GOP chairman: VA faces 'enormous challenges' one year after scandal

GOP chairman: VA faces 'enormous challenges' one year after scandal
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House Veterans' Affairs Chairman Jeff MillerJefferson (Jeff) Bingham MillerOhio school took hot lunch from 9-year-old on his birthday due to unpaid lunch debt Labor Day 2019: Provide VA whistleblowers with necessary legal tools If Trump wants to stay popular among veterans he has to do more MORE (R-Fla.) says the VA is still not doing enough to hold employees accountable one year after the biggest scandal in the agency's history.

"I think Sec. [Robert] McDonald is doing his best to correct VA’s course, but enormous challenges remain," said Miller in a statement Thursday.

“VA’s chief problem — a widespread lack of accountability among failed employees — is as prevalent today as it was a year ago."

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Miller's statement comes one year after revelations that patients at VA hospitals faced long wait times and that employees covered up the delay in care.

Media reports that veterans at a VA facility in Phoenix waited an average of 115 days for medical care prompted a national outcry and investigations into practices at the agency’s medical facilities nationwide. 

The scandal led to the resignation of then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and Congress passed a $16.3 billion reform bill to revamp the beleaguered agency.

Miller, though, said Thursday that more needed to be done.

He charged that “not a single VA senior executive has been fired” for manipulating patient wait times or falsifying patient data.

“No one thought the department’s problems would magically disappear upon the appointment of a new secretary,” Miller said. “But it’s been a year since the scandal broke, and the department is still facing challenges with transparency, protecting whistleblowers and conveying accurate information to the public.

"It's simply naïve to think these issues will subside in the absence of the thorough housecleaning the department desperately needs," he added.

President Obama tapped former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald to take the helm at the VA and turn the agency around.

Last November, McDonald announced an initiative titled “MyVa”  — to streamline the organization, improve customer service and allow veterans to navigate the agency more easily. He has also implemented a number of efforts related to the program, including a new advisory council aimed at boosting efficiency.