For Immediate Release
May 28, 2014
DC – Bill Silverfarb (202) 225-3531 / (202) 957-4340 cell
CA – Katrina Rill (650) 342-0300 / (650) 208-7441 cell
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) issued the following statement after an inspector general report released today revealed that at least 1,700 veterans waiting for health care at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs medical facility were not on the facility's wait list, and that patients there waited an average of 115 days for initial appointments.
“We can’t have even one veteran lost in the system but to have 1,700 veterans who were apparently just overlooked — this is a violation of every principle that we promote to protect our veterans and to honor their service. There should be a full investigation and those responsible should be held accountable,” said Congresswoman Jackie Speier.
“It’s unconscionable that these wait times could be linked to preventable deaths, and that the leadership of the VA would be unaware of an abusive practice that was systemic and widespread. The conduct of VA personnel in Phoenix who believed it was acceptable to dismiss our veterans in need is despicable,” Congresswoman Speier said.
There are two VA facilities in San Francisco and Palo Alto that serve California’s District 14.
“My office hasn’t had a deluge of complaints like those that have come up in Phoenix, but I also want to make sure that no veteran in my district has been denied access,” she said.
Congresswoman Speier urges veterans to reach out to their members of Congress if they have experienced or suspect there are problems at the VA facilities they rely on for health care.
“This situation can’t be solved until sunlight shines on it, and the VA, Congress and the President get it fixed,” Speier said.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier is proud to represent California’s 14th Congressional District, which includes parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties. She is a senior member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Armed Services Committee (HASC). In her role on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Congresswoman is a ranking member on the Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements and serves on the Subcommittee on National Security. She serves on the Readiness Subcommittee and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on HASC and is a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. Congresswoman Speier was appointed to serve as a Senior Whip for the Democratic caucus in the 113th Congress.