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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.

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

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Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

 
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Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
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Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

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Friday, Dec 12, 2014

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Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

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