Top VA Health Nominee Withdraws Over Ties to Waiting-List Scandal

The decision follows reports tying the nominee to a hospital with alleged secret waiting lists.

National Journal
June 5, 2014, 11:55 a.m.

Pres­id­ent Obama’s nom­in­ee to be the top health of­fi­cial at the Vet­er­ans Af­fairs De­part­ment with­drew Thursday, his con­firm­a­tion chances severely com­prom­ised by po­ten­tial ties to the de­part­ment’s broad­er “wait­ing list” scan­dal

Re­ports have linked Jef­frey Mur­awsky — who was Obama’s choice to serve as the de­part­ment’s next un­der­sec­ret­ary for health — to an Illinois fa­cil­ity where staff al­legedly placed vet­er­ans on such secret wait­ing lists for med­ic­al ap­point­ments. He was also a phys­i­cian at the fa­cil­ity, and he tech­nic­ally re­mains on staff.

Mur­awsky asked the White House and Sloan Gib­son, the VA’s act­ing sec­ret­ary, to pull his nom­in­a­tion to be the de­part­ment’s next un­der­sec­ret­ary for health.

It’s the second loss for the de­part­ment in un­der a week, with Eric Shin­seki resign­ing as sec­ret­ary on Fri­day. A re­port from the VA’s in­spect­or gen­er­al re­leased last month found that “in­ap­pro­pri­ate schedul­ing prac­tices are a sys­tem­ic prob­lem na­tion­wide.”

Pres­id­ent Obama nom­in­ated Mur­awsky on May 1 to suc­ceed Robert Pet­zel, who was ex­pec­ted to re­tire later this year. But Pet­zel resigned ab­ruptly last month as the de­part­ment’s scan­dal con­tin­ued to grow.

“The pres­id­ent and Act­ing Sec­ret­ary [Sloan Gib­son] plan to move as quickly as pos­sible to fill the po­s­i­tion with the best pos­sible can­did­ate who can en­sure that our vet­er­ans get the care they have earned and de­serve,” a seni­or ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial said, con­firm­ing Mur­awsky’s de­cision to with­draw — ori­gin­ally re­por­ted by the As­so­ci­ated Press.

Gib­son will ask a com­mis­sion to re­com­mend a new nom­in­ee for the Vet­er­ans Health Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Mur­awsky’s de­cision comes as in­de­pend­ent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Ver­mont un­veiled a bi­par­tis­an bill aimed at fix­ing many of the VA’s prob­lems. The le­gis­la­tion would make it easi­er for Gib­son to fire seni­or of­fi­cials, while also in­clud­ing — un­like a sim­il­ar bill passed by the House last week — one week for em­ploy­ees to ap­peal the de­cision.

What We're Following See More »
CONTINUING OBSTRUCTION INVESTIGATION
House Democrats Subpoena Don McGahn
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler issued a subpoena to former White House counsel Don McGahn as part of a House-led obstruction investigation into President Donald Trump. The subpoena comes just days after special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed that McGahn witnessed and testified about potential obstruction of justice by Trump."

Source:
CAIN ASKED HIM NOT TO
Trump Won't Nominate Herman Cain for the Fed
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump said Monday that he would not nominate Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve after the former GOP presidential candidate asked him not to. Senate Republicans had warned the White House against naming the businessman and 2012 presidential hopeful to serve on the body's board of governors."

Source:
WANTS IT BY MAY 1
Nadler Subpoenas Unredacted Report
3 days ago
THE LATEST
ONLY TWO ARE KNOWN
Mueller Made 14 Criminal Referrals
4 days ago
THE LATEST
POSTED ONLINE
The Report Is Here
4 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login