Mr. Speaker, according to Kuauhtemoc Rodriguez, called K-Rod, a VA employee at the medical center in Phoenix, Arizona— yes, that famous VA hospital—he has been threatened and harassed by the VA for speaking up about excessive wait times for vets to see doctors. In October of 2016, the VA’s inspector general released a report of misconduct on the Phoenix hospital based on information provided by Mr. Rodriguez.
Mr. Rodriguez alleged that more than 90 veterans had been waiting over 400 days to see a doctor, 5 of whom died before they could see the doctor. These accusations are very disturbing.
But Mr. Rodriguez’ discovery did not earn him a medal or a plaque, just threats and harassment by the VA. They even moved his desk to a closet.
There are many folks at the VA who genuinely care about our veterans in this country, like K-Rod, but there seems to be a culture problem at the VA that must be addressed from the top down. Fix the problem rather than attack whistleblowers.
No veteran should ever wait to see a doctor for over a year. That is shameful.
And that is just the way it is.