After the Department of Veterans Affairs has been accused and criticized for making veterans wait long periods of time for medical care and possibly being the cause for deaths at a Phoenix, Arizona veterans hospital, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is saying that the Obama administration scandal is an example of healthcare run by the federal government.
“What the VA has allegedly done is another example of what happens when the government controls healthcare,” said Cassidy. “The system lines up to serve the bureaucrat—when the bureaucrat has the power, the patient suffers.”
Cassidy said the recently exposed deaths of possibly 40 veterans who were waiting for medical care at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care hospital are “horrifying,” demanding an investigation into the Obama scandal.
“The recent deaths of veterans waiting for care proved this point, said Cassidy. “Because it’s affecting our veterans, it’s even more horrifying and inexcusable. I fully support an investigation into this matter, and will continue to push for patient-centered reforms. Every American should have access to quality medical care.”
“I condemn this in the strongest possible way, no excuses. Let us clean this mess up for the sake our beloved veterans,” said Cassidy.
The revelations regarding the deaths of the veterans at the Phoenix hospital came in the form of a “secret list.” The list was part of a plan created by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to cover up the fact that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor.
Turns out that top management and personnel at the VA hospital in Phoenix knew about the hospital’s practice of making veterans wait extended periods of time and even defended it. According to Dr. Sam Foote, who just retired after 24 years with the VA system in Phoenix, the scheme was highly elaborate and top management went to great lengths to cover it up.
According to Foote, the elaborate scheme in Phoenix involved shredding evidence to hide the long list of veterans waiting for appointments and care. Officials at the VA, Foote says, instructed their staff to not actually make doctor’s appointments for veterans within the computer system.
Instead, Foote says, when a veteran comes in seeking an appointment, “they enter information into the computer and do a screen capture hard copy printout. They then do not save what was put into the computer so there’s no record that you were ever here,” he said.
According to Foote, the information was gathered on the secret electronic list and then the information that would show when veterans first began waiting for an appointment was actually destroyed.
Foote told CNN that he believes the number of veterans currently on the Phoenix VA system secret waiting list ranges from 1,400 and 1,600. And, Foote said the waiting times that were supposed to be reported to Washington were never actually reported.