By William Patrick | Florida Watchdog
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — As the VA fiasco continues to grab headlines, a Florida congresswoman wants to put the nation at ease about any potential problems in the Sunshine State.
“I did my reconnaissance in Florida, and I can tell you we’re doing fine,” U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, a Democrat, said during a U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday night in the U.S. Capitol.
Brown said she spoke with various VA groups and did not encounter “one single complaint.”
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced plans to file a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki for blocking the state’s ability to inspect VA health facilities.
As Watchdog.org previously reported, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration inspectors have been blocked from performing on-site reviews at six VA medical centers in the state. AHCA inspectors turned away from a Gainesville VA last week upon the “discovery of a secret waiting list.”
An independent report from the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general’s office, released Wednesday, verifies allegations of improper scheduling procedures and hidden treatment delays in Phoenix that may have led to the deaths of 40 veterans.
“Under this president, and when we had a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate, we got the largest increase in the VA budget in the history of the United States,” said Brown.
According to VA inspector general Richard J. Griffin, funding did not play a role in the Phoenix Health Care System’s “secret” waiting lists — with delays for treatment lasting up to 115 days — but rather “multiple types of scheduling practices that are not in compliance with VHA policy.”
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