WASHINGTON D.C. – Due to reports of continuing consult delay problems and patient deaths at numerous VA Medical Centers (VAMC) around the country, Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02), met with fellow members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs this morning and voted to subpoena records from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“This morning, I joined my Republican and Democratic colleagues on the House Veterans’ Affairs committee to issue a subpoena to the Department of Veterans Affairs for information regarding the VA’s admitted destruction of a document department officials have speculated may be the ‘secret’ list cited by Phoenix VA Health Care System whistleblowers,” Walorski said. “This may be the list which the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system used to cover up the long wait times in which at least 40 veterans died waiting for care.”
Additional information regarding the list and the circumstances regarding its destruction were requested at the briefing. To watch the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee meeting click here. It begins at 9:37.
According to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, the subpoena duces tecum (for documents) compels production of all documents, including emails and correspondence, sent from April 9th to the present time, involving Secretary Shinseki, Under Secretary for Health Petzel, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Clinical Operations Lynch, General Counsel Gunn, Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs Mooney, and VA Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs Officers Mauer, Huff, and Bhatt pertaining to the maintenance and destruction of any alternate wait list for the Phoenix VAMC.
Recent reports have linked many Veterans Affairs patient care problems to widespread mismanagement within VA facilities, including dozens preventable deaths, 13 in Indiana, at VA medical centers nationwide that were all completely preventable. Several examples of this trend can be found on the VA Accountability Watch portion of the HVAC website.
Last month, Walorski joined Speaker Boehner and fellow GOP lawmakers to join in supporting greater VA accountability.
Walorski has co-sponsored H.R. 4031 the “Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014” in the House of Representatives to address widespread problems currently plaguing the VA.