Veterans should sue inadequate VA employees, senator says - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Veterans should sue inadequate VA employees, senator says

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJRT) - (06/05/14) - It’s all about holding people accountable. That’s what one senator says, as he plans to bring in a judge and jury fix the broken system at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey (R) said he’s working on legislation that would allow veterans to sue VA workers that provide inadequate care.

“People who willfully misrepresent, lied about veterans’ health status or put them falsely on a list for the sake of their own bonus, and delaying care that resulted in some cases death, this is really serious stuff,” Toomey said.

Serious enough that Toomey said he thinks irresponsible workers get away with too much.

“We go way overboard giving all kinds of protections to people who should be held accountable and be fired if they do something wrong,” he said.

To be clear - the senator isn’t talking about suing the federal government. He says that would take the responsibility away from the employee who commits the wrongdoing. Instead, he wants individual employees to be on their toes.

Toomey said he thinks the threat of a lawsuit will keep VA employees in check.

“If that risk of financial liability were in place, then an employee in the VA would never consider doing the kinds of things that would happen,” he said.

Toomey said he also wants to give veterans a choice when it comes to care, something other senators are considering.

“If they can’t get into the VA, if they’re not getting adequate service, they should be able to go to a non-VA hospital," he said.

He said working to fix the VA scandal should not be partisan, and that he’s confident lawmakers will be able to come together to pass legislation soon.
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