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VA hospital delays costing lives
05:13 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

One lawmaker cries in remembering her father, a former veteran who died of cancer

Agency accused of stonewalling congressional investigators on veterans' deaths

A CNN investigative piece in January found deaths associated with delayed care

"We need to do better," said a top VA official who appeared before a House committee

Washington CNN  — 

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers lashed out at officials from the Veterans Affairs Department on Wednesday, accusing the agency of allowing veterans to die from delayed or absent medical care at its facilities and stonewalling a follow-up congressional inquiry.

Barry Coates, 44, said at an unusually emotional U.S. House hearing that he is dying of cancer because a simple medical procedure was delayed at several VA facilities, including the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA medical center in Columbia, South Carolina.

Coates, who was featured in a CNN investigation in January about delayed care and veterans’ deaths, testified how for a year he complained to VA doctors about his excruciating pain and rectal bleeding.

CNN investigation: Veterans dying because of health care delays