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Barack Obama VA Scandal: 8 Key Figures Caught Up in Veterans Health Administration Controversy

Image: Barack Obama VA Scandal: 8 Key Figures Caught Up in Veterans Health Administration Controversy
President Barack Obama delivers a statement after meeting with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki at the White House in Washington, DC, May 21, 2014. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 01:17 PM

No one knows how many veterans died while waiting for treatment at Veterans Affairs hospitals. The scandal erupted in 2014 long after the President Barack Obama was warned about abuses at the facilities.

Here’s a look at eight figures embroiled in the Veterans Health Administration scandal:

1. VA Secretary Erick Shinseki held the position while many of the abuses that had taken place. After repeated calls for his resignation by veterans, veterans’ groups and politicians from both sides of the aisle, Shinseki finally resigned in May 2014.

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2. U.S. Rep. David Scott, a Democrat from Georgia, was among those angry representatives who demanded the dismissal of Shinseki. He spoke on the House floor about the mistreatment of veterans that occurred in his own district. At a hospital in Atlanta, “four of our soldiers committed suicide, and the inspector general of the VA laid the blame directly at the foot of the VA administration,” he exclaimed.

3. Veterans Affairs officials have taken a lot of heat for the scandal, but there were many in the department who were warning President Obama about the hazardous wait times for veterans at facilities. Shortly after Barack Obama was elected in 2008, officials at Veterans Affairs wrote to him of  “delaying — and potentially denying — deserving veterans timely care.”

4. U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of House Veterans Affairs Committee, has kept a constant watch of the scandal. When Obama signed a $17 billion bill to deal with the VA issues, six years after he was warned of the severe problems, Miller said he hoped this was a “wake-up call” and not a “photo-op” for the president.

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5. New VA secretary Robert McDonald took charge in July 2014 shortly after Shinseki’s resignation. He promised he would do everything he could with the new legislation to improve the treatment of the nation’s veterans.

6. Montel Williams, veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and the Navy, showed his anger during a "Fox News" interview. He has been a passionate supporter of the care for veterans, some of whom “left more of their bodies and more parts of them overseas.” He implored Obama to do something to fix the problem immediately.

7. Scott Davis was a Veterans Affairs employee and a whistleblower on the abuse going on during the VA scandal. He later revealed he had been going through harassment from high levels within the VA because of his revelations.

8. While beginning his campaign for the presidency in 2007, Obama said, “When 400,000 veterans are stuck on a waiting list for claims, we need a new sense of urgency in this country.” He was repeatedly warned of the abuses with VA hospitals, but only took action in the sixth year of his presidency when the trouble turned into a scandal.

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No one knows how many veterans died while waiting for treatment at Veterans Affairs hospitals. The scandal erupted in 2014 long after the President Barack Obama was warned about abuses at the facilities.
barack, obama, scandal, veterans, key, figures
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2014-17-21
Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 01:17 PM
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