Rep. Benishek Presses VA to Explain Alleged Destroying of Veteran Medical Records

Feb 25, 2014 Issues: Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC:  Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) today urged the Veterans’ Affairs Department (VA) to explain a disturbing news report that alleges VA officials destroyed veteran medical records in an apparent effort to cancel requests for medical examinations.  

“These alleged actions look like bureaucracy in its worse form—and the people who are being hurt are our veterans.  Being a doctor who worked at a VA for twenty years, I can’t imagine how any professional could operate in this manner.  The VA needs to give us some answers as to whether or not these allegations are accurate,” said Dr. Benishek, the father of a veteran and Michigan’s only member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. 

Dr. Benishek wrote to the VA requesting answers regarding a news report from The Daily Caller that alleges VA officials in Los Angeles apparently intentionally cancelling backlogged patient exam requests from veterans.  A copy of Dr. Benishek’s letter to the VA is below.  According to the article, VA officials “initiated an ‘ongoing discussion in the department’ to cancel exam requests and destroy veterans’ medical files so that no record of the exam requests would exist, thus reducing the backlog.” 

“America’s veterans fought for our freedom, and they shouldn’t have to fight bureaucrats just to get the benefits they deserve.  Veterans should get the best possible customer service—and that’s not what’s been happing at the VA.  Our veterans deserve some answers on these alleged actions, and I am going to continue fighting for some accountability at the VA,” added Dr. Benishek, who serves as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health in the Veterans Affairs Committee.

Since coming to Congress, Dr. Benishek has led efforts to improve the disability claims backlog and services from the Veterans Administration, including authoring legislation that would hold VA officials accountable for failing to make progress in getting America’s veterans their benefits in a timely manner.

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