Obama Promised To Make Veterans Affairs A “Leader Of National Health Care Reform”

“Make the VA a leader of national health care reform so that veterans get the best care possible.”

Yuri Gripas / Reuters

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In his first public comments Wednesday on the Veterans Affairs hospital scandal, President Obama asked for patience as investigators dived into allegations that hospital officials doctored paperwork to cover long wait times for veterans seeking care.

“I know people are angry and want swift reckoning but we have to let investigators do their job,” Obama said in a brief statement to reporters.

According to reports, at least 40 veterans have died waiting for their appointments with the Phoenix Veterans Affairs health care system.

During his transition into the White House in 2012, Obama proposed in his “Obama-Biden” plan to “make the VA a leader of national health care reform so that veterans get the best care possible. Improve care for polytrauma vision impairment, prosthetics, spinal cord injury, aging, and women’s health.”

On Wednesday, the president described the problem of VA bureaucracy that stretches decades, a fact commonly accepted by Republicans and Democrats.

“There’s not a problem out there that’s not fixable,” Obama added Wednesday. “It can’t always be fixed as quickly as everybody would like, but typically we can chip away at these problems.”

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Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.

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