VA Hospital Scandal Includes at least 26 VA Facilities

Published 05/23 2014 10:22PM

Updated 05/27 2014 08:12AM

At least 26 VA facilities are under investigation, after the media exposed excessive wait times and deadly delays for veterans seeking care at VA Hospitals. 

Marine veteran Danny Fuller died on May 6th, 2007 when his lungs collapsed. Diagnosed with COPD, he waited four months for a CPAP breathing machine. His wife Diane says the Marion VA Hospital approved her husband to use the machine three days after he died. 

And now, the VA itself acknowledges that at least 23 veterans died while waiting for medical care.

Indiana Senators Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly coauthored a letter to asking VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to review VA facilities in the Hoosier State. Senator Coats is also calling for an independent investigation for local VA hospitals. 

"I have called for an independent investigation because I think that this is something that can't be done internally. We need an independent assessment of everything and and then make decisions about how to go forward," said Senator Coats in a phone interview with WFFT.

Senator Coats is meeting with Hoosier veterans on a case-by-case basis and says feedback is both negative and positive. 

Some are calling on Shinseki to resign. The house voted this past week to give Shinseki more authority to fire or demote top officials in his department.

In a public letter online, Shinseki is now addressing the scandal - agreeing with President Obama that he takes the allegations seriously and that they're of great personal concern.

Shinseki writes, "You and your families deserve to have full faith in your VA and we intend to earn it every day."
The letter includes an overview of accomplishments at the VA, plus a number of statistics. Shinseki adds, "If any allegations under review are substantiated we will act."

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