Veterans' Health
7:04 am
Mon June 16, 2014

VIDEO: Coburn Says Report Will Expose More Problems At VA

U.S. Sen Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says a new report will expose more weaknesses at Veterans Affairs Department hospitals, including disappearing doctors and staff members.

"Vets are not always a priority, and administrators manipulate both data and employees to give the appearance that all is well," Coburn said during the national Republican radio address Saturday. "Construction costs at medical centers run over budget, and facilities have fallen behind schedule, and still lack sufficient medical personnel to provide appropriate care. Billions of dollars that could be better spent on health care are mismanaged and wasted."

Coburn delivered the national Republican radio address on Saturday. Coburn focused on the problems encountered by the nation's veterans in getting treatment — or even getting appointments.

"The problems at the VA are far deeper than scheduling," Coburn says. "Getting to see a doctor does not guarantee quality care. Just like the VA is cooking the books to make wait times appear shorter, the department is also glossing over the number of hospitals with poor outcomes."

Coburn co-authored legislation addressing a wide range of problems at VA hospitals and in the health care system. That bill cleared the House and Senate last week. Coburn says says the reason veterans' care has suffered for so long is that Congress hasn't held the VA accountable.

"In the last four years, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has held just a handful of hearings touching on veterans health," Coburn said. "This committee's only responsibility is to make sure veterans are taken care of, and it's failed to do its job." 

Among the provisions championed by Coburn are ones that would allow veterans to see any physician or visit any hospital if they live more than 40 miles away from a VA hospital or cannot get a timely appointment at one.

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