President Bush Called To Do More To Improve Veterans' Health Care
Veterans' Health Care
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Saturday called promises by PresidentBush to provide adequate health care to veterans of the wars in Iraqand Afghanistan "hollow talk" and said the Bush administration must domore to address the issue, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. During the Democratic weekly radio address, Murray said that Bush has not requested adequate funds for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sheadded, "The president can call on Democrats to follow him in lockstepall he wants, but, when it comes to caring for our veterans, we are notabout to start taking advice from George Bush." She also criticized theadministration for the loss of the personal data of millions ofveterans and for failure to improve conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.In addition, Murray promoted a bill that would provide thousands of newcase workers to prevent delays in health care for veterans, improveconditions at Walter Reed and fund efforts to improve treatment forpost-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions (Daly, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/4).
Durbin Seeks Investigation of VA Medical Center in Illinois
In related news, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) on Saturday asked theU.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Illinois toinvestigate "deeply disturbing" claims of improper care, inadequateoversight and possibly criminal behavior by employees at the Marion, Ill., VA Medical Center, the AP/Indianapolis Star reports.
Durbinmade the request based on a letter from 31 current and former employeesof the medical center that cited a number of problems at the facility.According to the letter, the medical center hired a physician who hadhis license revoked in a different state and several health careworkers who lacked credentials. In addition, the medical center toldnurses to destroy important documents and erased the records ofpatients who died from computers at the facility.
Durbin said that the claims "are extremely serious and deserve immediate investigation." The Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairson Tuesday will hold a hearing about the VA hiring practices andquality controls, with Gerald Cross, undersecretary for health at thedepartment, expected to testify (Suhr, AP/Indianapolis Star, 11/4).
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