Shinseki Under Fire

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel tasked Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, to lead a comprehensive review of DOD’s Military Health System, announced Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby, according to a May 28 release. “The [90-day] review will examine whether current access to care meets the department’s standards,” he said. “It will also examine the safety and quality of the care provided to all DOD beneficiaries.” After the review is completed, Hagel “will receive recommendations … with a specific focus on those areas where we are not meeting a nationally defined standard of a DOD policy-directed standard,” he said. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon called on Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down on Wednesday. “General Shinseki has given his life to serving this country and for that we are in his debt,” said McKeon in a statement. “However, the problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs have grown beyond what this nation can bear. I believe America’s veterans would be best served with a fresh set of eyes on the VA system.” Even members of Shinseki’s own party began calling for his dismissal Wednesday evening, following the release of a highly critical inspector general report. “The systemic problems at the US Department of Veterans Affairs are so entrenched that they require new leadership to be fixed,” said Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) in a statement. “Secretary Shinseki must step down.” (DODIG report.)