WASHINGTON — Following VA’s announcement that it has removed the director of the Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System, Chairman Jeff Miller released the following statement.
“I’m pleased the department has finally reached the same conclusion about James Talton that nearly every person familiar with CAVHCS’s problems came to long ago. It’s unfortunate, however, that VA’s action comes only after Talton was on paid leave for more than two months – an expense that can only be described as a waste of taxpayer dollars. Regardless of this decision, it’s clear the department needs to move much more quickly to purge other disgraced personnel from its payroll, especially the CAVHCS employee who took a veteran to a crack house and Sharon Helman, the face of the VA scandal who has been on indefinite paid leave for nearly six months.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ AffairsRead More
WASHINGTON — Following VA announcements that it has proposed the removal of four senior executives, one of whom has already retired and no longer works for VA, Chairman Jeff Miller released the following statement.
“Quite simply, any VA administrator who purposely manipulated appointment data, covered up problems, retaliated against whistleblowers or who was involved in malfeasance that harmed veterans must be fired. Unfortunately, I’m concerned that VA’s implementation of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 may be interfering with this concept. By creating an added appeals process in which VA employees are given advance notice of the department’s plans to fire them, VA appears to be giving failing executives an opportunity to quit, retire or find new jobs without consequence – something we have already seen happen in recent weeks. Right now, it's incumbent on all of VA's external watchdogs — Congress, the press and the American public — to maintain pressure on the department until those who created VA’s problems receive the accountability they are due. This is the only way veterans and families struck by the VA scandal can get the closure they deserve. If any current laws or regulations are impeding the department’s ability to swiftly hold employees accountable, VA leaders must work with Congress so those laws and regulations can be changed.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ AffairsRead More
Today, after VA Office of Inspector General officials confirmed that delays in VA medical care did contribute to veteran deaths and the fact that the possibility that delays caused deaths couldn’t be ruled out, Chairman Jeff Miller released the following statement:
“The confirmation from IG officials today that delays in VA medical care contributed to the deaths of Phoenix-area veterans and IG officials’ admission that they couldn’t rule out the possibility that delays caused deaths changes the entire bottom line of the IG’s Phoenix report. Absent these qualifying statements, the OIG’s previous assertions that it could not ‘conclusively assert’ that delays caused deaths are completely misleading. It’s absolutely inexplicable and outrageous that the IG’s Phoenix report failed to clearly make these distinctions. While I am pleased IG officials finally cleared up these glaring inconsistencies, I regret that they only did so several weeks after the release of the Phoenix report and after hours of intense questioning. Getting the whole story out of inspectors general should not be this difficult.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ AffairsRead More
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