| News |

Senate Committee to Hold Hearing on Phoenix VA Allegations

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

The Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs will hold a hearing on allegations that as many as 40 veterans died while waiting for care at the Phoenix VA healthcare system.

Both a former VA doctor and a U.S. Congressman have claimed that VA employees either manipulated or otherwise obfuscated the true wait times these veterans were facing.

See also:
-McCain, Flake Ask for Senate Investigation of Phoenix VA Hospital

The Arizona Republic first published the explosive allegations, and CNN has since done its own investigation of the apparent crisis.

Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake asked the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee to hold hearings on the issue, and committee chairman, Senator Bernie Sanders, has agreed.

Sanders responded in a letter:

I am pleased to inform you that the VA's Office of Inspector General has a multidisciplinary team already on the ground in Phoenix. I have urged them to move their investigation forward as quickly as possible. I am sure that you will agree with me than an objective inquiry into these allegations is necessary before holding a hearing on this issue. In other words, we have got to know what the facts are. Once the IG collects additional information, we can engage in a more informed deliberation on the allegations in Phoenix. You have requested a hearing on this issue and I will commit to holding a hearing once the IG's inquiry is complete.

It's been no secret, especially in recent months, that veterans have faced significant delays in getting care at VA facilities across the country. McCain has previously made an issue of the waits at Phoenix's VA health care system.

However, the recent allegations are that not only did 40 vets die while awaiting care in Phoenix, but the main whistleblower, a recently retired VA doctor, alleges that there was a "secret waiting list" to hide from Washington how long the waits truly were.

As Sanders mentioned in his letter, the VA's OIG is already investigating the Phoenix VA. According to CNN's report, sources at the Phoenix VA said they were questioned about the above-mentioned claims.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.