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Lawmaker not satisfied with VA apology for error in report on patient deaths

Obama Veterans Health Care-1.jpg

President Barack Obama, right, talks with new Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald at the Wallace Theater in Fort Belvoir, Va., Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, after the president signed H.R. 3230, the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014. The bill gives resources to the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve access and quality of care for veterans. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (The Associated Press)

The Department of Veterans Affairs is apologizing for what it called an "inadvertent" mistake that underreported the number of deaths linked to delays in cancer treatment at VA medical facilities.

The VA says there was no intent to mislead anyone.

But a lawmaker who has been leading oversight of the beleaguered agency is unsatisfied.

Florida Republican congressman Jeff Miller says the incorrect report was similar to deceptions that sparked a scandal over long patient wait times and falsified reports by VA employees trying to cover up the delays.

A VA "fact sheet" distributed to Congress in April said 23 veterans with gastrointestinal cancers had died under questionable circumstances since 1999.

In fact, the review conducted by VA was for only two years, 2009 and 2010, during which 24 veterans died.

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