American Legion Calls For VA Leadership Change
May 6, 2014 — Indiana Public Broadcasting — The Indianapolis-based American Legion national office called for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and two of his top deputies for what it calls “poor oversight and failed leadership” amid allegations that treatment delays at VA hospitals are responsible for the deaths of dozens of veterans. From Indianapolis, Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Michelle Johnson has more.
The American Legion – the nation’s largest veterans service organization – has been critical of the VA’s management of its clinics and its backlog of claims for veterans benefits, but it’s rare for the group to take such a drastic and public step.
The tipping point? This week’s revelations that clerks at a VA clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado had been told to falsify appointment records. That, along with allegations of a secret waiting list at a Phoenix VA hospital that may have contributed to the deaths of 40 veterans — convinced the Legion’s leadership to call for Shinseki’s ouster, says National American Legion Commander Daniel Dellinger:
VA leadership has demonstrated its incompetence through preventable deaths of veterans, long wait times for medical care, a benefits claim backlog numbering in excess of 596 thousand, and the awarding of bonuses to senior executives who have overseen such operations.
Dellinger says the group was sending President Obama its demands for Shinseki’s resign