(CNN) – The deeper investigators dig into neglect and deception at veterans hospitals, the worse it becomes, and the outrage intensifies. Calls are increasing for the VA chief to quit ad new evidence surfaces.
Just hours after a house committee blasted senior veterans affair officials over long waiting lists and cover-ups, the speaker of the house put the blame above VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.
"For the president to say he didn't know anything about it is rather shocking," John Boehner said. "So the president is going to have to step up here and show some real leadership."
Lawmakers in both parties are calling for Shinseki to be fired, and a White House official says that the secretary is on "thin ice" with the president.
This comes after a preliminary report from the VA's own inspector general. That report is just on the Phoenix VA Hospital, which is at the epicenter of the scandal.
It found at least 1,700 veterans who needed care, who thought they had appointments with doctors, but were never on the official waiting list.
The list was allegedly for veterans whose appointments were less than two weeks out, so staff and officials could appear to be meeting their mandate for timely care. And that would qualify them for bonuses and raises.
Sources say that at least 40 veterans died in Phoenix while waiting for care there.
In an opinion piece published in USA Today, Secretary Shinseki calls the report's findings "reprehensible" and that he's "not waiting to set things straight."
Meanwhile, Thomas Lynch, the Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of the Veterans Affairs Administration says that he's confident his department will sort out this mess.
"I think we do have the tools, we do have the information we need to push forward and to provide veterans with timely care," Lynch said.
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