A group of bi-partisan members of Congress attacked the Department of Veteran’s Affairs for allowing veterans to die because of delayed or absent treatment for serious medical conditions. A new report obtained shows that the VA is responsible for allowing serious medical conditions to go without routine tests or treatment, leaving a number of veterans dead and even more in serious condition.
A bi-partisan group of lawmakers lashed out at officials from the Veterans Affairs Department on Wednesday, accusing the agency of allowing veterans to die from delayed or absent medical care at its facilities and stonewalling a follow-up congressional inquiry.
Barry Coates, 44, said at an unusually emotional U.S. House hearing that he is dying of cancer because a simple medical procedure was delayed at several VA facilities, including the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA medical center in Columbia, South Carolina.
Coates, who was featured in a CNN investigation in January about delayed care and veterans’ deaths, testified how for a year he complained to VA doctors about his excruciating pain and rectal bleeding.
The Army veteran went to several VA clinics and hospitals in South Carolina, trying to get help. But the VA’s diagnosis was hemorrhoids, and aside from simple pain medication he was told he might need a colonoscopy.
“Due to the inadequate and lack of follow up care I received through the VA system, I stand before you terminally ill today,” Coates told members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.