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Published On: Wed, May 21st, 2014

Obama speaks about VA allegations, McCain calls it ‘wholly insufficient’

In a news conference today, President Obama discussed the ongoing investigations into allegations against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) after meeting with embattled VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. Some of the things the Commander-in-Chief said include:

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“So these men and women and their families are the best that our country has to offer. They’ve done their duty, and they ask nothing more than that this country does ours — that we uphold our sacred trust to all who have served. So when I heard allegations of misconduct — any misconduct, whether it’s allegations of VA staff covering up long wait times or cooking the books — I will not stand for it, not as commander in chief, but also not as an American.

“None of us should. So if these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it, period.”

The President went on to say, “Keep in mind, though, even if we had not heard reports out of this Phoenix facility or other facilities, we all know that it often takes too long for veterans to get the care that they need.

“That’s not a new development. It’s been a problem for decades, and it’s been compounded by more than a decade of war. That’s why when I came into office, I said we would systematically work to fix these problems, and we have been working really hard to address them.”

The Obama news conference did not impress former Presidential rival and long time US Senator from Arizona, John McCain, who responded in a statement today:

“While I am glad that after many weeks of refusing to acknowledge this widening scandal, President Obama finally saw fit to speak about it today, but his remarks are wholly insufficient in addressing the fundamental, systemic problems plaguing our veterans’ health care system. According to the latest reports, 26 VA facilities nationwide are now being investigated, and this Administration’s ineffectual response has created a crisis of confidence in our veterans’ community. We need answers, leadership and accountability, none of which we’ve seen from the Obama Administration to date. Further, Congress must act to address the systemic problems at the VA by giving its leaders greater ability to hire and fire those charged with providing care, and by giving veterans far greater flexibility in how they get quality care in a timely manner.”

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Problems have plagued the VA health care system for decades as the President points out, and one Arizona columnist is asking John McCain, defender of the military man and woman, “Was this not on your watch also?

EJ Montini writes in the AZ Central:

Should not members of Congress display a little of that “leadership” and “accountability” McCain talked about? John McCain has been a U.S. Senator for a very, very long time. He has a strong connection to the military based on his own service and his time as a POW in Vietnam. He cares deeply about veterans and veterans issues.

The crisis with the VA hospitals came to light because of problems in Phoenix — McCain’s home city. So is it fair to ask: Where was John McCain when these problems were developing?

He’s a senior senator. He’s the state’s highest ranking federal official. He is deeply concerned with veterans issues. Should he or his staff have a strong connection to the local VA? Given that, does McCain feel as if HE bears any responsibility for not recognizing a problem?

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. UPDATE 3-Obama says he will get to the bottom of Veterans mess - Reuters | hoodrobins.com says:

    […] Shinseki stays for now, but VA misconduct will be punishedCNNMSNBC -Los Angeles Times -The Global Dispatchall 1,487 news […]

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