Gov. Scott to Chairman Miller: Hold Field Hearings On VA Issues in Florida

Today, Governor Rick Scott sent a letter to Chairman Jeff Miller requesting that the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hold field hearings in Florida regarding the issues plaguing the federal VA facilities. Below and attached is the full letter.

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April 24, 2014

The Honorable Jeff Miller

United States House of Representatives

336 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Miller:

I want to thank you for your leadership in drawing attention to the concerning activities taking place in federal VA Hospitals. To further shed light on issues plaguing these VA Hospitals, I would like to extend an invitation for the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs to hold field hearings in Florida.

With more than 1.5 million veterans, Florida would provide your committee the opportunity to receive input from veterans who rely on the federal VA Hospitals for their health care services. Their insight is invaluable, and would provide members of your committee with the type of first-hand account of the VA’s shortcoming that will enable your committee to create the needed transparency and improvements that our veterans deserve.

Numerous veterans have written to my office on the matter and contributed their own stories of the VA’s neglect and incompetence. Richard, a Vietnam Veteran from Palm Beach County, was diagnosed with colon cancer. Despite the prognosis, his surgery was cancelled because the doctor suggested they “wait and see” what happened. He then went to a different VA for a second opinion, and they confirmed he needed surgery and quickly scheduled it. Richard told us that if he had followed the “wait and see strategy” of the first VA he may not be around today.

John, a Vietnam Veteran from Pinellas County, says the VA denied his request for a new primary care physician. After seven months, he was finally able to get a new doctor and was diagnosed with stage two colon cancer.

Finally, Casey, in Palm Beach County, is a disabled combat veteran of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom who took a nursing assistant job at a VA Medical Center. Casey told us that “the patients’ safety and health were at risk.” According to Casey, patients are not receiving the care they need, and there is mold and fruit flies in the rooms, making the conditions deplorable.

These accounts of federal VA facilities in Florida deserve our attention, and I have no doubt there are many more like these that will aid your committee’s efforts in holding federal VA leadership accountable. My office stands ready to provide the necessary support you need to hold a field hearing in Florida, and we hope you will schedule it soon.

Sincerely,

 

Rick Scott

Governor

 

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