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Sheheen to VA Secretary: Let Us Help Veterans & Ensure Accountability

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This afternoon, as acting secretary of Veteran Affairs Sloan Gibson tours Dorn Medical Center, Sen. Vincent Sheheen forwarded his request that the state to be allowed to investigate South Carolina's veterans facilities to the new acting Secretary. South Carolina's Inspector General has said he will move forward with an investigation if the Federal government allows.

"I am grateful that after nearly a month of our speaking out on these issues, the acting Secretary is meeting with hospital administrators and health care providers at Dorn today to hear about the crisis and delays for our veterans -- but there's still much to do," said Sen. Sheheen. "While the administration works to sort out the problems at the federal level, we need to do everything we can to ensure that South Carolina's veterans are getting the care and benefits they need and have earned. We can't wait on Washington, so I'm urging the acting Secretary once again today to let us begin this work at the state level to help ensure accountability."

Sen. Sheheen sent letters to Pres. Barack Obama and the state Inspector General calling for the ability for the state of South Carolina to investigate its VA facilities and take steps to address the crisis at the US Department of Veterans Affairs last month. Sen. Sheheen forwarded his letter to President Obama to Acting Secretary Gibson this morning. The Inspector General of South Carolina has said he is willing to move forward with an investigation if the Federal government allows.

Inspector General Patrick J Maley wrote: "If the state and the federal government developed a joint an collaborative initiative to review South Carolina's in-state VHA medical centers, which also provided a basis for the SIG to stay within its statutory jurisdiction, the SIG would certainly participate in any effort to help our veterans."

The investigation by the state is the second step in the plan that Sen Vincent Sheheen laid out to address the crisis at the Department of Veterans Affairs at the state level. Sheheen's effort laid out much-needed immediate steps to address the delays for veterans, including opening up DHEC clinics to veterans after-hours and on the weekend, providing no-interest loans to wounded warriors who are delayed their pensions due to DC's backlog, and making specific requests of state agencies to take action at the state level and do right by South Carolina's veterans.


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