More Scandal For Washington

The latest Obama administration scandal brings together dissatisfaction with the healthcare law and defense policy. Even if it does nothing to elect more Republicans to Congress in November, it adds one more scandal that will tie up the administration with investigations.

Veterans scandal risks engulfing Obama
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is facing mounting evidence that some of the hospitals it runs have been keeping two sets of books to make it look as if they were reducing waiting times to see a doctor.

More damning, the department is investigating the claims of a whistleblower doctor in Arizona that dozens of patients at one hospital died while they were languishing on a hidden waiting list without ever being given an appointment.

Richard Griffin, the department’s acting inspector general, admitted on Thursday that its review could lead to criminal charges. In the first political casualty of the scandal, Robert Petzel, the department’s undersecretary for heath, resigned on Friday.
In addition to possible criminal charges for administration officials, VA hospitals have been cited as evidence that government run healthcare works. This adds an ideological dimension to the scandal that also damages the President's position in Washington. Impeachment does not seem likely here, but an administration completely paralyzed by scandal, disrespected both at home and abroad, does seem very likely. The next two years will see a global power vacuum as Washington is unable to lead.

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