Obama to meet with Veteran Affairs chief amid healthcare probe

WASHINGTON Wed May 21, 2014 7:48am EDT

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WASHINGTON May 21 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday will meet with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki at the White House for an update to the controversy involving delays in healthcare for military veterans.

The White House said the meeting will include top Obama aide Rob Nabors, who is scheduled to travel to Phoenix later on Wednesday to visit the medical facility at the center of allegations and meet with veterans and their representatives.

The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT) in the Oval Office.

In coming days, Obama is expected to speak out about the allegations that doctors at the facility in Phoenix were ordered to put veterans' names for months on a secret waiting list until a spot opened up on an official list to make the waiting times appear shorter.

Three senior officials in Phoenix were put on administrative leave, and two top health officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs have resigned. Some veterans' groups and other critics are pressing for Shinseki to step down, but Obama has stood firmly behind him.

Similar allegations have been made other veterans' medical facilities, and on Tuesday CNN reported 26 were under investigation.

The department oversees some 1,700 hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other facilities, making it the nation's largest healthcare organization. (Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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