Published On: Thu, Feb 19th, 2015

Senator Tammy Baldwin Accused of Ignoring Reports of Deadly Overdoses for Veterans

Senator Tammy Baldwin may be held responsible for death of veteran

Tammy Baldwin

Senator Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin is being grilled on why her office neglected to respond to a report that patients in a VA hospital were being given potentially fatal doses of opiates.

One marine veteran died at the age of 35 from a an overdose at the VA hospital in Tomah, Wisconsin. According to, Senator Baldwin, a Democrat whose maternal grandfather was Jewish, said that her office, “did not address Jason Simcakoski’s death, because the report was competed five months earlier in March 2014.”

Baldwin’s office was given a detailed and urgent report about the dangers to veterans in the hospital, and nothing was done. While the story was causing a public relations problem, Baldwin fired a deputy state director, Marquette Baylor with a confidentiality agreement. Senator Baldwin said the issue leading to the firing was a personal matter. She has called for a full investigation into the issue at the VA hospitals. In the meantime, she wrote an op-ed piece admitting her office could have done more, “We should have done a better job listening and communicating, ” she wrote.

An investigative report criticized Baldwin for not meeting with the whistleblowers and said she would be “held to account for her direct failure of responsibilities to understand the gravity of what she was sitting on.”


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