VA hospital Omaha

WASHINGTON — Both of Iowa’s U.S. senators said Tuesday that they were recently assured by the Trump administration it will hold accountable individuals responsible for unauthorized waiting lists at the Omaha VA facility.

Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, both Republicans, issued a joint statement after meeting with Tom Bowman, deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs.

“The VA has pledged to provide documentation on the disciplinary action taken against each of the culpable employees,” the senators said. “The VA has also committed to issuing further guidance to make it absolutely clear that unofficial waitlists are not permissible. We will continue to hold the VA accountable and ensure they follow through on these commitments.”

The senators said last month that they wanted more information from the VA after The World-Herald reported that problems with unauthorized wait lists at the Omaha facility went back to 2006.

The World-Herald previously had reported on more recent problems with wait lists, which also prompted congressional scrutiny.

Bowman told the senators that in two cases the individuals responsible had resigned. It was not clear if those individuals were the same ones previously identified by the World-Herald.

The senators also said the VA indicated that it is working to assess a USA Today report that the VA knowingly hires doctors with past malpractice claims and records of discipline for poor care, including a doctor at a VA hospital in Iowa City.

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Reporter - Politics/Washington D.C.

Joseph Morton is The World-Herald Washington Bureau Chief. Morton joined The World-Herald in 1999 and has been reporting from Washington for the newspaper since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @MortonOWH.

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