Video: House VA committee votes to subpoena Shinseki over wait-list scandal; Update: Shinseki orders audits of all VA facilities

posted at 12:41 pm on May 8, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Eric Shinseki may refuse to provide a resignation in the expanding scandal of wait-list fraud at the VA, but he’ll have to provide testimony to Congress about it. The House Veterans Affairs committee approved a subpoena for the VA Secretary — on a unanimous voice vote:

The House Veterans Affairs Committee voted Thursday to subpoena Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki in the wake of accusations that his department had deadly delays in health care at some of its hospitals.

The Shinseki subpoena will cover e-mails that allegedly discussed the destruction of a secret list, first reported by CNN, of veterans waiting for care at a Phoenix VA hospital.

The panel agreed to issue the subpoena in a voice vote Thursday morning.

CNN provided a little analysis about the decision, but stuck mainly to just the allegations involving the Phoenix office, where 40 veterans died while waiting for medical services:

This analysis is already out of date. The number of offices where whistleblowers claim that records were falsified to hide atrociously long wait times has risen to four, and their geographic distribution strongly suggests that the pattern has its origins in Washington. The Inspector General’s office continues to probe this — and has since last fall, as Drew Griffin points out in his CNN report.

Perhaps Bernie Sanders should have kept up with events a little more closely. The chair of the Senate VA committee scolded people who demanded answers from Shinseki, who has run the VA for more than five years, saying that “just because CNN says something, doesn’t always make it the case”:

“What we need is a very serious independent investigation,” Sanders insists, but isn’t that his job as the chair of the VA’s oversight committee? It’s difficult to take Sanders’ promise to look into the VA issue at some point in the future when plenty of reason already exists to do something about the wait times and allegations of records fraud now.

Shinseki may end up rethinking his stance on resignations. Unlike the Benghazi probe, this one’s likely to get a lot of bipartisan support, as today’s action on the House subpoena suggests.

Update: Shinseki has just ordered in-person audits at every VA facility:

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has ordered a “face-to-face audit” at all Department of Veterans Affairs clinics, a spokeswoman told CNN on Thursday.

To quote Wilfred Brimley in Absence of Malice: “Wonderful thing, subpoenaes.” Why did it take this long if the IG started probing this issue last fall?


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

executive order for silence in 3…2…

upinak on May 8, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Barack HUSSEIN Obama wants veterans to die. There is no other conclusion possible.

ConstantineXI on May 8, 2014 at 12:43 PM

obama despises those who’s CiC he is.

Schadenfreude on May 8, 2014 at 12:47 PM

obama despises those who’s CiC he is.

Schadenfreude on May 8, 2014 at 12:47 PM

I’m sure the feeling is mutual.

If any in my family were still in the military I’d urge them to NOT enlist or re-enlist.

ConstantineXI on May 8, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Good! They should have never put him in this position to begin with. Wasn’t what he did to Army headgear enough incompetence?

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Veterans-

Every Congresscritter has them as a constituent group. This is not going to be fun for the guy who only got the job because he said mean things about Rumsfeld and GWB when he was CJCS.

Face it, Shinseki was a once-honorable man who has acted shamelessly. He needs to be fired in as humiliating and public a way possible. God have mercy on his soul whenever the lying bastard speaks to veterans’ groups now that it has been disclosed that his agency has been killing off veterans to make the numbers look good.

IMO it is days, two weeks tops, before Shinseki gives the more time with family speech. The story has expanded beyond a few rogue clerks in Phoenix (sound a familiar theme) to a systemic practice of cooking the books. The American Legion has already called for his resignation. It is only a matter of time.

Happy Nomad on May 8, 2014 at 12:51 PM

I’m sure the feeling is mutual.

If any in my family were still in the military I’d urge them to NOT enlist or re-enlist.

ConstantineXI on May 8, 2014 at 12:50 PM

My hubby turned down CW4 to retire last year. He had had enough. After serving eight years under CLinton, he was not doing this again.

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Video: House VA committee votes to subpoena Shinseki over wait-list scandal

…Bernie Sanders?… instead of Issa?…something might get done now!……………we’re going to get answers!

