Since whistleblowers disclosed three years ago that the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Hospital left over 1,400 veterans without care, little has changed except for a new round of harassment, according to sources. Back in January, the Office of Special Counsel reported thousands of Phoenix-area veterans went without care, and 215 of them died in the past two years. In 2014, President Obama promised that the U.S. government would take care of the veterans who use the Phoenix VA hospital.
A mandate that required the hospital to see veterans within one month has had little effect, according to sources. Reports indicate that more than 1,000 veterans still wait more than one month for appointments or to receive care. One whistleblower who brought the situation to light now claims that the Phoenix VA hospital and administrators are now harassing him. He proclaims that he is under surveillance and constant investigation. The whistleblower is an employee of the hospital.
A spokesman for the Phoenix VA denied the Iraqi war veteran and employee of the hospital is not under investigation or surveillance. Paul Coupaud did state that the Administrative Investigation’s Board was looking into possible harassment and allegations of harassment. Sen. John McCain of Arizona wrote a letter to the Head of the VA at the time, Robert McDonald, demanding answers as to why veterans must wait more than a month for care.
President Donald Trump nominated David Shulkin as his pick for Secretary of Veterans Affairs back in early January. Several candidates at the time withdrew their names from consideration. President Trump vowed to reform the VA during his campaign, and at one time promised veterans he would set up a special hotline at the White House to field complaints about the VA and the health care system. President Trump promised to “make the VA great again.”