave. The White House is investigating allegations of 40 veterans there dying while waiting for care.

U.S. Congressman Adam Kinzinger who is also a veteran says he’s shocked about what he’s calling the president’s mismanagement of this investigation. He told me today while President Obama waits on a report, veterans are stuck waiting for care.

“We need somebody new that can come in and shake things up, look at it from a new angle and say ‘we’re not going to accept substandard anymore for the people that have sworn to protect and defend us,'" said Kinzinger.

The house plans to vote this evening on a bill that will give the VA secretary more power to fire and demote senior managers.

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