Florida Republican Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee, is sponsoring a bill that would speed up the firing process for senior executives at the VA, the Associated Press reports. The bill comes amid whistleblower reports of delays in treatment and deaths at VA facilities, including allegations that as many as 40 veterans died while waiting for care at a VA in Phoenix, Ariz.
While the veterans died, according to NPR's veterans correspondent Quil Lawrence, “there's no evidence that they died because they were waiting.” Some were gravely ill and would have died in any case, he explained. Lawrence offers more perspective on this story here.
Meanwhile, inspectors sent by Gov. Rick Scott have tried -- and failed -- yet again to do an on-site review of a Florida VA hospital, the Gainesville Sun reports. Officials with the VA say federal law prohibits them from allowing access to VA facilities by non-patients, even state inspectors.
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration has tried to gain access to several VA facilities around the state, without success. This most recent attempt to enter the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville comes after reports that it had handwritten waiting lists for mental health treatment, the Sun reports.