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 »
BARR PLANS TO SEND CONGRESS A SUMMARY
Mueller Report Almost Done
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

“Attorney General Bill Barr is preparing to announce as early as next week the completion of Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, with plans for Barr to submit to Congress soon after a summary of Mueller's confidential report. ... The preparations are the clearest indication yet that Mueller is nearly done with his almost two-year investigation. The precise timing of the announcement is subject to change. The scope and contours of what Barr will send to Congress remain unclear.”

IN UNANIMOUS DECISION
SCOTUS Limits State and Local Governments' Ability to Levy Fines
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The U.S. Supreme Court curbed the power of cities and states to levy fines and seize property, siding with a man trying to keep his Land Rover after he pleaded guilty to selling drugs. The unanimous ruling marks the first time the court has said that states and cities are bound by the Constitution’s ban on excessive fines, part of the Eighth Amendment."

Source:
AFTER U.S. WITHDRAWS FROM INF TREATY
Putin Threatens Arms Race
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Moscow will match any U.S. move to deploy new nuclear missiles closer to Russia by stationing its own missiles closer to the United States or by deploying faster missiles or both, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. Putin said Russia was not seeking confrontation and would not take the first step to deploy missiles in response to Washington’s decision this month to quit a landmark Cold War-era arms control treaty."

Source:
MAY 26-28
Trump to Visit Japan
4 hours ago
THE LATEST
AVOIDS SHUTDOWN WITH A FEW HOURS TO SPARE
Trump Signs Border Deal
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"President Trump signed a sweeping spending bill Friday afternoon, averting another partial government shutdown. The action came after Trump had declared a national emergency in a move designed to circumvent Congress and build additional barriers at the southern border, where he said the United States faces 'an invasion of our country.'"

Source:
×
×

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