Must see: Phoenix VA maintains “secret waiting list” while sick veterans languish and die

posted at 1:41 pm on April 24, 2014 by Allahpundit

If you saw this dynamite CNN piece linked elsewhere but skipped it because you didn’t have time to read it all, clear your schedule and make amends. It’s not news that vets who need cancer screenings frequently land on interminable wait lists — CNN’s been all over that story too — but it is news that the local VA might go so far as to cook its own books in order to hide the evidence of those wait times. What do they do when a senior citizen with blood in his urine comes to them begging for an appointment? Simple: They take his name, put it on their private waiting list, then erase him from the hospital’s data system so that there’s no trace that he ever came by.

Hopefully he won’t die before something on the calendar opens up. Hopefully.

According to [former Phoenix VA Dr. Sam] Foote, the elaborate scheme in Phoenix involved shredding evidence to hide the long list of veterans waiting for appointments and care. Officials at the VA, Foote says, instructed their staff to not actually make doctor’s appointments for veterans within the computer system.

Instead, Foote says, when a veteran comes in seeking an appointment, “they enter information into the computer and do a screen capture hard copy printout. They then do not save what was put into the computer so there’s no record that you were ever here,” he said.

According to Foote, the information was gathered on the secret electronic list and then the information that would show when veterans first began waiting for an appointment was actually destroyed.

“That hard copy, if you will, that has the patient demographic information is then taken and placed onto a secret electronic waiting list, and then the data that is on that paper is shredded,” Foote said.

They’re supposed to schedule everyone within 14-30 days but they knew that was impossible. So instead of entering a patient’s intake info into the official VA system, where the unacceptable wait times would be noticed, they entered it into a private off-the-books system, compounding a bureaucratic nightmare with corruption aimed at avoiding oversight. “Multiple” sources at the Phoenix VA confirmed for CNN that Foote’s account of how things are done is absolutely true. His estimate of how many vets have died while on the “secret list”: 40 already — with 1,400 to 1,600 still on the secret list, waiting.

And yes, the director in Phoenix apparently knew this was going on. Who else did? And which other VAs have mastered the art of the cover up?

There’s a grotesque punchline to all this but I’ll make you read the Free Beacon for that.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

But having the government control healthcare for all of us, vet and non vet alike, will be wondrous.

Bishop on April 24, 2014 at 1:44 PM

But, but, but, the Left always points to the VA as an example of how great socialised medicine is!

Resist We Much on April 24, 2014 at 1:45 PM

But, but government run health care is our future…and it will save us $2500 a year.

d1carter on April 24, 2014 at 1:45 PM

And sucks to be you goofballs because I’m not only a citizen but also a veteran, I get to be abused and ignored twice over by careless and uncaring government clerks.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA at you losers! I ROCK!

Bishop on April 24, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Remember folks, this is government provided health care. Canada and Great Britain have long wait times as well.

rbj on April 24, 2014 at 1:46 PM

See, we need a government run health program so stuff like this doesn’t happen.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Transparent, just like our current Administration…

Khun Joe on April 24, 2014 at 1:46 PM

For a vet there is more than one way to give your life for your country.

HiJack on April 24, 2014 at 1:47 PM

I’m doubt Sharon Helman will be getting jail time; perhaps she could be rewarded with a diplomatic post in the next Middle East hotspot.

Fenris on April 24, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Sorry, gang, I’m out….between this and the Dem Donor girlfriend
beater upper, I’ve had it…..

ToddPA on April 24, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Stories like this make me appreciate the VA hospitals that my father-in-law and I use. It never ceases to amaze me the lengths people will go through to avoid doing things correctly in the first place.

larryharper on April 24, 2014 at 1:49 PM

And yes, the director in Phoenix apparently knew this was going on

 
Thank goodness they didn’t name it “Death Panel” or they would’ve had egg on their faces, eh?

rogerb on April 24, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Maybe what should happen is that only veterans should be hired to staff the VA and other veteran-related departments. Why not?

HiJack on April 24, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Far too many military folks and vets vote for Republicans.

