Bera responds to report finding VA delayed care to thousands of veterans
Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. released the following statement in response to a report from the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that found the health care system had delayed care to veterans and manipulated scheduling practices to conceal the delays at a number of VA facilities:
“Our veterans, and their families have sacrificed so much for our country, and they deserve our unwavering support. That's why I have been working to address problems at the VA and to get our heroes the benefits they are owed since my very first month in office.
The latest report that at least 1,700 veterans in Phoenix were never even placed on a wait list to get the medical care they needed is deeply troubling. This cannot continue. It's obvious there are very serious systemic and management problems at the VA that we must address. While General Shinseki’s dedication and service to his country are indisputable, these failures that happened under his leadership are unacceptable and it is clear that he must step down.
These problems are much bigger than one person, though, and we must continue to investigate how this occurred, find out if it's happening elsewhere, and continue to respond. That will likely require more changes at the VA, including holding others who allowed this to happen accountable."
Earlier this week Bera joined more than 60 of his colleagues to push for a more comprehensive VA audit that thoroughly checks VA hospital records, and to hold people responsible accountable.
Bera, who's cared for veterans as a doctor in the VA system, is the co-author the 21st Century Health Care for Heroes Act. Now law, the bipartisan Healthcare for Heroes will streamline the electronic health record system for service members and veterans to make it easily accessible, help with the transition to civilian life, and address the VA backlog.
Since 2013, Bera's office has helped Sacramento County veterans get more than $875,000 in benefits owed to them from the federal government. If you are a veteran who needs help, please call Bera's office at 916-635-0505 or visit bera.house.gov/gethelp.
Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. represents Sacramento County. Born and raised in California, Bera is a physician and the only Indian American currently serving in Congress. He’s fighting to rebuild an economy that works for middle class families and to reduce our country’s debt in a responsible way. One of Bera’s first acts in Congress was to help lead the effort to pass the No Budget No Pay Act, which says if members of Congress don’t pass a budget, they don’t get paid. As a leader of the No Labels' Problem Solvers, he’s working with people from both parties to find bipartisan solutions to our nation’s challenges. He and his wife Janine live in Elk Grove with their daughter Sydra. For more updates on Rep. Bera follow @RepBera on Twitter, like Congressman Bera on Facebook, or visit https://www.bera.house.gov.