Veterans

V.A. Secretary Eric Shinseki Resigns

Weeks after a scandal over wait time cover-ups exploded

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This item has been updated to add more background and quote responses to Shinseki's resignation.

President Barack Obama announced today that Veterans Affairs (V.A.) Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned. Shinseki has been under fire since revelations began last month of alleged intentional cover-ups of wait times in veterans hospitals around the country. The call for his resignation had become bipartisan ahead of midterm elections in November. Shinseki apologized to some veterans earlier today and met with the president about an hour before his resignation was announced.

An aide for President Obama said the president was "madder than hell" about the V.A. scandal eleven days ago, and Shinseki himself said he was angry at a Senate V.A. Committee hearing two weeks ago. Obama spoke out himself later, saying some of the problems have been known about for decades and promising accountability. Despite that, liberals have been using the same V.A. system for years as an example of successful government-run healthcare.

Below, President Obama announces Shineski's resignation:

Where do things currently stand with the VA care scandal?

An interim report (pdf) from the VA Office of the Inspector General released this week substantiates the allegations that veterans have received significant delays seeking care at their medical facility in Phoenix. The report determined that veterans seeking care in Phoenix waited an average of 115 days for their first primary medical appointment with doctors, even though the hospital claimed an average wait of only 24 days. More than 1,700 veterans had requested appointments but had not been formally added to the waiting list, thus preventing the clock from starting to calculate how long they waited. A former clinic director in Phoenix claims that 40 veterans have died there while waiting for treatment.

Reuters noted that probes are now active at 42 different VA sites across the country and added that several members of Congress cheered on Shinseki's resignation:

"The denial of care to our veterans is a national disgrace and it's fitting that the person who oversees the Department of Veterans Affairs has accepted responsibility for this growing scandal and resigned," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Representative Peter Welch, a Vermont Democrat, said: "Obviously General Shinseki came to the conclusion that he'd lost the confidence, at least, of Congress. He stepped aside so the debate could be about fixing the VA as opposed to his status."

More Reason on the V.A. scandal here.

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  1. “Shinseki […] met with the president about an hour before his resignation was announced.”

    Wonder how that meeting went.

    Obama: Let me be clear, you’re going to have to take one for the team on this one.
    Shinseki: But you knew about this just as long as I did! We had a deal!
    Obama: Now look, I understand you’re mad – I am too – but don’t worry, I’ll make sure you’re taken care of. Now, let’s go over this script again … where’d the teleprompter go …

  2. So we get a new Top Man and this is “fixed” just exactly the way the “medical insurance crises” was fixed with O-care.
    OK, what’s next?

    1. what do you mean? The resignation itself is not the fix?

  3. Wasn’t Shinseki the one Bush fired for saying any war in Iraq would require hundreds of thousands of troops?

    Once again, it’s Bush’s fault. If he hadn’t fired Shinseki and given him some street cred when he turned out to have been right, Obama could have nominated someone good.

    1. This “But Booosh” is actually 2 standard deviations above average, for actually having a causal relation.

  4. “The president was, ‘madder than hell’ about the VA scandal eleven days ago”. 12 days ago? Not so much.

  5. So, ONE apparatchik has resigned for not doing his fucking job. How about Eric Holder following suit?

    -jcr

  6. We might have a small chance of surviving as a Constitutional Republic that operates under the rule of law and protects our rights if Obama resigns, all those in his administration resign, and 99.9% of Congress resigns. Then we pass a Constitutional amendment to limit the terms of office holders and eliminate the use of executive orders which have been used in place of laws passed by Congress to usurp the Constitution and our rights.

    1. In other words, we’re doomed.

  7. The press conference paraphrased

    Obama: I plan to take full responsibility for everything that’s happened.
    (2 minutes elapse)
    WE need to figure out why these problems weren’t brought to our attention. I didn’t know about it, nor did Eric Shinseki.

    Another case of Barry “not knowing” what was going on until he saw it on the news.

  8. So long Funnyman.

    This is a good death. There’s no shame in this. In a man’s death, a man who has done fine works.

    1. Just watched Serenity again two nights ago. Good scene.

  9. Great news, but it will do absolutely nothing to fix America’s Death Panel.

  10. V.A. Secretary Eric Shinseki Resigns

    Problem solved.

    1. and THAT’s the end of THAT Chapter… *dusts off hands*

  11. Jay Carney also stepped down, where’s the post dedicated to this transition?

    1. Small potatoes. Besides he can’t take the fall for any of the current miseries so why publicize his defection?

    2. “Jay Carney also stepped down”
      Because it was becoming to difficult to wash the clown makeup off his lying face.

    3. Given that Carney is no longer employed, I’m expecting to see more posts from american socialist.

      1. ROFLMAO.

  12. Had this occurred when the reports of lies and cover-ups first came out, it would have at least registered as SOMETHING. But now . . .

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