Reuters, May 28, 2014
The Republican congressman overseeing a U.S. House panel investigation into delays in veterans' treatment demanded on Friday that Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki allow patients to seek emergency private health care. The VA's Inspector General's office is also investigating allegations that long waiting times were covered up at some 26 locations across the United States, including claims by VA doctors in Phoenix that 40 veterans died while waiting months for appointments. The controversy spread as lawmakers left Washington for the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, which honors veterans. Republicans began mapping out a campaign strategy for November elections that highlights the scandal as another example of Obama administration mismanagement.