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Some eight million Americans qualify for Veterans Administration health care, and they're apparently satisfied — when they can get it. But it takes so long that 40 or more have allegedly died while waiting for their appointments. The American Legion says VA Secretary Eric Shinseki ought to resign. We hear about an ongoing scandal. Also, Ben Sasse's Nebraska win and the Establishment-Tea Party narrative, and the health effects of child labor in America's tobacco fields.

Banner image VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, greets Sgt. Joel Tavera, during a visit to Brooke Army Medical Center, July 19, 2010. Photo by Chondra Perry, Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs

Sasse's NC Primary Win and the Establishment-Tea Party Narrative 7 MIN, 49 SEC

The division between the Republican Establishment and the Tea Party appears to be getting smaller and smaller. Two years ago, so-called "Tea Party extremists" beat moderates in GOP primaries and went on to defeat by Democrats. This year may be different. Yesterday's Senate primary in Nebraska is the latest case in point, as we hear from Molly Ball, who reports on politics for The Atlantic magazine.

Molly Ball, Time Magazine (@mollyesque)

Whistleblowers and Cover-ups at the VA 34 MIN, 15 SEC

The Veterans Administration runs America's largest healthcare system, with hospitals and clinics serving eight million people. Under the rules, veterans are supposed to get an appointment 14 to 30 days after calling for one. For years there have been reports that it takes much longer. Now there are claims that records have been falsified to hide that the VA has been paying bonuses to officials who've hidden evidence of how long it takes to get healthcare. In Phoenix, a whistleblowing doctor says 40 veterans died while waiting up to a year for appointments. Tomorrow, a Senate committee will be looking into claims of a widespread conspiracy, despite continued reports and the VA's official denials. Are secret waiting lists part of a cover-up? Would top brass resignations help fix Americans largest healthcare system?

Sam Foote, former Veterans Affairs physician
Aaron Glantz, Center for Investigative Reporting (@Aaron_Glantz)
Phillip Carter, Center for a New American Security (@Carter_PE)
Jacob Gadd, American Legion (@AmericanLegion)
Jacob Siegel, Daily Beast (@Jacob__Siegel)

American Legion's 2013 report on the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
Carter on the VA paying out bonuses to those who treated veterans the worst
Glantz on the VA's soaring use of opiates
Glantz on VA hospital whistleblower telling of shoddy care of veterans
Glantz on VA paying out on veterans' wrongful deaths
Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT)
Siegel on the VA's secret deadly waiting list
Siegel's 'Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War'

The War Comes Home

Aaron Glantz

Children Picking Tobacco in US Exposed to Serious Health Concerns 9 MIN, 9 SEC

Children are not allowed to buy cigarettes in the United States — but they are allowed to work in tobacco fields. In North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, a survey has found that they're showing symptoms of nicotine poisoning. Restrictions on child labor in the US are different for agriculture than for other industries. On large farms, kids as young as 12 can work legally for unlimited hours when they're not going to school. Last year, Human Rights Watch surveyed 141 child tobacco workers, aged 7 to 17. Zama Coursen-Neff is director of the Children's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch and co-author of a report on the survey's findings.

Zama Coursen-Neff, Human Rights Watch (@ZamaHRW)

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