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Looking for answers in Veterans Affairs scandal

The VA’s office of the Inspector General is now investigating allegations of secret waiting lists used to hide appointment delays. It’s believed some 40 veterans died while waiting to see a doctor, but VA records show everyone was being seen within two weeks.
 SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - This Memorial Day many people are looking for answers from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The agency has come under fire after allegations of excessively long waits for veterans seeking medical care.

 

The VA’s office of the Inspector General is now investigating allegations of secret waiting lists used to hide appointment delays. It’s believed some 40 veterans died while waiting to see a doctor, but VA records show everyone was being seen within two weeks.

 

For Utah Senator Orrin Hatch the allegations are inexcusable.

 

"There is some indication that they were cooking the books in some ways to look better than they really were,” said Sen. Hatch. “It would have been better for them to come to us and say 'hey we need this and this and this, and if you help us we may be able to prevent delays in helping our veterans and soldiers.’”

 

Local Vietnam veteran Jerry Nielsen says it's a slap in the face to those who offered up their lives to serve this country.

 

"I think the government has let some of our veterans down,” said Nielsen.

 

Nielsen is battling cancer, and while he's upset over the national VA scandal he says here in Salt Lake the VA has come through for him.

 

"I was already with a doctor before I even contacted the VA about it but they have come through and have given me disability for it,” said Nielsen.

 

In fact, none of the veterans we spoke with had anything bad to say about the Salt Lake VA.

 

"You know my experience with the VA here has been great,” said Ret. Lt. Colonel Ronald McLean. “I mean it's excellent. I have no complaints at all."

 

Some are calling for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down in the wake of the scandal, but he has no plans to step down as of yet. President Obama says he needs more information, but promised accountability if the allegations prove to be true.  

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