MANILA, Philippines (April 28, 2014) The U.S. will get to the bottom of whether veterans were denied help they needed at a VA hospital in Arizona, President Barack Obama said Monday while on a trip to the Philippines.
Mr. Obama said he immediately ordered Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to investigate following allegations that as many as 40 Arizona veterans died while awaiting medical appointments at the Phoenix VA Health Care Center.
Mr. Obama said he takes the allegations "very seriously" and said an inspector general is also investigating.
Mr. Obama said he wants to ensure not a single U.S. veteran lacks needed help.
He said he's increased the VA's budget more than any other agency in his government.
U.S. Rep. John Carter R-Round Rock, meanwhile, issued a statement Monday in which he condemned the Phoenix VA Health Care System.
“I am infuriated and heartbroken by the recent reports of 40 veterans passing while waiting for care from the Department of Veteran Affairs hospital in Phoenix,” Carter said.
“These are the men and women who sacrificed so much for the freedoms we have today. They deserve the best quality care our health system can provide, not waiting months for an appointment. If these allegations are true, this is one of the most atrocious acts of negligence and mismanagement that I have seen during my time in Congress.
Carter said he has talked with the director of the Temple VA Health Care System and was assured the Temple VA doesn’t keep a secret waiting list for medical appointments and that such issues don’t exist here.