Kelly Westlund calls for VA Secretary Shinseki to resign

From my email inbox comes a press release from Democratic Congressional candidate Kelly Westlund calling for Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign over the recent scandal alleging that as many as 40 veterans died waiting up to 21 months for care at a VA hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.

Democratic candidate for Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District, Kelly Westlund is urging Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Shinseki to resign over the recent scandal as the first of many steps to reform the VA.

“The problems within the VA are serious and appalling. A change in leadership is an important first step, but we must reform the VA to ensure that our veterans receive quality care in a timely fashion,” Westlund said.

We need representatives that will stand up for our veterans, unlike Rep. Sean Duffy who claims to be on the side of our service members but consistently supports legislation like the Ryan Budget that hurts veterans. Duffy and the rest of Washington ought to be held accountable.

“I grew up in a military family. I know our service men and women put themselves in harm’s way for this country and deserve the top level of care when they get home,” Westlund said. “We can’t do that unless Washington is willing to make sure that the VA is adequately staffed and funded.”

Here’s more information regarding the VA scandal.

A scathing interim report released by the VA Inspector General revealed Wednesday that the average wait time for registered patients at the Phoenix facility was 115 days.

It also found that about 1,700 area veterans were not even on the wait-list and “continue to be at risk of being lost or forgotten” and “may never obtain their requested or required care.”

The report determined there is “systemic” misconduct throughout the VA.

The report did not confirm whether the long delays resulted in veterans’ deaths, but promised to investigate the link between wait times and “possible preventable deaths.”


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4 thoughts on “Kelly Westlund calls for VA Secretary Shinseki to resign

  1. I suggest Kelly read John Nichols’ analysis citing underfunding before calling for Shinseki’s removal.

    Also, let’s give Obama’s man, Nabors, time to investigate and report his findings.

    As a veteran, I have been using the Tomah VA facilities for the past fifteen years without any delays. In fact, I rate them equal to and in some areas better than private clinics I have used.

    Let’s get all the facts including underfunding and budget cuts by Congress and the effect of the Bush-Cheney wars with its huge increase in volume of casualties before rushing to a judgment.

    1. Agreed.
      Unfortunately the politics of the situation call for someone’s head/fall guy.

  2. Okay Kelly, Shenseki resigned.

    Now what?

    As many have noted, the problem is systemic. Shinseki was dealt with a losing hand from the beginning; that is, too many players(Veterans) and not enough cash(Congress). If I have any criticism, Shenseki should have resigned long ago when he realized Congress did not share his concern to accommodate ALL veterans in need of timely medical treatment. As a good soldier, he accepted the assignment to serve his country to the best of his ability in spite of a Congress, including Duffy, that didn’t give a damn for Veterans when VA funding was short changed.

    Congress and Speaker Boehner was, is, and will continue to be responsible for the deaths of veterans due to delayed treatment.

    Those who called for Shenseki’s “lynching” without a trial should issue an apology when the truth is known and publicized.

    As for me, thank you General Shenseki for your service to our Veterans.

  3. This morning’s Cap Times headline sez it all: “The VA problem? Congress”

    And to provide detail, “Even as Congress pushes more claims into the system, it refuses to adequately fund the necessary but complex function of processing those claims.”

    WOW, Congress, not the medical community, is broadening the definition of a disability for treatment by the VA, but not the corresponding funds needed for the expansion!

    Blame Shinseki? I think not.

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