Statement of Garry J. Augustine

DAV remains deeply concerned about allegations of secret waiting lists, falsification of medical appointment records and the destruction of official documents at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care facilities in Phoenix, Arizona and Fort Collins, Colorado.

DAV is first and foremost concerned about the health and safety of the 9 million enrolled veterans who rely on the VA for some or all of their health care needs, including most of our 1.2 million members.

Veterans are a unique population with special needs; and it is vitally important that a safe, high-quality and accessible VA health care system be sustained to deliver such care.

At a time of such serious allegations it is imperative that the VA respond quickly, forcefully and publicly to these reports and answer questions about whether similar problems are threatening other VA facilities or the system as a whole.

Veterans have a right to know that they can receive quality medical care in a timely manner when they come to VA.

I am calling on VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to answer not just the public allegations but also some fundamental questions about the entire VA health care system.

The Secretary must quickly, comprehensively and publicly answer a number of questions that are necessary to give us, all veterans and the American public confidence that the VA health care system can and will provide safe, high-quality care at every facility in the nation.

VA and its leadership at all levels must be held fully accountable for any failures or wrongdoing that may have occurred or be occurring. America’s heroes deserve nothing less.