Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says he wants to learn more about the problems with Veterans Administration Hospitals before any action is taken against the leader of the VA. “We need to make sure that our first priority is finding out the facts that have given rise to the controversy in the Veterans Administration Facilities around the county. And then anyone involved in contributing to these deplorable conditions needs to be fired,” Braley says.
Reports of veterans dying while waiting for care at the VA hospital in Phoenix and claims of cover ups by the hospital administration has led some to call for the leader of the VA to resign. Braley told reporters on his weekly conference call that it is an issue that has to be addressed. “The recent reports of patient care coming out of the VA are deeply troubling. A lot of you know that my brother works at the VA hospital in Des Moines, and so I know the reality of the fact that in many VA facilities around the country every day veterans receive great health care. And any time one is denied access to health care or receives substandard health care, every American should be outraged,” Braley says.
Braley is running for the U.S. Senate and has made veterans issues one of the focuses of his campaign. He says he recently talked with veterans groups about the issue. “It’s clear that there are systemic problems at the VA on certain issues relating to access to care,” Braley says. “But it’s also clear from the veterans that I talked to yesterday that there has been an improvement in the quality of care in some areas and we need to be sure that every veteran gets the highest quality of care.”
Braley says the veterans he has talked to in Iowa had some concerns over the length of time it takes to get an appointment confirmed. But he says those were minor concerns compared to issues in other states. “The biggest issue is making sure that people know where to go if they have concerns or complaints about the treatment that they received, because all of these facilities have people who are supposed to be responding to their concerns,” Braley says. He says veterans with any concerns about treatment should contact their congressional office.