With the VA under increasing scrutiny the FBI has decided to step in and open a criminal investigation.
Some might say the FBI stepping in to investigate the VA is long over due. Kansas Senator Jerry Moran says "I've always thought, particularly individuals who work in government, if they've violated the law they should be prosecuted."
But how long could an investigation of such a large scale organization take? A former US Attorney, Lee Thompson, weighs in. He said "there's extreme political pressure and so of course that accelerates the efforts of the agency."
He believes it could be a quick investigation because there is already lots of evidence compiled. He said "there's already been an office of the Inspector General report issued by the Veterans Administration and so some of those reports could go into the investigation."
The investigation is being led by the FBI's field office in Phoenix, where reports have already surfaced of confirmed allegations of excessive waiting times and wrong scheduling practices. The FBI will be working with investigators there to determine if any criminal activity was taking place. Senator Moran says there already tons of evidence to prove so. He said "an FBI investigation is certainly the first step to providing some level of justice one, to the veterans who were denied access to the care they earned and deserved and two, to make certain that the people that violate the law are prosecuted."
As the FBI continues its investigation. The Senate passed a bill today that would make access to health care easier for vets. Moran, a supporter of the bill, said with this bill "if you live more than 40 miles from a Veterans Hospital facility then the department of Veterans Affairs is to provide you health care in your hometown, in a place of your choosing." This bill would also allow veterans to visit a hometown hospital if the VA can't provide its services within 14 days. Moran says this will help eliminate long waiting times.