Are you a veteran? Have you received care at the Veterans Affairs medical centers in Los Angeles, Long Beach or San Diego? Perhaps a veteran is a relative or a friend. As Memorial Day approaches – and as the VA comes under increasing scrutiny – we want to hear from you.
There’s a scandal surrounding the VA medical centers. Some are accused of gaming the appointment system, and keeping veterans waiting so long to see a doctor that some of them died. President Barack Obama spoke out about it earlier this week, saying those who are responsible should be held accountable.
The largest veterans group, the American Legion, hoped the president would announce the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, but instead Mr. Obama stood by the embattled Secretary. The president said he would wait for the results of an investigation into the situation.
This began as an inquiry into the Phoenix center – after a CNN investigation revealed a secret list of appointment seekers – but has quickly expanded into an investigation that includes at least 26 more centers. Members of Congress have weighed in and Wednesday the House passed the VA Accountability Act, which would make it easier to fire or demote negligent employees. It's not clear whether the Senate will take it up.
We don’t know yet if the West Los Angeles, Long Beach or San Diego facilities are being investigated. A month ago, VA officials said they would audit how all facilities in the US handle wait times and record keeping. Our requests to the VA in Los Angeles and in Washington, DC for information have so far gone unanswered.
If you’re a veteran, what’s your experience with the VA medical centers, good or bad? You can respond in the comment section, or e-mail us at Impatient@scpr.org.