News Local/State

Shimkus Calls For VA Sec. Shinseki to Step Down


Illinois 15th Dis. Congressman John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) says he considers Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki a personal friend whom he respects. But Shimkus says Shinseki needs to step down, amid allegations of delayed treatment and deaths in the V-A’s health system.

Shimkus says problems with veterans health services are nothing new. And he thinks that’s due to having veterans healthcare run entirely by a big federal bureaucracy. Shimkus says he’d rather see V-A healthcare compete more with local healthcare providers.

“Can’t veterans just access the local hospital or the local clinic or the local doctor?", asked Shimkus. "Do they have to go to a VA clinic? Do they have to go to a VA hospital? Because they have to drive long distances to do that. So I’m open to having more competition to vie for servicing our veterans.”

Illinois U-S Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Manteno) have also called for Shinseki to leave. Republican Senator Mark Kirk has asked the V-A’s acting inspector general to conduct an investigation into all Illinois V-A hospitals --- after reports of secret waiting lists at the V-A facility in Maywood.