Wisconsin Senators React To Veterans Affairs Controversy

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Premiere Date: 
May 23, 2014

Wisconsin Senators React To Veterans Affairs Controversy

The agency has been scrutinized recently over concerns about the VA's long wait times.

Episode Transcript

Frederica Freyberg:

Now to news out of Washington where US Veterans’ Affairs secretary Erik Shinseki has been fielding questions over alleged manipulations of waiting lists at VA hospitals, manipulations that may have concealed long delays in patient care. We asked Wisconsin senators Johnson and Baldwin what they knew out the status of Wisconsin’s three major VA hospitals. Senator Ron Johnson says, “I've been impressed with the Wisconsin staff's dedication to caring service. Their sensitivity towards veterans is remarkable.” He goes on to say he takes the reports of the mismanagement of veterans' care seriously. He says he “would withhold judgment for now, including on the status of Eric Shinseki, awaiting more information.” Senator Johnson says he has not yet had a chance to discuss the latest allegations about waiting lists with Wisconsin VA officials. He is a sponsor of the so-called Department of Veterans’ Affairs Management Accountability Act. That bill would clear obstacles to holding VA managers accountable. Senator Tammy Baldwin provided this statement. “I am deeply troubled by allegations of misconduct at Veterans’ Affairs facilities in other states and if anybody is found to have manipulated or falsified records, they need to be held accountable. Our veterans have served our country with honor and they deserve the benefits and health care they have earned.” Senator Baldwin is a sponsor of the Comprehensive Veterans’ Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act. This legislation proposes solutions to make needed improvements to the delivery of veterans' health care. 

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