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Ohio lawmakers react to resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki

Published: Fri, May 30, 2014 @ 10:55 p.m.

Staff/wire report


Beset by growing evidence of patient delays and cover-ups, embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned from President Barack Obama’s Cabinet Friday, taking the blame for what he decried as a “lack of integrity” in the sprawling health care system for the nation’s military veterans.

Lawmakers representing the Mahoning Valley and Ohio don’t agree on much, but they said the president’s accepting the resignation was the right thing to do.

“Secretary Shinseki has had a long record of admirable service to our nation, but ultimately he had to take responsibility for the dismal shape of the VA health system,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th.

Ryan added: “There must be accountability when taking care of our veterans. I believe this change in leadership is a crucial step towards righting the egregious incompetence and outright corruption that we have seen in recent years. This decision gives the VA health system the chance to begin rebuilding trust with the veterans of America and their families.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta, R-6th, said Shinseki served the nation with “great honor” as a general in the Vietnam War.

“But that doesn’t excuse Gen. Shinseki, or any of the VA staff, from the mistreatment of America’s heroes — our veterans,” he said.

“New leadership and a fresh set of eyes can often be helpful in solving problems like the ones plaguing the VA,” said U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from the Cincinnati area. “That said, I think it’s important we remember that this is a systemic problem throughout the VA and that simply replacing the secretary, while necessary, is in no way sufficient to begin to eliminate the rot that has plagued veterans’ health care.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Cleveland Democrat, said Sloan Gibson, the acting VA secretary, “must take swift action to address problems uncovered by the [inspector general’s report. The VA must also continue ongoing efforts to eliminate the disability claims backlog and ensure that all veterans have timely access to the services they have earned.”

Read more about the continuing debacle and Shinseki's response in Saturday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.


1Jerry(811 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

What has been exposed at the VA is an atrocious scandal; and perhaps Eric Shinseki should resign, or perhaps he should not. He seems to me to be simply an all too convenient scapegoat.

Some people want to blame the repugnant behavior of federal bureaucrats at the VA on Obama and the Democrats. Others want to deflect the blame to Bush, or Republicans, or somewhere else. All are missing the main point, and rolling right past the primary lesson to be learned from this.

The glaringly malevolent behavior of the federal bureaucrats at the VA is proof beyond any doubt that our federal government is incompetent, incapable, out-of-control, and corrupt. The absurd power and control that we have given to the federal government must be slashed to the bone, and that power must be returned to the states, the local governments, and the people. I do not trust Republicans with this power any more than I trust Democrats. The simple FACT is that no party or central federal government can be trusted with the level of power and control we have allowed them to obtain.

How willfully ignorant does a person have to be to look at the situation at the VA and then NOT recognize that this vile corruption is exactly what will be visited upon all of us via Obamacare, and the countless other over-reaching federal power-grabbing programs thrust upon us?

Not so long ago, the liberal left told us that it was absurd to speak of “death panels” when arguing against Obamacare; that this talk was nothing but ridiculous ignorant fear mongering. Now we find out that “death panels” are very real, they already exist, and have been in action for years at the VA. What else does one call a group of federal bureaucrats, arbitrarily deciding who will get medical care and who will go on a waiting list until they die, except a “death panel”? Who can possibly be so blind as to not realize that this, and corruption a thousand times worse, will be the end result of empowering the federal government to handle healthcare for the entire nation??

The leftist experiments in central control, hatched from the Progressive Movement for the last century, MUST BE STOPPED. The tentacles of federal bureaucracy must be removed. Obamacare and the HHS, the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, the IRS, the EPA, the Department of Justice, and countless other steaming piles of bureaucratic dung must be cut to the core, if not completely eliminated.

The Constitution was written quite deliberately to tightly limit the power, authority, and actions of the federal government; and to place the vast bulk of control in the hands of the state and local governments, and in the hands of the people. If it is too late to return to this, then it is too late for the USA

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2Jerry(811 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

You have just insinuated that I am a liar. What is your evidence??

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3Jerry(811 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

My words are highly critical of the agenda of big federal government "progressive" leftist social meddling and power grabbing currently thrust upon us by Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the Democrats that support them.
There is nothing in my words that indicate I would support this same ideology coming from the Republicans or any other political group. I would not and do not.
Again, what is your evidence??

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4DSquared(1727 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

He's kinda "slow" Jerry! That was succinct commentary that should be emanating from the lips of Mr.DeSouza and the like. Maybe Vindicator readership would expand!

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5JoeFromHubbard(1714 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

@ Jerry:

You make a very valid point comparing the VA scandal to what can be expected from Obamacare.

It is only a matter of time before the multitude of problems become published for all to see.

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