Cindy Munford on April 24, 2014 at 1:50 PM

The last time there was a well publicized VA fuss was when Bush was President, so naturally it was his fault. This time is different I guess.

What’s the big deal anyway? Just Google Canada + single payer + wait times. This VA, ah, incident is just what your novelists call foreshadowing of what we all face.

Drained Brain on April 24, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Drained Brain on April 24, 2014 at 1:50 PM

No, this will be Bush’s fault to.

Cindy Munford on April 24, 2014 at 1:51 PM

TBH, I don’t think the VA was ever intended to be the primary means of medical care for every single person who served. Disabled or chronically ill war veterans, yes. Some guy who did 4 years in the 80′s, not so much.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Disgusting, and should make anyone shudder when thinking about Obamacare or a one payer system for healthcare.

melle1228 on April 24, 2014 at 1:54 PM

No, this will be Bush’s fault to.

Cindy Munford on April 24, 2014 at 1:51 PM

No doubt.

Drained Brain on April 24, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Just because the gov’t makes you buy health coverage doesn’t mean you’re going to get actual healthcare…

Pqlyur1 on April 24, 2014 at 1:58 PM

That’s one way to bend the cost curve down.

Occams Stubble on April 24, 2014 at 1:58 PM

TBH, I don’t think the VA was ever intended to be the primary means of medical care for every single person who served. Disabled or chronically ill war veterans, yes. Some guy who did 4 years in the 80′s, not so much.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 1:51 PM

I think you’re right. I did 10 years myself and, as I said in this morning’s Headlines thread, I wouldn’t get within shouting distance of a VA medical facility. Not so much over the quality of care, but because of the bureaucratic, government-run shinola involved.

I also didn’t think too highly of the peace-time quality of military-base medicine when I was in (mid 80′s to mid 90′s). Battlefield care seems to have improved immensely, though.

Bitter Clinger on April 24, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Far too many military folks and vets vote for Republicans.

Cindy Munford on April 24, 2014 at 1:50 PM

It’s not paranoia if they really are after you.

bigmacdaddy on April 24, 2014 at 1:59 PM

And does anyone think this will be investigated by the current Attorney General? I, for one, do not!

johntexas on April 24, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Heinlein was on to something.

This is a mysteriously leftist-free topic.

Bishop on April 24, 2014 at 2:01 PM

TBH, I don’t think the VA was ever intended to be the primary means of medical care for every single person who served. Disabled or chronically ill war veterans, yes. Some guy who did 4 years in the 80′s, not so much.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Speaking as someone to whom that applies almost exactly, I agree.

Fenris on April 24, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Try calling a doctor from the VA hospital- you get a voice mail. Now wait and see how long it takes for anyone to get back to you. We’re talking days, my friends.

lyannea on April 24, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Look at the up side. Now Pelosi, Reid and oblamer can save all that retired veteran pay to give to the LIV voters.

markingermany on April 24, 2014 at 2:04 PM

I also didn’t think too highly of the peace-time quality of military-base medicine when I was in (mid 80′s to mid 90′s). Battlefield care seems to have improved immensely, though.

Bitter Clinger on April 24, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Dover screwed my wife up pretty good in the early 00s. But I am about to become a military health provider, so things are getting better (I think)

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Repost from headlines thread

If the VA cannot support the Veteran’s. (bias alert) I am a veteran. Then they need to send them to and pay for private health care centers.
Something that is not well advertised is that the VA will cover emergency visits to normal hospitals for veterans if you know how to do the paperwork. My first time after the Military in an emergency room I just simply paid cash for. Something around $4000 to $6000. After that my wife found out that the VA would have covered that visit.
If I recall right, the process is. You tell the admitting agent your VA hospital location and contact information for them for insurance purposes. Then within 24 or 48 hours you have to contact the VA and let them know you are there. Likely the 24 hour one. You cannot stay beyond becoming stable enough to leave, and if the VA comes to pick you up, you have to go with them. I had a gallstone go through my pancreas last year, and the VA covered almost the whole emergency room visit.
This thing in Phoenix, my old VA medical center, is appalling! If you cannot care for them, at least let them know what other services are available.

astonerii on April 24, 2014 at 11:01 AM

astonerii on April 24, 2014 at 2:06 PM

TBH, I don’t think the VA was ever intended to be the primary means of medical care for every single person who served. Disabled or chronically ill war veterans, yes. Some guy who did 4 years in the 80′s, not so much.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 1:51 PM

I think you’re right. I did 10 years myself and, as I said in this morning’s Headlines thread, I wouldn’t get within shouting distance of a VA medical facility. Not so much over the quality of care, but because of the bureaucratic, government-run shinola involved.

