90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Sen. Bernie Sanders: ‘We Have A Healthcare System With Problems’
Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., stands in defeat after a divided Senate derailed Democratic legislation providing $21 billion for medical, education and job-training benefits for the nation's veterans, as the bill fell victim to election-year disputes over spending and whether to slap sanctions on Iran, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (AP)

Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., stands in defeat after a divided Senate derailed Democratic legislation providing $21 billion for medical, education and job-training benefits for the nation’s veterans, as the bill fell victim to election-year disputes over spending and whether to slap sanctions on Iran, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (AP)

The ongoing debate around the Department of Veterans Affairs and the deaths of 40 veterans waiting for care at a Phoenix VA hospital is far from over. Embattled Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gen. Eric Shinseki is set to testify before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee later this week.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will be leading the questioning at that testimony, and he joined On Point today to explain what he’s looking for from Sec. Shinseki.

“I certainly am not supporting the call for his resignation,” Sanders said. “I think in many respects he has done a good job.”

“If you look at issues like homelessness, which has been a serious problem for decades, the VA has made real progress in recent years under General Shinseki, and I think that’s a very positive step.”

While Sanders admitted the need for a greater transparency at the VA — a call his House counterpart, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), echoed just before him on our program — Sanders also pointed out just how archaic so much of the VA system remains in this modern age.

“The claims system at the VA…you know where they were, in 2009? On paper. What [Sec. Shinseki] had to do is develop an entire electronic system, which they have done.”

The six and half million-veteran VA health system ranks well among those patients receiving care, Sanders noted. Sanders also called into question the alleged cause of the patients at the Phoenix VA hospital, where this crisis first came to public light.

“We’re gonna get to the root cause of that,” Sanders said. “While we have got to get to the root causes of the problems in the VA, we also have to understand that we have a healthcare system throughout America that has problems. It’s just not the VA.”

Is Sanders correct? Are there larger issues at play in our national healthcare system beyond the failures at the VA? Is this a management problem? A funding problem? Something deeper?

Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook, Tumblr and @OnPointRadio.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 17, 2014
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson watches from the sidelines against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of a preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP/Ann Heisenfelt)

The NFL’s Adrian Peterson and the emotional debate underway about how far is too far to go when it comes to disciplining children.

Sep 17, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 16, 2014
From "Rich Hill"

“Rich Hill,” a new documentary on growing up poor, now, in rural America. The dreams and the desperation.

 
Sep 16, 2014
Jasmin Torres helps classmate Brianna Rameles with a worksheet at the Diloreto Magnet School in New Britain, Conn., Wednesday Feb. 22, 2012. (AP/Charles Krupa)

More parents are “red-shirting” their children in kindergarten—holding them back for a year, hoping they’ll have an edge. Does it work? We look.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Comment
 
Beverly Gooden on #WhyIStayed
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Beverly Gooden — who originated the #WhyIStayed hashtag that has taken off across Twitter — joined us today for our discussion on domestic violence.

More »
1 Comment