WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s (Mo.) office posed several pointed questions today regarding extended and unacceptable delays for veterans seeking help at several Veterans Affairs (VA) Heartland Network (VISN 15) hospitals, which includes facilities in Missouri.
Blunt recently received a letter from the VA detailing Missouri facilities where veterans waited for care longer than 90 days, including 14 veterans in Poplar Bluff, Mo., 26 veterans in St. Louis, Mo., 19 veterans in Columbia, Mo., and 12 veterans in Kansas City, Mo. Click here to read the letter.
“It is unacceptable and intolerable that veterans in Missouri or anywhere in America would receive this type of inadequate treatment. But this serious and systemic problem at the VA won’t be fixed until the president shows leadership and takes action,” said Blunt. “I personally visited the VA hospitals in Columbia and St. Louis last week, and I’ll keep fighting to restore accountability at the VA and give our heroes the care they need and deserve.”
Earlier today, Blunt’s office posed the following questions to the VA regarding the extended wait times:
- Which specific facilities in Missouri had wait lists that “put veterans at risk” or used “secret wait lists”?
- Was the VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) made aware of the unauthorized wait lists in VISN-15?
- Did VISN-15 conduct its own internal investigation without including the OIG?
- Is it standard practice to notify the OIG through the Hotline with information relating to wait times of this magnitude?
Last week, Blunt visited the John Cochran VA Hospital in St. Louis, Mo. and the Harry S Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in Columbia, Mo. On May 12, 2014, Blunt and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (Mo.) sent a letter to the VA Secretary and the VA St. Louis Health Care System demanding answers regarding serious allegations of delays and inefficiencies at the John Cochran VA.
Blunt’s office has not received a response regarding the John Cochran allegations to date.