I also didn’t think too highly of the peace-time quality of military-base medicine when I was in (mid 80′s to mid 90′s). Battlefield care seems to have improved immensely, though.

Bitter Clinger on April 24, 2014 at 1:59 PM

My Dad did 20 years as an officer. After he retired he lived an additional 25 years, and in all those years not once did he use VA facilities, despite an abundance of them where he lived.

And it was because he knew of all the bureaucratic BS involved. He’d had enough of that when he was serving!

Del Dolemonte on April 24, 2014 at 2:09 PM

John McCain: We don’t have enough hospitals to treat them all, so let them die.

And speaking of McCain, once his open borders amnesty dream comes to fruition, get ready for this kind of thing to happen to the entire health care system.

xblade on April 24, 2014 at 2:10 PM

And the two swine of AZ, Flake and McVain talk about “illegal aliens not going home”.

Have you no responsibilities and NO shame, you thugs?

Schadenfreude on April 24, 2014 at 2:10 PM

so things are getting better (I think)

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Meh. Methinks you’re being overly optimistic. The same military hospital that completely fu¢ked up a rebuild on my shoulder nearly killed a friend of mine last week. He’d gone in a few days earlier complaining of neck pains and being short of breath, so they gave him pills for his thyroid.

That was Monday. He had a heart attack on Thursday.

bigmacdaddy on April 24, 2014 at 2:11 PM

What are we learning from this thread?

-The VA health system sucks…unless it is paying for my care at a non-VA hospital

-It will be the model for our eventual single payer system, which will suck on a much larger scale.

Yay free(?) healthcare!

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 2:13 PM

I don’t get it. Why wouldn’t the VA bureaucracy use the long waiting lists as proof that Congress needed to allocate them some more money? A few press leaks and the public would be lighting up the phones for better funding, so why go out on a legal limb like this to hide it? Especially when the number of people who would have to know about the cover-up guarantees it will get out sooner or later? Is there yet another conspiracy that goes all the way to Washington to make sure some Democrat Senator didn’t have to go on record as having voted against life-saving cancer treatments for veterans?

Socratease on April 24, 2014 at 2:14 PM

“I feel very sorry for the people who work at the Phoenix VA,” said Foote. “They’re all frustrated. They’re all upset. They all wish they could leave ’cause they know what they’re doing is wrong.
“But they have families, they have mortgages and if they speak out or say anything to anybody about it, they will be fired and they know that.”

they were just following orders.

Sachiko on April 24, 2014 at 2:17 PM

You are watching: Government Run Health Care:

Brought to you by the People that gave you:

PBS

NPR

Amtrak

Department of Education (Ha!)

The House Post Office

*AND*

404Care.gov

…and now, back to our regularly scheduled Farce, already in progress(ive).

BlaxPac on April 24, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Last year, Sharon Helman, the director of the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System, got a $9,345 bonus, in addition to her annual base salary of $169,900.

But jake-the-amnesty-shill thinks it’s time for women to be in charge just because they’re women, lol. Guess that means Hillary is his(actually a her) candidate for 2016.

xblade on April 24, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Meh. Methinks you’re being overly optimistic. The same military hospital that completely fu¢ked up a rebuild on my shoulder nearly killed a friend of mine last week. He’d gone in a few days earlier complaining of neck pains and being short of breath, so they gave him pills for his thyroid.