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2014 at 12:53 PM

V-Day, today!

We downed the nazzis and now put up with Adolfean/Goebellian swine. Just see Carney and the scumhag sister of his at state.

Schadenfreude on May 8, 2014 at 12:53 PM

“just because CNN says something, doesn’t always make it the case”

Well, certainly can’t argue with that one. In fact, when CNN says it, does it ever “make it the case”?

The VA is a perfect example of how badly the government does things. Using the government to supervise anything (e.g., healthcare) is a path to destruction and therefore should only be used as a last resort – as when destruction is sought.

It is criminal – the VA that is. Vets deserve sooooooo much better.

Chuck Ef on May 8, 2014 at 12:54 PM

So happy to see this!

I know y’all must be getting tired of hearing me say this, but we really need stronger patient advocacy groups!

lineholder on May 8, 2014 at 12:55 PM

IMO it is days, two weeks tops, before Shinseki gives the more time with family speech. The story has expanded beyond a few rogue clerks in Phoenix (sound a familiar theme) to a systemic practice of cooking the books. The American Legion has already called for his resignation. It is only a matter of time.

Happy Nomad on May 8, 2014 at 12:51 PM

I agree. He may never even make the hearing he’s been subpoenaed for before resigning.

Only reason he hasn’t fallen on his sword already is that Obama HATES to allow “his enemies” to take out any of his people. But let’s face it, Obama hates the military anyway because he fears the inevitability of being taken out of office by them keeping their oaths… He’s much more comfortable around civilian shooting, wrong-door busting down sewn-on-badge type brownshirts than real military, because the brownshirts are “his”.

ConstantineXI on May 8, 2014 at 12:55 PM

CNN provided a little analysis about the decision, but stuck mainly to just the allegations involving the Phoenix office, where 40 veterans died while waiting for medical services:

So four Americans killed in Benghazi isn’t enough to get a cabinet member fired. Now we learn that 40 American veterans isn’t enough to get a cabinet member fired. What do you suppose the number would be before the rat-eared wonder starts to question his appointed officials?

Happy Nomad on May 8, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Another buttboy’s garbage

Schadenfreude on May 8, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Shinseki wanted the waitlisted veterans to get berets, but #GOPSequestration.

malclave on May 8, 2014 at 12:56 PM

I have had my appointments mysteriously disapear from the system, but somehow they are still there. Not sure if this is part of it or just a computer glitch.

Sven on May 8, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Holder and Obama have his back…. no worries

cmsinaz on May 8, 2014 at 12:59 PM

“blah, blah, blah….rogue employees in the Cincinnati Office…..blah, blah, blah….what difference does it make anyway?”

powerpickle on May 8, 2014 at 1:01 PM

So four Americans killed in Benghazi isn’t enough to get a cabinet member fired. Now we learn that 40 American veterans isn’t enough to get a cabinet member fired. What do you suppose the number would be before the rat-eared wonder starts to question his appointed officials?

Happy Nomad on May 8, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Military veterans? Limitless. Jugears doesn’t care.

One black thugger killed while assaulting a white hispanic? You have his undivided attention.

ConstantineXI on May 8, 2014 at 1:03 PM

We had an interesting discussion in the QOTD on this. One of our commenters is a MD who served a medical school internship at one of the big VA hospitals. He said the problem isn’t restricited to Shinseki. The whole governmental VA system is totally out of control. Can’t fire incompetence, over regulation paralysis, etc. He said an intern colleague described the experience of going there from University Hospital as jumping from a speeding train into a wall of Jello. Just a function of government care.

butch on May 8, 2014 at 1:03 PM

The number of offices where whistleblowers claim that records were falsified to hide atrociously long wait times has risen to four, and their geographic distribution strongly suggests that the pattern has its origins in Washington.

It also suggests that the waiting list scam is just the tip of a very corrupt iceberg. The smart money says the long wait times were just one of many problems that the VA has been hiding.

AZCoyote on May 8, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Anyone know how they’ll approach this?

