VA Sec. Shinseki resigns amid hospital controversy

President Barack Obama
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Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned amid widespread troubles in the VA health care system.

President Barack Obama says he accepted the resignation with "considerable regret." He and Shinseki met in the Oval Office on Friday morning.

Shinseki had faced mounting calls to step down from lawmakers in both parties.

Shinseki's resignation comes two days after a scathing internal report found broad and deep-seated problems in the sprawling health care system. The system provides care to about 6.5 million veterans annually.

Shinseki is a retired four-star Army general who has overseen the VA since the start of Obama's presidency.

Indiana reaction to resignation

Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Indiana)

 "Secretary Shinseki made the right decision in tendering his resignation [Friday]. He served our nation admirably as a member of our armed forces, and we are all thankful for his efforts in that capacity. However, fixing the current systemic problems within the Department of Veterans Affairs clearly requires new leadership with in-depth health care system experience. The next Secretary must comprehensively retool the VA's health care system to ensure veterans receive the quality treatment they deserve."

Rep. Andre Carson (D-Indiana)

"I want to commend Secretary Shinseki for his lifelong service to our nation, our service members and our veterans. But despite his honorable service, I believe his resignation is appropriate.  We need to clear the air and move toward long-term solutions to the systemic problems within the VA that have resulted in substandard service for the men and women who have served our country in uniform.

"I hope this change in leadership will bring about a new era for the VA.  I look forward to working with officials there and my colleagues in Congress to drastically improve the delivery of health care and benefits for veterans and to make sure that these problems never occur again."

Rep. Luke Messer (R-Indiana)

"Secretary Shinseki's resignation is appropriate under the circumstances. But, what really matters is what happens next to ensure our VA system is overhauled from top to bottom to guarantee our veterans are receiving the prompt and proper care they have earned and deserve."

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Indiana)

"The problems in the Department of Veterans Affairs extend far beyond just one person.  The Secretary's resignation is an important first step, but it must be the beginning of much larger changes.  To best serve our veterans, the bureaucratic culture must change, and fast," Rokita said.

Sen. Dan Coats (R-Indiana)

"Patient backlogs, mismanagement and unreasonable delays for reviews of disability claims are evidence that the VA health and benefits system is broken. This resignation, by itself, fixes nothing. This issue requires more than a change in management. I fully support continued investigations to make sure we identify and hold responsible those who have falsified records and neglected patient care. The culture of the VA must change, and we need to look at solutions outside of government-run facilities. My focus remains on ensuring Hoosier veterans receive the care they not only earned, but deserve."

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