That was Monday. He had a heart attack on Thursday.

bigmacdaddy on April 24, 2014 at 2:11 PM

that’s terrible! i’ll say a prayer…

Sachiko on April 24, 2014 at 2:19 PM

That was Monday. He had a heart attack on Thursday.

bigmacdaddy on April 24, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Well, you can have a thyroid problem, and a heart problem. It is possible that what he had on Mon wasn’t enough to change his EKG or raise his enzymes.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Rand Paul: Republicans have overblown this VA issue.

xblade on April 24, 2014 at 2:20 PM

that’s terrible! i’ll say a prayer…

Sachiko on April 24, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Thanks; there’s been a lot of that going on lately.

He’s since turned the corner, but the doctor that worked on him here in the building gave him a 5% chance of pulling through when they wheeled him out.

bigmacdaddy on April 24, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Well, you can have a thyroid problem, and a heart problem. It is possible that what he had on Mon wasn’t enough to change his EKG or raise his enzymes.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Yeah…but no. He had two clogged arteries, and the cardiologist that did the work on him talked to his wife after-the-fact and when she spelled out the symptoms, he just shook his head.

bigmacdaddy on April 24, 2014 at 2:25 PM

The government is going to investigate? Oh, boy! That will get right to the bottom of this!

Hucklebuck on April 24, 2014 at 2:25 PM

I (on duty service connected disability) have been treated well (when I use it) at Togus,ME and the Bangor,ME outclinic. But I also try not to use them for anything so I suppose it could be bad w/o me knowing.
this stuff just really bugs me. the part about the guy being so proud of serving he only wanted to use VA really hit me.

dmacleo on April 24, 2014 at 2:30 PM

See how wonderful government run healthcare is going to be? Did the VA at least give these 40 dead patriots the red pill and send them home? Sarah Palin was right these are death panels. God help us all.

neyney on April 24, 2014 at 2:32 PM

And sucks to be you goofballs because I’m not only a citizen but also a veteran, I get to be abused and ignored twice over by careless and uncaring government clerks.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA at you losers! I ROCK!

Bishop on April 24, 2014 at 1:46 PM

It’s like double-dipping at the DMV!

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2014 at 2:36 PM

The cause that ruined the postal service also ruined the VA hospital system.

docflash on April 24, 2014 at 2:36 PM

And they want to run it all. Dear Lord, save us from those who want to save us from ourselves.

Buck Farky on April 24, 2014 at 2:42 PM

bigmacdaddy on April 24, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Not just VA centers.
The husband of a friend of my wife went in I think on Saturday. They released him on Sunday morning. He went back with two failed kidney’s on Monday and dead. Medicine is hard stuff. I dunno how they missed the fact that his kidney’s were failing on Sunday.

astonerii on April 24, 2014 at 2:44 PM

So, did Dr. Foote wait until he was retired, and collection his pension, before he decided to blow the lid on this story?

Hmmm…

“I feel very sorry for the people who work at the Phoenix VA,” said Foote. “They’re all frustrated. They’re all upset. They all wish they could leave ’cause they know what they’re doing is wrong.

But they have families, they have mortgages and if they speak out or say anything to anybody about it, they will be fired and they know that.

I guess collecting your paycheck, and working until you qualify for a pension is more important than doing the right thing – even if veterans die as a result. Nice.

Hill60 on April 24, 2014 at 2:45 PM

^ collection = collecting

Hill60 on April 24, 2014 at 2:46 PM

This is the healthcare we’ve been waiting for.

txsith on April 24, 2014 at 2:54 PM

I have a family member that works at another VA hospital. Apparently, this kind of stuff is quite standard. That family member is fighting the good fight. I keep telling her that you can’t change human nature. Folks who work in government positions are no more selfless than the rest of us. Better to reduce the scope of government so these folks can be “selfless” with their own funds.

learnsome on April 24, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Far too many military folks and vets vote for Republicans.

Cindy Munford on April 24, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Yep, and between this and the downsizing of the military, they’ll accomplish ridding us of those who’d defend us of a police state.

31giddyup on April 24, 2014 at 3:06 PM

To be seen on your ABC/NBC/CBS Evening news???

Nah. Never mind.

Cliven Bundy said some bad things. Lets go there. You know, that “conservatives are racists” meme.

