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American Homefront

The VA Scandal Played Out in Florida

Bobbie O'Brien
WUSF Public Media

The audio is a compilation of six stories that exemplify coverage of the VA scandal over delayed veterans’ health care and benefits claims as it unfolded nationally and in Florida.

  1. April 9, 2014 - State health care regulators showed up unannounced for a third time this week at a Veterans Administration Hospital in Florida and asked to view patient records. The visit to James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa appears to be part of a tug-of-war between Gov. Rick Scott and federal VA hospitals.
  2. May 2, 2014 - A recent VA report found that delayed medical care may have led to the death of three patients and injury of several others within the VA network that includes Florida, south Georgia and the Caribbean. Gov. Rick Scott, a Navy veteran and son of a veteran, convinced Congress to hold a field hearing in his state. This after state regulators spent most of April conducting unannounced visits to Florida’s VA hospitals, and were denied access to their federal records.
  3. June 20, 2014 - U.S. Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) asked for and got an earful from local veterans this week.  He invited them to his office in Seminole where they shared stories of their experiences within the VA health care system. The veterans were offered immediate assistance from Jolly’s staff, VA representatives and volunteers from veteran service organizations.
  4. July 2, 2014 - Recent months have shown that there is no shortage of veterans who have had problems with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More than two dozen of them brought their issues to the Temple Terrace City Hall for a veterans’ intake organized by U.S. Rep.Dennis Ross (R-FL).
  5. July 10, 2014 - Veterans, VA representatives and members of vet organizations will testify before the US House Committee on Veterans Affairs, today. The panel – which includes four Florida US Representatives - will examine access to VA Mental Health Care and veteran suicides. A leader with the University of South Florida Veterans Research is among those scheduled to testify.
  6. October 3, 2014 - Secret patient waiting lists, delayed medical care, retaliation against whistle blowers  are all reasons why trust in the VA hit an all-time low this spring especially on Capitol Hill. New Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert “Bob” McDonald is trying to restore that trust by visiting as many VA facilities as possible during his first 90 days in office. He came to Florida this week and he invited U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee of Veterans Affairs, to come along.
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