WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Embattled U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned amid widespread troubles in the VA health care system.
President Barack Obama said he accepted the resignation with “considerable regret” during an Oval Office meeting.
“He does not want to be a distraction because his priority is to fix the problem and make sure our vets are getting the care that he needs,” Obama said Friday. “I agree. We don’t have time for distractions. We need to fix the problem.”
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Shinseki had been facing mounting calls to step down from lawmakers in both parties since a scathing internal report out Wednesday found broad and deep-seated problems in the sprawling health care system, which provides medical care to about 6.5 million veterans annually.
“I said we wouldn’t tolerate misconduct and we will not,” Obama said. “I said that we have to do better and we will. There are too many veterans receiving care right now who deserve all our best efforts and an honest assessment if something is not working.”