Obama visits Phoenix VA hospital, checks on care

It was a national scandal that broke right here in Phoenix, reports that 40 veterans died while waiting for care at the Phoenix VA.

Tips from whistle-blowers led to a federal investigation, while the results of the investigation found they could not link the deaths to wait times, it did find the Phoenix VA was using secret waiting lists.

Over 1,700 veterans were on the list, many had to wait more than 100 days for an appointment.

The revelations forced the VA Secretary to resign, and the Phoenix VA head fired.

While improvements are being made, critics say they're not coming fast enough.

The last time President Barack Obama came to Phoenix he took some heat for passing the VA Medical Center and not stopping. On Friday he visited and it was his only scheduled stop.

After Obama descended stairs from Air Force One, he was greeted by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican.

They had a brief conversation that ended with a handshake and nods from both men.

Obama then walked over to an awaiting group of about 70 people for hugs, handshakes and brief exchanges. He then left in a limousine in a motorcade headed to the VA hospital in midtown Phoenix.

The President said that there is still work to be done with the problems within the Veterans Affairs Department. He described VA Secretary Robert McDonald as "chipping away" at the problems.

Several of Arizona's Congressional representatives met with the President and VA Secretary.

They brought concerns from veterans to the President and Secretary's attention, but some of them called the event nothing more than a "photo op."

President Obama after leaving the VA visited the home of Army Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg, a veteran who was wounded while serving in Afghanistan.



The President boarded Air Force One and left the valley around 3:30 p.m. Friday where he is returning to Washington D.C.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. 

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