The head of the Office of Special Counsel in Washington sent President Barack Obama a scathing letter about the VA's failure to take responsibility for the patients who may have been harmed by hospitals' system of keeping double books for appointments.
The letter from Carolyn Lerner said VA officials have been blithely dismissing evidence of canceled appointments as trivial errors that had no effect on patients, the New York Times reports. Even the VA's Office of the Medical Inspector has been complicit, she said.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Times reports that -- according to an anonymous letter -- more than 1,000 appointments to the gastrointestinal clinic at the VA hospital in Pinellas County were canceled in the past three years "to make the numbers look good."
The anonymous whistleblower said the cancelations included both appointments and colonoscopies. The writer warned that the evidence would likely be "well concealed."