Sen. John McCain listened to complaints from several veterans over the Veterans Affairs system, telling them that reported lapses in care in Phoenix are part of a nationwide problem that needs to be fixed.
“This is not a unique situation as far as Arizona is concerned,” McCain said Friday. “I emphasize everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but this appears to be a problem of nationwide implications.”
In recent weeks, critics of the VA system have alleged that administrators in Phoenix kept an off-the-books list to conceal long wait times as 40 veterans died waiting to get an appointment. Similar problems have since been reported in other states.
McCain hinted at possible prosecution in the Phoenix cases.
“If these allegations are true, there a violation of law. It’s not a matter of resignations, it’s a matter whether somebody goes to jail or not,” said McCain, evoking thunderous applause from the crowd of more than 100 people.