Congressman Tim Murphy's Plan to Fix Veterans Affairs

Jun 4, 2014

Congressman Tim Murphy talked about changes that need to be made in within the VA
Credit Office of Congressman Tim Murphy

When Eric Shinseki resigned as Veterans Affairs Secretary last Friday, he publicly apologized for a scandal which involved months of wait-times for veterans in need of medical care.

U.S. Representative Tim Murphy is calling for an independent audit of the Pittsburgh VA because he believes that more than 700 local veterans have been involved in the VA scandal. Some he said, have been waiting for years, and the VA has been hiding the problem.

In explaining how this neglect could have happened and how the scandal can be resolved, Murphy said it's a matter of either incompetence, or purposely misleading and misrepresenting numbers.

"The latter one, I believe, is probably going to go more into criminal prosecution, especially if it led to any harm or deaths of veterans," said Murphy "When a person has manipulated a list to get their bonuses or promotions or pay raises. That is just wrong and its criminal." 

 He also pointed to a "lax attitude" that has occurred in many hospitals throughout the country, as a reason why he wants independent investigators to go through the VA and how the system can be overhauled.

"This is an ongoing problem and they simply need to be changed in how they are run.”

Rep. Murphy has a three-part approach to fixing the VA system, including the Pittsburgh facilities, starting with the next Secretary of the Veterans Affairs.

"Call upon the White House to hire someone who knows how to run a large health system. The VA being the largest hospital system in the country with some 300,000 employees, you’ve got to have someone who really knows how to run a large hospital system." Said Murphy.

"Make sure the hospital administrators are not just political appointees or people who came up through the ranks by having their own metrics look good. Get other people who have degrees and training and experience in hospital administration," he continued.

"Let’s get rid of this incentive bonus system the way it is now. Look instead, if you’re going to have bonuses, make it for the team. Make it for the hospital. So that all of them are pulling together based upon patient care and patient improvement.”