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Local vet responds to VA investigation
SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Fla. President Obama has launched a white house probe into several VA hospitals across the country. The investigation has gotten 67-year-old Norm LaFountaine thinking about his own experience in the VA health system. He takes many pills to treat several problems that he sustained while in the armed forces. LaFontaine served in the Vietnam from 1965 to 1969. In stemming, he started receiving VA benefits for injuries stemming from his service. I'm what they call 100 percent service and totaled, he said. One hundred percent disabled and that puts in the realm of VA care its almost like I'm retired for 20 years. Nearly three years ago, LaFountaine said he had a kidney problem and doctors at the Pensacola V-A clinic couldnt get him proper treatment. I stood in front of a doctor at the VA. He said, you should really see a urologist, but we got to make an appointment. Itll take about three months, LaFountaine said. (He said,) I suggest if you got a urologist, go get checked out now. Six days later I was in total kidney failure at the emergency room at sacred heart, a week in the hospital, didn't even know it happened or whatever. The Pensacola Clinic is part of the VA Health Care System, though it is not a VA hospital and it is not under investigation. Though his experience and the current situation around the nation, has caused LaFoutnaine to doubt the system all together. "I never condemn one thing 100 percent one way or another. There are a lot of good people that work in the administration, I think all the bad weeds are on top, he said. Some Veterans have told Channel 3, that their personal experience with the VA health care system has been excellent. Representative Jeff Miller, who chairs the House Veterans Affairs committee released a statement that says: I couldnt have been more disappointed with President Obamas remarks. VA is in the middle of the biggest health care scandal in its history. At least 26 VA facilities are under investigation, and by the departments own count at least 23 veterans are dead due to recent delays in VA care. Immediate action is required, but the president is urging patience. As allegations of secret wait lists and manipulation of appointment wait times continue to surface at VA medical centers across the country, we simply can't afford to wait for the results of another IG investigation or VA's internal review when veterans may be at risk. In order for the public to regain confidence in VAs health care system, President Obama must direct Sec. Shinseki to take emergency steps to ensure veterans who may have fallen victim to these schemes get the medical treatment they need. Additionally, President Obama must direct Shinseki to ensure VA officials in Washington are working to safeguard evidence of possible wrongdoing at local VA facilities so VA employees who may have allowed patients to fall through the cracks will be properly held to account."