Governor Rick Scott wants the federal government to get out of his way when it comes to Florida vets.
Plans were announced in a press release from the governor’s office Wednesday:
Today, Governor Rick Scott announced plans to file a lawsuit establishing the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration’s (AHCA) authority to inspect federal VA hospitals in Florida, and to stop the federal veterans affairs agency from obstructing state actions.
Governor Scott said, “As the chief health policy and planning entity for the state that licenses, inspects, and investigates consumer complaints, AHCA should be allowed access to federal VA hospitals to inspect their processes and their facilities. On seven separate occasions at six federal VA hospitals, however, state inspectors have been blocked by federal officials from carrying out their mission of ensuring facilities in Florida meet the healthcare needs of our veterans. I have asked AHCA to sue the federal veterans affairs agency to shine a light on their activities and protect the lives of our heroes who have earned nothing short of access to the best care possible.”
The complaint will be filed in federal court against U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to establish AHCA’s right to inspect and regulate health facilities in Florida. The suit will stop the federal government from obstructing AHCA’s inspections of these facilities.
Governor Scott said, “With 1.5 million veterans that call Florida home, we’re committed to being the most veteran-friendly state in the nation – and reports of deaths, neglect, poor conditions and a secret waiting list in federal VA hospitals in Florida are unacceptable. To date, Sec. Shinseki has refused to step down, our inspectors continue to be turned away, and none of the information we’ve asked for has been provided. Transparency and accountability are critical to supporting our veterans, and this suit will fight the federal VA’s continued practice of stonewalling our inspectors.”