Miller: President Obama Must Help Stop Patient Deaths

Press Release | House Committee on Veterans Affairs | July 11, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – On May 21, 2013, Chairman Jeff Miller wrote President Obama to request his assistance in addressing a rash of suicides, deaths and other serious patient-care issues at Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers across the country. After nearly two months without a response from the president, Chairman Miller today released the letter (read it here) along with the following statement:

“A pattern of heartbreaking veteran deaths, suicides and a host of other patient safety issues have cast a dark shadow over VA medical centers around the country. For months we have tried in vain to compel VA leaders to take meaningful steps to prevent future adverse incidents by holding accountable VA employees and managers responsible for letting patients fall through the cracks. Unfortunately, department officials seem more intent on issuing bureaucratic slaps on the wrist than the sort of serious punishments required to send a message that substandard care for veterans will not be tolerated. What’s more, patient deaths apparently aren’t even enough to prevent failing VA executives from receiving huge performance bonuses and glowing performance reviews. Because these issues are long-standing, systemic, and evidently immune to the current structure of accountability within VA, I believe President Obama’s direct involvement and leadership is required to help us end the culture of complacency that is engulfing the Veterans Health Administration and compromising patient safety.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs