Rep. Martha Roby: Central Alabama vets getting worst treatment
Patients at Veterans Administration hospitals in Montgomery and Tuskegee are receiving the worst treatment in the country, U.S. Rep. Martha Roby said.
In a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Roby, R-Montgomery, said that efforts to make improvements to the VA have slowed as attention has shifted from the issue.
"I'm tired of the excuses from this giant bureaucracy," Roby said. "My constituents – my veterans – in Alabama are getting the worst health care service in this entire country and they don't deserve it."
Roby has championed the cause of addressing problems in the VA and her speech came within days of the first anniversary of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation as part of the scandal of extended wait times for veterans at VA facilities became public as well as efforts to cover up the problem.
Roby repeated that she is working on legislation that would compel national VA officials to take over constantly failing facilities such as those in central Alabama. Roby said the VA centers in Montgomery and Tuskegee – both within her district – were identified as the worst and second-worst in the nation for extended delays in veteran appointment completions.
Roby said that the lack of continued improvements in the VA is because "we are depending on a broken bureaucracy to fix itself.""When a public school continues to fail to meet basic standards, what happens?" Roby said. "The state department of education steps in to takeover and takes charge of turning the place around. It is a process that isn't pleasant, but everyone from principals and teachers to students and parents understand the consequences of failure to improve. I believe we need a similar mechanism at the VA."
On Twitter, Roby also put some of the blame at the feet of President Obama.