Two key congressional panels announced Monday that they would convene a joint field hearing later this month to look into a Veterans Affairs Department facility where pain medication was allegedly prescribed to patients like candy.
The House Veterans’ Affairs and the Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs committee will hold the hearing on March 30 at the Tomah VA Medical Center in Wisconsin, which was nicknamed “Candy Land” by patients because of the amount of opiates its staff handed out.
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) said Congress “needs a clear understanding of what happened in Tomah and why it happened. We have asked many questions of the VA, and we expect them to be answered.”
Lawmakers also “need to hear from the Wisconsinites who were affected directly,” according to Johnson, who last month threatened to subpoena the VA for stifling his investigation into the Tomah site.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), who has come under fire for her handling of whistleblower reports about Tomah, described the joint field hearing as an “opportunity to put solutions in place to prevent these problems and tragedies from ever happening again and to ensure the VA delivers the timely and highest-quality care our Wisconsin veterans have earned.”