Carnac on April 24, 2014 at 3:07 PM

My dad is 88 and was in need of need of a pacemaker. He was told quite honestly by the veterans administration that he was simply too old and to take medication to regulate his blood pressure.

Six months ago he passed out and was brought to a hospital, where he died four times on a table. Evacuating to a hospital, they put in a pacemaker and saved his life.

The VA had to foot most of the bill, to their chagrin.

itsspideyman on April 24, 2014 at 3:12 PM

And remember the VA is an example of what happens when government takes over health care, entirely.

It is this that the Left wants for EVERYONE.

ajacksonian on April 24, 2014 at 3:17 PM

I’ve argued since 2009 that if the LEFT wants to understand what they’ve been asking for in government run health ‘care’ the need only look to the Indian Reservations and the Veterans Administration.

On reservations the locals will tell you “Don’t get sick or injured after June. They run out of money by June.” and locals are effectively left without care or recourse.

Contamination, neglect, and incompetence are widespread at VA facilities, and yet administrators and staff are given raises and bonuses while veterans do without care, suffer needlessly, and sometimes die from misdiagnosis, mistreatment, and/or shameful neglect.

Obamacare will not bring the level of care at VA facilities and reservations up to an acceptable level of quality. It will only erode the quality of care that everyone receives down to the shabby level available from the VA and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

thatsafactjack on April 24, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Absolutely reprehensible, and disgusting.

JetBoy on April 24, 2014 at 3:22 PM

We don’t have the money to give these veterans the health care we promised them, and yet somehow we do have billions and billions of dollars to spend every year on providing food stamps to illegal aliens (despite it being expressly prohibited by federal law).

Last year alone, the Obama administration admitted paying out billions of dollars in Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits to just a few thousand illegal aliens. How many of those 40 dead Phoenix veterans would be alive today if just a few million of those billions had been spent on their health care, instead of being spent on subsidizing the illegal aliens’ prescription drugs?

AZCoyote on April 24, 2014 at 3:25 PM

VA = test bed for ObamaCare.

Or as Sibelius would say “we don’t capture that information”.

GarandFan on April 24, 2014 at 3:29 PM

TBH, I don’t think the VA was ever intended to be the primary means of medical care for every single person who served. Disabled or chronically ill war veterans, yes. Some guy who did 4 years in the 80′s, not so much.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Yup…but to speak openly about it is treason and troop bashing to some in the military. Just like most government programs it was created for honorable reasons and then just abused as it grew into a monster (SS, Welfare, Food Stamps, etc).

nextgen_repub on April 24, 2014 at 3:38 PM

How many have to die to get it up to 10K ?

But don’t call it a “Death Panel”!!

Blaise on April 24, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Test run for death panels???

txdoc on April 24, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Yup…but to speak openly about it is treason and troop bashing to some in the military. Just like most government programs it was created for honorable reasons and then just abused as it grew into a monster (SS, Welfare, Food Stamps, etc).

nextgen_repub on April 24, 2014 at 3:38 PM

I defend the VA and veterans benefits to a large degree but I know that the system is corrupt and corrupting. The VA benefits are payments for service though and are in fact sacrosanct, so trying to rip legitimate compensation from veterans is certainly beyond the pale.

You want to find a scamming person taking something they did not earn, I am all for it. If on the other hand, you want to skimp on the compensation offered the military and the veterans, then we have a problem.

astonerii on April 24, 2014 at 4:27 PM

And yes, the director in Phoenix apparently knew this was going on. Who else did? And which other VAs have mastered the art of the cover up?

…and he just got a big government bonus for his work!

slickwillie2001 on April 24, 2014 at 4:31 PM

I don’t understand the purpose of the VA hospitals. Why not use already established hospitals and just have the VA pay for it?

I know quite a few vets in rural Kansas that have to travel 3+ hours to get to a VA hospital.

cptacek on April 24, 2014 at 4:36 PM

The VA benefits are payments for service though and are in fact sacrosanct, so trying to rip legitimate compensation from veterans is certainly beyond the pale.

