Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

Roby: Veterans dying on secret wait lists a ‘national outrage’

May 20, 2014
Representative Roby In The News

Rep. Martha Roby, R-AL02, was left wondering “what does it take for someone in the Obama Administration to get fired?” after reports revealed that veterans in need of treatment waited months for care, some dying while still on the “secret waiting list.” Additionally, VA officials in multiple cities falsified data to hide long waiting lists for veterans health services.

Roby said Tuesday she fears the lack of consequences for failure within the Administration has led to a “culture of complacency.”

“It’s not enough for the President and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to be ‘mad’ about this,” she said. “It’s time for them to DO something about it.”

Roby released a video highlighting efforts in the House this week to pass legislation aimed to remove legal barriers for firing senior VA officials for cause. She also discussed a plan to develop fee-based programs that she believes could improve access to healthcare for veterans and save costs for taxpayers.

“Why not contract with a local hospital or clinic when the alternative is putting a veteran on a waiting list?” Roby said. “It’s time for action from the President. It’s time for reforms at the VA. And more than anything it’s time for results for our veterans.”

Roby has pushed for the development of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Patient-Centered Community Care (PCCC) program, which allows veterans to access health care services not offered by their local VA medical centers or those that come with especially long waiting lists. Under PCCC, VA medical centers can contract with local, non-VA health care providers for services like mental health care, emergency care, physical therapy and maternal care.

A complete transcript of Rep. Roby’s comments is below.

The negligence and mismanagement at the Department of Veterans Affairs is a national outrage. The more that is revealed the more disgusting it becomes: Secret waiting lists. Veterans waiting months to receive care. Falsified data to make the VA look good on paper while veterans suffered and died without treatment.

It’s not enough for the President and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to be ‘mad’ about this. It’s time for them to DO something about it.

I mean, what does it take for someone in the Obama Administration to get fired?

I fear that a systematic lack of accountability within this Administration has led to a culture of complacency.

This week we are working to pass HR 4031, the VA Management Accountability Act of 2014. This bill removes legal barriers for swiftly firing senior-level VA bureaucrats who aren’t getting the job done. I also continue to push for the development of fee-based programs that will reduce wait times and cut costs. Why not contract with a local hospital or clinic when the alternative is putting a veteran on a waiting list?

It’s time for action from the President. It’s time for reforms at the VA. And more than anything it’s time for results for our veterans.