Local Impact Of Alleged VA Scandal - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Local Impact Of Alleged VA Scandal

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(KCEN) -- A national team audited the Waco VA Clinic Thursday on the way it schedules appointments, after doing the same for the Temple and Austin clinics earlier this week.

Meanwhile in Washington, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs gets grilled over accusations of allegedly deadly backlog cover ups.

The word pending is all too familiar for many U.S. veterans awaiting health care appointments.

"My arms were getting numb, my legs were getting numb," explains Army veteran George Rainey.

When an old injury flared up, he says he waited two months for an appointment at the Temple VA, which falls under the same health care system as Waco.

George says, "Before I could see my doctor, it was going to be a while. It aint like I got priority. It's like, when we get around to seeing you, then we'll see you."

It's a problem some say has been covered up by VA officials.

Secretary Eric Shinseki, spoke Thursday before a Senate panel about the accusations that some clinics, including Waco's, changed records to hide long wait times.

It's even believed by some that 40 veterans in Phoenix died as a result.

"I'm not aware, other than a number of isolated cases where there is evidence of that, but the fact that there is evidence in a couple of cases behooves us to go and take a thorough look," Shinseki testified.

Shinseki has ignored demands that he step down, professing his commitment to excellent care for veterans during the hearing.

"I intend to continue this mission until I have satisfied either that goal or I am told by my Commander in Chief that my time has been served," Shinseki said.

In a statement issued after the hearing, Senator John Cornyn, (R-TX), writes "If 40 veterans died while waiting for care on a secret list and if reports in Texas are true, individuals must be fired and the Secretary will have no choice but to resign."

George is watching closely as investigations into the accusations continue.

"I hope that what they do is take care of these soldiers," says George.

So far, the top investigators in the case say they have found no deaths caused by long waits for care.

Reporter: Sophia Stamas sstamas@kcentv.com

Photographer: Cameron Duckworth cduckworth@kcentv.com

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