U.S. Senator Bob Corker ((R-Tenn.) released the following statement on President Obama’s remarks regarding recent allegations against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):
“After waiting weeks to publicly address allegations of neglect at some VA medical facilities and with more disturbing reports surfacing of veterans not receiving the care they need, I’m highly disappointed President Obama did not announce an independent, third-party review of all VA medical facilities today. Our nation’s veterans deserve answers and accountability from the administration, and an internal investigation at an agency plagued by poor leadership and mismanagement is simply not enough. We need to shine a light on the department’s activities so we can begin to resolve the systemic problems that exist. I also believe one of the best ways we can honor our Tennessee veterans and all those who have served our country is to provide them greater flexibility and better access to quality health care.”
Last week, Senator Corker and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) wrote to VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki calling on the VA to conduct a “thorough, open and transparent” audit following reports of neglect at some of its medical facilities, including allegations that up to 40 patients may have died because of delayed care at the Phoenix VA Health Care System. The senators also asked Shinseki to provide specific information regarding the average time Tennessee veterans are waiting for care at VA facilities.