Department of Veterans Affairs

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Shulkin: I Really Was Fired. Experts: This Really Matters.

Could Trump be overstepping his bounds?

(Newser) - Former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is making it clear he was fired from his job amid conflicting claims from the White House, the AP reports. "We actually spoke the day that he sent the tweet out just a few hours before," Shulkin says of President Trump on... More »

Outgoing VA Chief Takes Parting Shot at White House

David Shulkin says he was forced out over privatization; new pick is 'Doc' Ronny Jackson

(Newser) - That President Trump fired his embattled Veterans Affairs secretary on Wednesday is no big surprise. After all, David Shulkin had been on the outs with the White House over reports of improper spending and policy differences . Far more surprising is Trump's pick to replace him: White House physician Ronny... More »

Trump Fires Head of Veterans Affairs

President says he'll nominate White House doctor as replacement

(Newser) - President Trump is firing Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and replacing him with the White House doctor in the wake of a bruising ethics scandal and a mounting rebellion within the VA, the AP reports. Trump tweeted Wednesday that he intends to nominate "highly respected Admiral Ronny L. Jackson,... More »

Could This Be the Next Cabinet Member Booted?

White House deputy press secretary downplays rumors of Shulkin's imminent departure

(Newser) - Reports were out over the weekend that Veterans Affairs secretary David Shulkin may be the next Cabinet member to get the boot, but White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley downplayed those reports Monday—somewhat. "We all serve at the pleasure of the president. If he is not pleased,... More »

VA Informs Vietnam Vet That He's Dead

This isn't Charles Covell's first experience with a bureaucratic mistake

(Newser) - Federal officials have discovered a North Carolina veteran isn't dead yet. The Fayetteville Observer reported that 81-year-old Charles Covell of Fayetteville was surprised to learn that he had been declared dead by the Veterans Affairs Department last month. Covell's wife realized something was wrong when a monthly disabilities... More »

Embattled VA Secretary May Be on the Way Out

President considers replacing him with Rick Perry, insiders say

(Newser) - President Donald Trump is considering ousting embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, who has faced an insurgency within his department and fresh allegations that he used a member of his security detail to run personal errands, the AP reports. Trump has floated the notion of moving Energy Secretary Rick Perry... More »

Why VA Secretary Has Posted Armed Guard Outside His Office

'Nobody trusts each other'

(Newser) - To say things are strained at the VA would be a massive understatement. That's the thrust of a report from the Washington Post , which interviewed 16 Trump administration officials and others. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has lost trust in his senior staff and may be facing a mutiny.... More »

Public Paid for European Trip for VA Head's Wife: Report

After chief of staff allegedly altered email, made false statements

(Newser) - Taxpayers footed the bill for the wife of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin to go on a 10-day European trip with her husband after his chief of staff altered an email to make it look like he was getting an award from the Danish government. The Washington Post reports that... More »

Opioid Theft Still Rampant at VA Centers: Report

New AP investigation shows that rate more than double private sector despite crackdown

(Newser) - Feds have launched dozens of new criminal investigations into possible opioid and other drug theft by workers at Veterans Affairs hospitals, a sign the problem isn't going away despite new efforts. Data obtained by the AP show 36 cases opened by the VA inspector general's office from Oct.... More »

Trump Signs Executive Order to Protect VA Whistleblowers

President says people 'who fail our veterans' will now be held accountable

(Newser) - President Trump says he sent a "strong message" Thursday by signing an executive order that creates an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection within the Department of Veterans Affairs, the AP reports. Trump says through the new office people "who fail our veterans" will be held accountable for... More »

US Will Pay $2.2B to Marines Sickened by Toxic Water

900K were exposed over more than 30 years

(Newser) - The Obama administration has agreed to provide disability benefits totaling more than $2 billion to veterans who were exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Beginning in March, the cash payouts from the Department of Veterans Affairs may supplement VA health care already being... More »

Vet's Body Left in Shower 9 Hours, Inquiry Says

Florida VA employees accused of trying to cover up incident

(Newser) - Following a death in the hospice unit of Bay Pines VA Healthcare System in Florida in February, a veteran's body was moved to a hallway, and then to a shower room. There it sat unattended for nine hours before hospice officials realized and attempted to hide their mistake, a... More »

VA Dentist Put 592 Vets at Risk of HIV, Hepatitis

'He knew exactly what he was doing'

(Newser) - The VA is offering free testing to nearly 600 veterans in Wisconsin who may have been infected with hepatitis or HIV by a rogue dentist, Law Newz reports. The dentist providing care at the VA in Tomah was using his own dental instruments. And while the dentist sterilized the tools... More »

Sarah Palin to Run the Biggest Government Agency?

Sources say Donald Trump is considering her for VA secretary

(Newser) - Does Donald Trump have a big job lined up for loyal supporter Sarah Palin? The former Alaska governor is a candidate to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, a Palin aide and a Trump transition team official tell ABC News , which notes that the VA is the largest government agency,... More »

'I Dodged All Those Bullets, Then Get Killed by a Fish': Vietnam Vet

Veterans afflicted with rare cancer brought on by fish-borne parasite

(Newser) - They were the lucky ones who managed to make it home from Vietnam. Now, a half-century later, some veterans are finding out they, too, are victims of the war. The enemy is a known killer in parts of Asia: parasites ingested in raw or poorly cooked river fish, the AP... More »

20 Veterans Commit Suicide Every Day: VA

Most are over 50, according to 2014 data

(Newser) - The first official count of suicides among veterans is grim: 7,403 veterans committed suicide in 2014, or an average of 20 per day, according to Veterans Affairs, which reviewed data from every state. The group estimated there were 22 veteran suicides per day in 2010, but had never taken... More »

IBM Supercomputer to Help 10K Veterans Beat Cancer

First Watson competed on 'Jeopardy!'; now it's being brought into VA facilities

(Newser) - In January, President Obama handed the reins to Joe Biden to head a "moonshot" initiative to cure cancer , and a major step toward that end has just been made. Per Fortune , IBM will donate its Watson supercomputer technology—the same technology that beat humans on Jeopardy!, CNET notes—to... More »

Bill Would Give $20K to Vets With Infertility, Groin Injuries

Money could help start family, or be 'used at the veteran's discretion'

(Newser) - Veterans unable to have children because of a service-related injury would receive $20,000 under a bill introduced to the House of Representatives on Monday. Rep. Jeff Miller, who proposed the bill, says the funds would help compensate nearly 1,400 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who suffered... More »

US Veteran Sets Self on Fire Outside VA Clinic

Charles Richard Ingram III died that day

(Newser) - A veteran of the US Navy walked nine miles to a Veterans Affairs clinic in New Jersey earlier this month, poured gasoline on himself, and set himself ablaze. Charles Richard Ingram III, 51, died later on March 19 at a burn center in Philadelphia. "Gasoline burns extremely hot, so... More »

Calls to VA Suicide Line Went to Voicemail

In-crisis veterans put on hold, sent to voicemail, with calls never returned: report

(Newser) - The Oscar-winning film Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 documents the counselors who man the phones for the 24-hour service, but it never mentions the suicidal veterans who are put on hold or sent to voicemail, with calls never returned—a fact made public last week in a report from the... More »

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