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Congressman Kilmer calls for Secretary Shinseki's resignation
U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer called for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign Thursday after the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General released a report detailing the manipulation of wait lists for veterans seeking medical care.
“The Inspector General’s report makes clear that the VA system is failing our veterans," said Kilmer, a Gig Harbor Democrat who represents Washington state's 6th District.
"We have a basic responsibility to provide quality health care to those who served. It’s inexcusable that this pact was broken and that some within the VA health system appear to be more concerned with looking good than doing good," Kilmer said. "Not only are systemic reforms needed to improve the delivery of care to our veterans, anyone who manipulated wait times and let our veterans languish when they needed help must be held accountable."
Kilmer said he sought the advice of others before making his request Thursday, and said it was time for accountability in the Veterans Affairs Office.
“After consulting with my veterans’ advisory council, I have come to believe it’s time for Secretary Shinseki to step down. While Secretary Shinseki is a dedicated veteran who has served our country honorably, these systemic troubles at the VA call for a change in leadership from the top on down," Kilmer said.
"There needs to be accountability here. Beyond that, it is clear that there must be significant, systemic change within the VA," he added. "Having care that comes too little, too late is not good enough for those who have put their lives on the line for our nation," Kilmer said. "We need to regain the confidence of – and do right by – our veterans and their families.”