Lawmakers continue investigating growing VA scandal - - Columbia, South Carolina

Lawmakers continue investigating growing VA scandal


We continue to work the developing story involving a nationwide scandal with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Lawmakers are trying to nail down who's responsible for hiding an alleged backlog of veterans' appointments. The backlog is said to have caused 40 deaths in Arizona and 6 here in the Midlands.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama's top aide was in Arizona to oversee the investigation.

House Committee members say the VA is stonewalling their efforts to find out what happened in Arizona and who was held responsible here in Columbia for delays in care that caused veterans deaths.

The committee threatened to subpoena three top VA officials if they don't turn up at next week's hearing.  Across the country in Phoenix, Arizona White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors arrived to oversee a review of VA practices after allegation that 40 died waiting for appointments.

"There are serious problems regarding the possibility of hospitals keeping two sets of books and we are going to get to the root of those issues," said Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee.

The Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General is currently investigating allegations of treatment delays and preventable deaths at 26 VA hospitals, but won't say if any are in South Carolina. In Washington and here in the Midlands we're still trying to determine who's responsible for 20 admissions of wrongdoing and 6 deaths related to delays at Dorn VA Medical Center.

"These are men and women who served our country and we've not just let them down, we've let them die," said U.S. House Speaker John Boehner. "This is awful stuff and somebody out to be held accountable for it."

"The interesting thing is they have not held anybody accountable for deaths that occurred in South Carolina and in Georgia," said Rep. Jeff Miller. "I was there in January right after that visit. I wrote him a letter. I also wrote Secretary Shinseki and I said, 'Please tell us what you've done to hold the people responsible for creating these waiting lists that cause the deaths of veterans.' To this day, I have not gotten any response from the Department of Veterans Affairs."

Neither has our investigates team.

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