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WASHINGTON, May 20 (Reuters) - A top aide to President Barack Obama will travel to Phoenix on Wednesday to visit the medical facility at the heart of allegations involving delays in healthcare for military veterans.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Tuesday that Rob Nabors, a White House deputy chief of staff assigned to assist a review into the allegations, would meet with the Phoenix facility’s acting chief, Steve Young.
Carney also said Nabors was meeting on Tuesday with representatives from a number of veterans organizations, such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, and would have similar sessions while in Phoenix.
Obama is scrambling to get on top of the burgeoning controversy involving the Veterans Administration that has now engulfed its secretary, Eric Shinseki. Obama has stood firmly behind Shinseki despite calls for his resignation.
The Veterans Administration has put three senior officials in Phoenix on administrative leave after doctors there said they were ordered to hold veterans’ names for months on a secret waiting list until a spot opened up on an official list that met the agency’s two-week waiting time goals.
Allegations have been made about similar cover-up schemes at VA medical facilities in at least seven other cities. The agency runs the largest U.S. healthcare group, overseeing some 1,700 hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other facilities.
Obama is expected to comment on the allegations in coming days. (Reporting By Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Susan Heavey)