Grassley holds VA’s feet to the fire

Finds that ongoing scandal affects veterans in Hawkeye State

Is there no end to the dishonesty and shoddy treatment of those who served our country by bureaucrats at the Department of Veterans Affairs?

Apparently not. In late February, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked VA officials about how long veterans were kept waiting for help at the agency’s hospitals in Iowa. No one had been on a wait-list for more than 90 days, lawmakers were assured.

Then someone blew the whistle on the liars. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is furious. He is doubly angry, first because VA officials lied to the committee he chairs and second because his constituents were affected.

VA officials now admit the committee was given incorrect information. According to the whistleblower — who deserves a pay raise and promotion –the truth about the agency’s Iowa City hospital is this:

During the past couple of years, 537 veterans were kept waiting for treatment for between three and six months and 539 were delayed for between six months and a year. Another 232 were on wait-lists for between one and two years.

This is not a surprise. The wait-list scandal dates back to 2014. An investigation then disclosed VA supervisors at 40 facilities in 19 states ordered staff members to manipulate wait-list data to make it appear veterans were not kept waiting.

Since then, VA officials have claimed time and time again that the agency is cleaning up its act. Clearly, that has not occurred.

Grassley and 13 other senators want to know why, during the past two years, fewer than six VA employees involved in the original scandal have been fired.

Now there is a new fiasco to be investigated and, no doubt, a new round of blithe assurances to be heard from the VA.

No. No more. This is intolerable, and it will end only when everyone involved is fired — and some are prosecuted and put behind bars.

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