Rep. Roby mentions today’s report stating more than 57,000 veterans nationwide are waiting for a first appointment in the VA system, as well as word that action could be taken this week on legislation proliferating non-VA care options to help cut down on the massive backlog.
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A complete transcript of Rep. Roby's comments is below.
Reports are emerging that employees in the Central Alabama VA falsified records to hide long wait times for veterans seeking care. I actually met with the Central Alabama VA Director, James Talton about these developments last week. He told me action had been taken to terminate those responsible for the wrongdoing. If true, that’s a positive development. Right now my office is trying to follow up on exactly who got fired and when. Anybody found to have mistreated veterans, altered a wait list, or been complicit with such behavior should be immediately terminated and possibly prosecuted.
I hear from area veterans everyday who experience difficulty dealing with the VA. Their stories and this report confirm what we've suspected for some time about the pattern of neglect and mismanagement within the VA. It is chilling to know the atrocious behavior we have heard about in other places has been happening right here in Central Alabama.
I am so proud of my staff in Alabama that works diligently everyday to help individual veterans with their specific cases. If you have had trouble dealing with an issue at the VA, please let us know.
Unfortunately what we are seeing is a systemic problem throughout the VA. Nationwide more than 57,000 veterans are waiting just a first appointment.
It’s time to stop talking about ways to fix the problems and start taking action. I have long advocated for utilizing the many great doctors and hospitals in our communities to get veterans the care they need right away. It looks like the House will take action to make that happen this week, and I’ll keep you updated on those developments.