Congressman Tim Ryan Calls on Secretary Shinseki to Resign
Washington, DC -- Congressman Tim Ryan issued the following statement today in response to the VA Office of Inspector General Report on Patient Wait Times:
“Every day 22 veterans are taking their own lives--approximately one every hour. Each and every moment is a precious opportunity to try to prevent this from happening. Instead, the widespread manipulation of the VA’s scheduling system has caused tragedy by failing to get veterans the treatments they deserve.
"There must be accountability when taking care of our veterans. The Inspector General’s report shows the gross incompetence of the VA health system going back as far as 2005. The problems are wide ranging and they are troubling in their prevalence. These deficiencies, especially regarding wait times, are clearly systemic. It is unacceptable that so many of those responsible are still at their jobs, while our veterans who have sacrificed so much are still being made to wait.
“Secretary Shinseki has a long record of admirable service to our nation, but ultimately he must take responsibility for the dismal shape of our VA health system. He should immediately resign his post. Others who tolerated these deficiencies should also be forced out of their positions. Secretary Shinseki’s resignation will provide an opportunity to bring in a new leadership team to root out the problems and right this ship so the VA can begin to rebuild trust with the veterans of America and their families.”