Statement on VA Hearing with Secretary McDonald

February 10, 2016
Press Release

Congressman Lamborn questioned Secretary McDonald about the recent revelations of falsified wait times at our Community Based Outpatient Clinic. He released this statement:

"Today, in a VA Committee hearing, I questioned VA Secretary Robert McDonald. I wanted to get to the bottom of the shocking news that our Colorado Springs Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) was erroneously reporting that wait times were eliminated when in fact a tremendous backlog was accruing. The Secretary refused to address the reality of the situation uncovered by the Inspector General's report.

During 2015, the VA reported that more than 97% of over 56 million appointments nationwide were completed within 30 days of the clinically indicated or veterans' preferred date. But according to a 2015 Inspector General report released last week that looked at appointments at the CBOC in Colorado Springs, only 36% of Pikes Peak area veterans were able to get an appointment within 30 days. There is a huge disparity between what the VA is saying and the reality experienced by our veterans.

No matter what oversight steps we take in Congress, the VA continues to try and prevent the full implementation of the Choice Act designed to provide timely care to veterans. Congress has met every funding request from the VA. We have given them tools to fire incompetent employees. The Secretary did not answer repeated questions about whether those responsible for the unacceptable wait time backlogs were disciplined.

I'm tired of the VA failing our veterans. It's time for the VA to do their job without excuses. Our veterans deserve better."

- Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05)