Portman calls for VA accountability

FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – A room full of veterans shared their stories involving scars, bruises, and recovery Thursday.

The veteran’s at the American Legion in Fairborn were not discussing wars fought overseas, however. They were describing a battle to get fair treatment from VA hospitals.

It is a battle Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) is hoping will lead to some accountability as the VA faces scrutiny.

“You got to change the culture of the VA so that people know they’re going to be held accountable,” said Portman. “If they perform well, they’re going to be able to get promotions. If they aren’t performing well, there’s going to be consequences.”

Consequences, Portman suspects, that will go beyond the major problems found at the VA hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. An interim Inspector General report confirms allegations made against the Phoenix hospital for keeping up to 1,700 veterans from getting properly scheduled for visits.

Sen. Portman said Thursday that the Inspector General is looking at 42 hospitals that will be investigated across the nation for unethical practices. Whether hospitals in Ohio were part of the investigation was not disclosed.

“Our veterans should be at the front of the line for the best healthcare,” said Portman. “It looks like too often they’re at the back of the line and that healthcare is sometimes mediocre. Sometimes good. But sometimes, as we heard today, behind the times.”

Portman went on to say that if he were the President, he would immediately remove VA leadership and fire VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

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