If you were wounded in combat, or have a service related illness/ disability, yes.

For the guys who do their one-and-done enlistments: You got training, a damn good paycheck, and college credits. Why do you think the government (American people) owe you anything more, let alone free healthcare for life. You served an enlistment, I commend your service, but that does not make you a special snowflake.

BTW, I hit 20 years next month, I don’t feel entitled to it either.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 4:45 PM

But, but, but, the Left always points to the VA as an example of how great socialised medicine is!

Resist We Much on April 24, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Do they really?!!!! Wow! That’s a ballsy move! LMAO! Unbelievable!

NavyMustang on April 24, 2014 at 4:48 PM

But, but, but, the Left always points to the VA as an example of how great socialised medicine is!

Resist We Much on April 24, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Do they really?!!!! Wow! That’s a ballsy move! LMAO! Unbelievable!

NavyMustang on April 24, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Now that you bring that up, this story does sound like it could be right out of the British NHS.

slickwillie2001 on April 24, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Meh. Methinks you’re being overly optimistic. The same military hospital that completely fu¢ked up a rebuild on my shoulder nearly killed a friend of mine last week. He’d gone in a few days earlier complaining of neck pains and being short of breath, so they gave him pills for his thyroid.

That was Monday. He had a heart attack on Thursday.

bigmacdaddy on April 24, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Back in the mid 1980s when I was in a flight billet, I progressively got sicker and sicker. I was only 30 years old, but I got to the point where I couldn’t walk more than 10 steps without having to stop and rest. I lost, no kidding, 36 pounds in little over a week. I went to the flight surgeon cause I was getting ready to deploy to Japan. Even with all my symptoms he gave me an “up chit.”

Lucky for me, the night before I left for Japan, I started puking up bright red blood. The ambulance ride was great. The clown corpsman made me walk to the ambulance! I got to the ER and the doctor actually wasn’t sure he wanted to admit me! Well, that all changed when I barfed and completely covered the pure white sheet with bright blood. THAT got his attention dadgummit!

A couple of weeks later, my attending physician told me that it was nip and tuck, that I almost died.

Oh, by the way, the diagnosis was really, really bad stomach ulcers. I ended up having my stomach yanked out a couple of years later.

Imagine what would have happened if I had been halfway between Hawaii and Japan when the fun started.

Pretty disconcerting to see that nothing much has changed. I hope your friend recovers completely.

NavyMustang on April 24, 2014 at 5:03 PM

I’m sure Ezra Klein will have an explainer for this problem at the VA.

He’ll just move this over to Vox’s memory-hole super-secret waitlist for when he can find the time to explain it to us.

Herod on April 24, 2014 at 5:06 PM

I don’t understand the purpose of the VA hospitals. Why not use already established hospitals and just have the VA pay for it?

I know quite a few vets in rural Kansas that have to travel 3+ hours to get to a VA hospital.

cptacek on April 24, 2014 at 4:36 PM

The base reasoning for them is that military personnel in general have different problems than the general population and thus should have a separate more specialized medical care provider. I think the reasoning is beginning to be less and less reasonable in many cases, but there is still the lost limbs, brain damage, PTSD that probably still makes it a better place for some veterans.

I got malaria while I was in and it caused brain damage that causes me to get frequent migraine headaches. Personally, I think I would get better treatment outside the VA, but then my medical care would be beyond my means to pay for even with insurance.

astonerii on April 24, 2014 at 5:12 PM

I’m a retired Navy Officer. VA care is intended for those with clear service-related conditions. Other medical issues should be managed by your typical health care plan. I avoid VA care except for service connected issues. It’s not just appointments–every aspect of dealing with the VA is glacially slow. My original, relatively simple claim took over 18 months to adjudicate. I’m now approaching an additional year just to get a minor administrative update to my file made that is currently affecting my VA disability pay (causing me to pay more in taxes). The system is so completely broken, I don’t know that it can be rescued. As the longest experiment in socialized medicine in the US, it’s near-daily revelations of failure should be a warning klaxon for every other government run medical program.

