Army Vet Barno: Coburn VA Report 'Absolutely Disgusting'

Wednesday, 25 Jun 2014 05:11 PM

By Courtney Coren

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The report released by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma showing that more than 1,000 veterans may have died while waiting to be treated at hospitals run by the VA is "absolutely disgusting," says former Army helicopter pilot Amber Barno.

"The more and more we hear about the [Veterans Affairs Administration], the more and more shocking it is that we have allowed it to get to this point," Barno told Ed Berliner on "MidPoint" on Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

"Thankfully, now the cameras are on, but it just goes to show the deep-rooted systemic corruption and ineptness inside the VA that needs to be addressed," she said.

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"We need to go in and sort of clean house from the top down to ensure that veterans are being provided with the care that they deserve, and that's not what they're getting from the VA right now, as we just saw from the Coburn report," Barno said.

She contends the problem stems from "the people who manage, the administrators, the top-tier managers who are causing this sort of unethical culture within the VA."

From there "it bleeds down into the lower-level employees, and that's what needs to be addressed," she added.

Former Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned at the end of May in the wake of allegations that veterans died while waiting for appointments while employees at a VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., allegedly kept secret wait-lists to make it look like they weren't waiting more than the required two-week period.

Barno says she believes he was responsible.

"Whether he just did it out of sort of naïveness or turning the other way, he was not paying attention to what was happening in this administration, under his watch," she said. "So yes, he should've resigned or have been fired by Obama."

However, she says that Shinseki's resignation was merely a "first step of many that needed to happen to fix the problem."

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