Blumenthal pushes new bill to support veterans

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Word of mismanagement at VA hospitals has led to the resignation of that agency’s top official and calls for an overhaul of the system.

Monday, Connecticut’s senior senator is calling for details of the audits done at VA facilities in our state.

“I am writing to the Acting Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Sen. Richard Blumental, (D) Connecticut.

Blumenthal VA

That letter demands the acting secretary make the results of an audit of  216 veterans medical facilities available to everyone.

“The American public has a right to know what the results were on specific locations – medical facilities and hospitals around the country,” said Blumental.

Because of the growing scandal involving secret waiting lists for medical care for veterans in Phoenix and because of the problems patients and employees at Connecticut VA medical centers recently told the News8 Investigators about, but does this federal audit include any Connecticut facilities?

“We don’t know. There were 216 facilities audited. My hope is Connecticut’s facilities were among them,” said Blumental.

Even if the information about the VA system is made public, there are still plenty of problems with the VA system. Senator Blumenthal is backing legislation that’s about to come out that tried to fix that by giving the Secretary for Veterans Affairs more power, especially when it comes to hiring and firing.

Senator Blumenthal says to turn around the VA, more doctors and staff need to be hired, and administrators need the ability to fire those aren’t cutting it. In the meantime, there are other ways to help vets in need.

“Procedures to allow more veterans to seek private care at private facilities outside the Veterans Administration so as to eliminate some of the delays,” said Blumental.

Blumenthal says he’ll introduce that legislation in the Senate later this week.

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