News

Veteran’s Affairs secretary won’t resign, is ‘angry’ over claims

Veteran’s Affairs secretary won’t resign, is ‘angry’ over claims

WOUNDED WARRIORS:President Barack Obama, accompanied by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, left, welcome the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride as they circle the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 17. The cyclists were in specially built bikes that could accommodate amputations or other injuries. Photo: Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite

(Reuters) – U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said on Wednesday he was “angry” over claims that as many as 40 people died while waiting for medical care in the veterans’ healthcare system and wants a full investigation, but does not plan to resign.

“What I want veterans to know … this is a good, quality healthcare system, not perfect, and when we stumble across our imperfections we’re going to do something about it, we get to the bottom of it, and to the best of our abilities assure it never happens again,” Shinseki said in an interview on NBC News.

Shinseki also said he was angry. Asked if he would resign, he said he serves “at the pleasure of the president.”

Some Republican lawmakers have called for Shinseki’s resignation. They include Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, who said on Tuesday the Veterans Affairs Department needed a “true transformation … from top to bottom.”

Veterans Affairs is the biggest U.S. healthcare system, with

1,700 hospitals, clinics and other facilities. It has nearly 9 million people enrolled.

The VA secretary put the director of a Phoenix hospital on indefinite leave last week while the department’s inspector general probes whistleblowers’ claims that up to 40 veterans may have died while waiting for medical appointments.

Two other hospital officials were also put on leave.

The American Legion, the biggest U.S. veterans group, and Concerned Veterans for America called on Monday for Shinseki, a former Army general twice wounded in Vietnam, to step down.

President Barack Obama has expressed support for Shinseki and the VA has defended his record.

Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said on Monday firing him “doesn’t get us any closer to the truth or solve problems that may exist.”

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski and Ian Simpson; Editing by Paul Tait)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Muhammad Ali’s ‘Fight of the Century’ gloves sell for $400K

Fresh
muhammadali

The gloves the boxing great wore in his legendary 1971 fight against Joe Frazier sold at auction on Thursday.

in Sports

Seahawks RB Lynch ends his holdout

Fresh
lynch

The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks were given a welcome boost when Marshawn Lynch reported for camp at the team's practice facility.

in National

Senate passes $16.3B veterans health care bill

Fresh
healthcare

The U.S. Senate gave final approval to a plan to ease delays at the scandal-plagued Veterans Affairs Department.

in Entertainment

‘Sharknado 2′ sparks feeding frenzy on Twitter, sets record

Fresh
sharknado

Flying sharks chomping through NYC drew a record audience for Syfy network and became the most tweeted-about TV movie in history.

in National

Obamacare subsidy case could be headed to Supreme Court

Fresh
supreme

The Supreme Court has been asked to review a case about whether the federal government can subsidize health insurance for millions of Americans.