Obama Pays Visit To Troubled VA Hospital

first_img Arizona Republic: VA Secretary McDonald Presses For Veterans’ Care Reform President Barack Obama is making a first-time visit to the Arizona veterans’ hospital that triggered a national examination into how the government cares for its former service members to get an appraisal on the health system’s progress and its lingering needs. Obama will travel to Phoenix on Friday to draw attention to the Veterans Affairs Department response to widespread mismanagement where VA workers falsified waiting lists to conceal chronic delays in care. (3/13) The Washington Post: VA Manager Helped Pick Relative’s Property For New Medical Center Department of Veterans Affairs manager Wendy Gillis seemed to understand the trouble with serving on a selection committee that was considering five of her family’s properties for a new VA medical center in Fayetteville, N.C. “I don’t think I need to be here … Oh my god, I shouldn’t be here,” a VA official remembered her saying during a 2010 evaluation of one relative’s plot. (Hicks, 3/13) The Associated Press: Obama To Visit VA Hospital, Check Progress On Veterans Care This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. On the eve of a presidential visit to the Phoenix VA hospital, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald stressed that reforming his massive federal agency is a process with two key elements: leadership and time. (Wagner, 3/12) Whether President Barack Obama thinks things are getting better at the Phoenix VA may depend on whether he talks to patients or staff. Current and former employees at the veterans hospital that spawned a nationwide scandal last year warn that a culture of sloppy service and reprisals against whistleblowers persists and should make vets think twice before renewing their trust in the agency. (Wheaton, 3/12) Kansas Health Institute News Service: Moran Questions VA Commitment To Veterans Choice Program Obama Pays Visit To Troubled VA Hospital President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the Arizona veterans hospital which triggered national scrutiny of the VA health care system. On the eve of that visit, VA Secretary Robert McDonald says it will take time and leadership to reform the massive system. Millions of veterans nationwide now have a card that’s supposed to improve their access to health care. But a Kansas senator and some other members of Congress doubt the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is really serious about the new Veterans Choice Program. The program is meant to let veterans get care from private providers if they live at least 40 miles from a VA health care facility or if they face a wait of more than 30 days for an appointment. … At a recent hearing, [Sen. Jerry] Moran told McDonald the VA seems to be putting its own welfare ahead of what’s best for veterans. “The concern I have is that the VA has a mentality against outside care, even in the circumstances of (when veterans) can’t get care within 30 days or within 40 miles,” Moran said. (Thompson, 3/12) Politico Pro: Obama Confronts VA Mess In other news related to veterans’ health –last_img read more