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Zooming in on the VA healthcare backlog situation in Los Angeles




U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki testifies during a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing that is focusing on wait times veterans face  to get medical care May 15, 2014 in Washington, DC.
U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki testifies during a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing that is focusing on wait times veterans face to get medical care May 15, 2014 in Washington, DC.
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More than a month after news broke that a number of veterans had allegedly died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix VA, President Obama finally addressed the controversy yesterday at a televised briefing. Speaking from the White House, President Obama vowed to investigate the matter but stood by embattled VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, whom some lawmakers have called on to resign.

"When I heard allegations of misconduct - any misconduct, whether it's allegations of VA staff covering up long wait times or cooking the books - I will not stand for it, not as commander in chief, but also not as an American," President Obama told reporters.

Rob Nabors, the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, travelled to Phoenix last night for the investigation. He and Shinseki are expected to present a preliminary report to the White House next week.

The VA scandal in Phoenix was first uncovered by CNN in mid-April. The news network found the existence of a secret waiting list and that at least 40 veterans died before they could get appointments at the Phoenix VA. The wait list was devised to cover up the long wait time some 1,400 veterans had to endure to see a doctor.

How is the VA backlog situation in Los Angeles? Should Shinseki resign?

Guest:

Alan Lowenthal, Democratic Congressman representing the 47th District which includes Long Beach, Lakewood, Garden Grove and Westminster. He co-sponosred an amendment to a military construction and veterans’ programs funding bill aimed at helping to clear a national backlog of VA disability benefit cases. That amendment passed the House in late April and has headed to the Senate for consideration