Shinseki resigns amid veterans' health care issues

WASHINGTON (AP) - Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned amid widespread troubles in the VA health care system.

President Barack Obama says he accepted the resignation with "considerable regret." He and Shinseki met in the Oval Office on Friday morning.

Shinseki had faced mounting calls to step down from lawmakers in both parties.

"My primary decision is based on how can I deliver service to the American people, in this case, veterans," said President Obama.

Shinseki's resignation comes two days after a scathing internal report found broad and deep-seated problems in the sprawling health care system. The system provides care to about 6.5 million veterans annually.

Shinseki is a retired four-star Army general who has overseen the VA since the start of Obama's presidency.

President Obama said Sloan Good is now the acting Secretary for VA. He has been the Deputy Secretary since February 2014. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He also earned both Airborne and Ranger qualifications and served in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer.

President Obama said his administration is looking for a permanent VA Secretary, but necessary reforms will not wait. He also said processes need to change so issues like scheduling surface more quickly.

"My first step is that everyone who is out there waiting, get them an appointment...let's have a realistic time for an appointment," said President Obama.

The info systems within VHA and the culture within the VHA are also going to need to change, said President Obama. He said the fixes will require more money, but it is part of the process.


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