Mortifico on April 24, 2014 at 5:12 PM

…and he just got a big government bonus for his work!

slickwillie2001 on April 24, 2014 at 4:31 PM

…yep!…bonuses belong in government jobs…don’t you think?

KOOLAID2 on April 24, 2014 at 5:40 PM

I’d love to get a peek at the diagnosis codes of some of these patients.

Willing to bet that this is quality of life matrix being applied to the decision making process of who does and doesn’t qualify for access to care.

lineholder on April 24, 2014 at 6:44 PM

It’s very silly of these veterans to expect the right thing to be done for them without having a relative in government.

Sheesh.

(ok, /sarc for the slow)

Diluculo on April 24, 2014 at 7:03 PM

I could express outrage and “what I would do to the VA official if he left my 82 year old Korean war vet dad die”.

but instead I just want to state

THIS IS GOVT RUN HEALTH CARE

VA DOES IT TO VETS TODAY

OBAMACARE DOES IT TO YOU TOMORROW.

sniffles1999 on April 24, 2014 at 9:07 PM

I could express outrage and “what I would do to the VA official if he left my 82 year old Korean war vet dad die”.

but instead I just want to state

THIS IS GOVT RUN HEALTH CARE

VA DOES IT TO VETS TODAY

OBAMACARE DOES IT TO YOU TOMORROW.

sniffles1999 on April 24, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Reichsmarschall Sebelius said it herself, -”some live and some die”.

slickwillie2001 on April 24, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Nobody will be fired over this, just reassigned with a letter in their file.

The Texican on April 24, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Even with all my symptoms he gave me an “up chit.”
NavyMustang on April 24, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Amazing. (knowing that there were flight surgeons who would ground guys for a head cold)

This whole story is incredibly depressing. Just to add, the VA in New Hampshire recently saved a friends father who had congestive heart failure. He got excellent care. I think what kind of service you get has a lot to do with where you live.
I’ve never had a problem with the VA, probably because I never used them/tricare.

V7_Sport on April 25, 2014 at 12:55 AM

My Dad was a 100% disabled WWII Vet. He never would have anything to do with the VA other than cashing that disability check.

He had heard all the horror stories from other Vets and would not go.

I am a Vet with a small disability and other than getting hearing aides from them I stay well away.

I wonder how many other VA facilities have these “secret” lists.

schmuck281 on April 25, 2014 at 1:22 AM

Yes the punchline that the Phoenix VA hid these numbers so they could get their bonuses, same as the LA VA is grotesque, but what is more grotesque is this is a very real example of government run health care and death panels.

Gee, what were the Democrats pushing (now running away from) that sounds the same?

91Veteran on April 25, 2014 at 2:46 AM

Far too many military folks and vets vote for Republicans.

Cindy Munford on April 24, 2014 at 1:50 PM

And that means what? Phoenix is Bush’s fault?

Last I heard the VA was a cabinet level organization with a Secretary nominated by Urkel.

If CNN had any guts, they would be demanding responses from him as to why his VA Secretary still has a job.

…much the same as they demanded from Bush when he was President whenever some agency screwed up.

91Veteran on April 25, 2014 at 2:52 AM

TBH, I don’t think the VA was ever intended to be the primary means of medical care for every single person who served. Disabled or chronically ill war veterans, yes. Some guy who did 4 years in the 80′s, not so much.

tdarrington on April 24, 2014 at 1:51 PM

You can thank Clinton for that. He was the one that expanded care with no additional funding provided just prior to him leaving office…knowing full well it would blow up in Bush’s face.

…as it did, and the media happily blamed Bush for not providing medical care to veterans.

91Veteran on April 25, 2014 at 2:54 AM

I wonder how many other VA facilities have these “secret” lists.

schmuck281 on April 25, 2014 at 1:22 AM

LA is one of them. In fact, a VA whistleblower actually recorded a meeting in which their lists were discussed. He went to the IG with it, and he has since lost his job.

Both Phoenix and LA did it to protect the bonuses their management would get.

…and congress holds another lame hearing with nobody held accountable.

91Veteran on April 25, 2014 at 3:10 AM