Huelskamp grills acting veterans secretary

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Acting Secretary of the Veterans' Administration Sloan Gibson grilled today on Capitol Hill by Kansas Representative Tim Huelskamp.

Members of the House Veterans' Affairs committee seeking answers that can lead to restoring trust in the VA.

Rep. Huelskamp asks Gibson, "First of all, have all secret waiting lists been eliminated and identified?" Gibson answers, "To the best of my knowledge they have."

Thousands of veterans were on those lists. They were not getting timely health care, allegedly to make the VA hospitals look more efficient than they are and so hospital administrators could get bonuses for meeting goals.

So it's an issue Kansas 1st District Representative Tim Huelskamp asked the acting VA Secretary about in the hearing.

Huelskamp: "So you're absolutely certain that every one of those lists have been identified?"

Gibson: "That's why I say to the best of my knowledge they've been uncovered. Until the I.G. (Inspector General) completes their reviews on all those locations and comes back and issues their reports, I can't tell you that definitively."

"Then how can we restore that trust if we don't know the extent of the problem?"

Secretary Gibson says you start restoring trust by articulating expectations on how the V-A is going to operate, then get veterans off those wait lists and into clinics and fix the chronic scheduling problems.

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