U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is continuing his push to get information from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on behalf of a constituent from New Orleans, La. who lost her father, allegedly in part due to the poor care at the VA health care facility in New Orleans. A recent VA audit revealed the New Orleans VA hospital has an average wait time of 51.85 days for new primary care patients. The VA has refused to provide information to the constituent.
"By completely dismissing my request, I'm concerned that the New Orleans hospital hasn't actually fixed these alleged problems," Vitter said. "We've seen recently that there's a widespread crisis throughout the VA, and it's their responsibility to be accountable to our veterans. The VA can start restoring the trust of our veterans by providing information about what steps they're taking to address problems like this."
Vitter sent an initial request to acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson on June 3, 2014, asking the VA to provide information that they had been unwilling to share with the constituent. In response to Vitter's inquiry, the VA told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that they could not release the information due to patient privacy laws. Vitter has obtained all of the necessary privacy release forms to help the constituent obtain this information and is providing them to the VA in his follow up requests.
Vitter sent a follow up letter to Gibson today again asking for this information.