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VA scandal may reveal more deaths

The scandal over delays in medical care for veterans took center stage in a late-night hearing on Capitol Hill.

VA officials were blasted over the treatment of veterans. A whistleblower at the Phoenix VA hospital says officials covered up the true number of veterans who died while waiting for treatment.
The VA bureaucrats returned for this hearing, with a far less defensive tone.

"This is a breech of trust. It is irresponsible, it is indefensible and it's unacceptable."

But then this was their answer to the very first question: 

"Mr. Chairman, I don't have the answer to that question."

And here we go again. 

"iI pains me that we're at this point! did we get here?!"

Members of congress getting angrier.

"The reality is you're not outraged!!"

"I think it is a good system."

"It's not a good system."

"I think it is a good system."

"Really? Not if you're a veteran..."

And they're hearing from their constituents.:

"I was approached by a mom whose son had committed suicide while he was waiting for mental health services."

"The guy had a detached retina-- for five months. He didn't get treated!!"

"He was referred to get a biopsy done to determine whether or not he had cancer. He couldn't be seen for two months."

The office of special counsel just sent a letter to President Obama, detailing:  "a culture of non-responsiveness" in the VA. Maybe the most stunning, in a long-term mental health facility in Brockton, Massachusetts.

One veteran had his first mental health evaluation-- eight years after he moved in.   Another veteran, seven years.

"I have surrendered evidence."

Now-- a whistleblower in Phoenix, where this scandal broke and where 35 veterans died awaiting care-- tells CNN's Drew Griffin she was instructed to keep a secret waiting list, while she made life or death decisions about whom to schedule.

And says someone has now gone into the system and changed the status of several deceased veterans to still alive.

"To hide the fact people died on that list?"

"That's my belief."

"What would be the other-- any other purpose?"

"There wouldn't be any other purpose."

As this story broke while the hearing was going on--  more disbelief.

"Still, while we've been doing these hearing for a couple of months and Americans are literally wondering when this is going to stop." 

Outrage over the scandal led to the resignation VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. The VA's office of inspector general is investigating 70 VA facilities in response to charges of data manipulation, delays and deaths, and whistle-blower retaliation.