I’d love to get in on an audit of this data!

lineholder on May 8, 2014 at 1:06 PM

…Shinseki is a Vet…he should be respected and not grilled by any TRU-CONS!

………….signed….joana

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Sven on May 8, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Just a suggestion. Make a screen copy and save it in another format. It will give you a baseline to see if the appointment dates are being manipulated.

lineholder on May 8, 2014 at 1:09 PM

So four Americans killed in Benghazi isn’t enough to get a cabinet member fired. Now we learn that 40 American veterans isn’t enough to get a cabinet member fired. What do you suppose the number would be before the rat-eared wonder starts to question his appointed officials?

Happy Nomad on May 8, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Just one, if it were to be a 4th generation welfare/sec 8/medicaid recipient. Them there are precious commodity to be protected for life.

D-fusit on May 8, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Why did it take this long if the IG started probing this issue last fall?

Because in this feckless and mendacious Administration, it’s far more important to be seen as attempting to do something as opposed to really doing something to stop the incompetence / criminal behaviors which benefit the Administration and its agenda.

In the past few months we’ve learned of IG’s who were actively stalled / fought / obfuscated from conducting the investigations that they needed to conduct about the malfeasance in a number of executive branch departments and agencies. We’ve also learned of IG’s who ignored their responsibilities and worked to assist and cover up malfeasance in the hope of getting a better gig from this mendacious Administration.

If the President says that he, or his cabinet officers, are ordering a full and complete investigation to get to the bottom of the problem, that order is as much of a lie as ‘if you like your Doctor, you can keep your Doctor’.

Don’t be surprised if many VA facilities are hosting shredding parties over the next several days….

Athos on May 8, 2014 at 1:15 PM

“blah, blah, blah….rogue employees in the Cincinnati Office…..blah, blah, blah….what difference does it make anyway?”

powerpickle on May 8, 2014 at 1:01 PM

…just a couple of rogue hospitals…nothing burger!

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has ordered a “face-to-face audit” at all Department of Veterans Affairs clinics, a spokeswoman told CNN on Thursday.

He should have done this immediately after Phoenix..

melle1228 on May 8, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Eric Shinseki
1d
Veteran Affairs chief Eric Shinseki says he won’t resign amid allegations of inadequate treatment – @wsj
read more on online.wsj.com

canopfor on May 8, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Phoenix veterans hospital investigated
1h
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki: ‘I’m not ready to join the chorus of people calling for him to step down’ – @CarrieNBCNews

canopfor on May 8, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has ordered a “face-to-face audit” at all Department of Veterans Affairs clinics, a spokeswoman told CNN on Thursday.

Ahhhhhh! I want in on this!!! Big Time!

lineholder on May 8, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Why did it take this long if the IG started probing this issue last fall?

The UPdate – don’t trust any IG audits. Even they are corrupted by these goons. See this.

And this.

Schadenfreude on May 8, 2014 at 1:21 PM

If Eric Shinseki had any honor, he’d resign.

Schadenfreude on May 8, 2014 at 1:24 PM

They fudged the numbers, on the back of the dead, to get fat bonuses.

The scumhag in Phoenix got $9,000 for last year.

Gov’t robots should never get bonuses. They work for the taxpayers.

Plus, they should never be allowed to strike.

The gov’t is out of control and has no respect for those who sustain their lavish lifestyles. I hope they all go to Hell.

Schadenfreude on May 8, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Let’s recall what Shinseki said when nominated by the rat-eared wonder back on Dec 27th 2008.

SHINSEKI: Well, Mr. President-elect, thank you for the honor of being nominated to serve our nation and your cabinet. I can think of no higher responsibility than ensuring that men and women who have served our nation in uniform are treated with the care and respect that they have earned.

As you’ve said, these brave Americans are part of an unbroken line of heroes that stretches back to the American Revolution.

And yet, even as we stand here today, there are veterans who have worried about keeping their health care or even their homes, paying their bills or finding a good job when they leave the service.

Veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan in particular are confronting serious severe wounds — some seen, some unseen — making it difficult for them to get on with their lives in this struggling economy. They deserve a smooth, error-free, no-fail, benefits-assured transition into our ranks as veterans. And that is our responsibility, not theirs.

A word to my fellow veterans: If confirmed, I will work each and every day to ensure that we are serving you as well as you have served us. We will pursue a 21st-century V.A. that serves your needs.

We will open doors, new doors of opportunity so you can find a good job, support your families when you return to civilian life. And if we will always — we will always honor the sacrifices of those who have worn the uniform and their loved ones.

So, Mr. President-elect, thank you for entrusting me with this great responsibility.

And I thank all of our veterans who have served in the Armed Forces of our nation.

I’d say any reasonable person would decide that Shinseki’s own words justify being fired. Five years later and the VA is even worse than it was in 2008. Would Shinseki keep a subordinate commander in his job after five years of failure?

Happy Nomad on May 8, 2014 at 1:34 PM

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki: ‘I’m not ready to join the chorus of people calling for him to step down’ – @CarrieNBCNews

canopfor on May 8, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Of course not, John. Got to protect the local establishment.

Just another in a long line of paper pushing generals turned worthless bureaucrats. Was that redundant?

CTSherman on May 8, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Another phony scandal according to zero.

His resignation should have already been tendered, but, in this administration, no one is ever held accountable.

Well, we’re going to hold some democraps accountable come November. Stand the F*** by.

rightside on May 8, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Veterans Affairs Committee Subpoenas Shinseki

By Matt Fuller Posted at 11:12 a.m. May 8
*******************************************

Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., noted that the committee had contacted the VA numerous times before sending

a letter on May 1

http://veterans.house.gov/sites/republicans.veterans.house.gov/files/CJM%20letter%20to%20SecVA%20re%20Preservation%20Order%20for%20Phoenix.pdf

asking for any material related to wait times at the Phoenix VA hospital.
============
(More…)

http://blogs.rollcall.com/218/veterans-affairs-committee-subpoenas-shinseki/?dcz=

canopfor on May 8, 2014 at 1:45 PM

canopfor on May 8, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Of course not, John. Got to protect the local establishment.

Just another in a long line of paper pushing generals turned worthless bureaucrats. Was that redundant?

CTSherman on May 8, 2014 at 1:42 PM

CTSherman: Redundant, no. I’m slowly losing faith in Boehner.:)

canopfor on May 8, 2014 at 1:47 PM

He’s also in trouble for this. Bozos at this VA got nice bonuses after these vets died and Shinseki refused to help take them away.

http://m.wpxi.com/news/news/local/hearing-legionnaires-may-have-killed-5-va-hospital/nWG7q/

ImmigrantsWife on May 8, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Barack HUSSEIN Obama wants veterans to die. There is no other conclusion possible.

ConstantineXI on May 8, 2014 at 12:43 PM

It could be worse. This could be the template for the coming piece-of-crap Obamacare Death Panels. The author of the concept, the ghoulish John Holdren, sees medical care apportioned on the basis of the “community value” of a patient. If you are too young to contribute to society, like under the age of ten, you get very little consideration. If you are over fifty, ditto. What you do for a living also is considered of course.

Like Reichsmarschall Sebelius says, “some live, some die”.

slickwillie2001 on May 8, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Phoenix veterans hospital investigated
3m
Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to testify before Senate Veterans Affairs Committee next week, aides say – @edatpost
end of alert

canopfor on May 8, 2014 at 1:53 PM

executive order for silence in 3…2…

upinak on May 8, 2014 at 12:43 PM

which would mean someone talked about it to POTUS…. in which case Steadman won’t do crap about it if the Congress tries to compel him to do so.

i was also reading Gabe’s piece over at Ace’s, about Lois Lerner taking the 5th. you can only take the 5th if you are trying to protect yourself when you know a crime has been committed. so…. she admits criminal wrongdoing in the IRS targetting cases. not that that helps since Steadman won’t do crap there either, but the law is at least on our side…

ProudinNC on May 8, 2014 at 1:54 PM

If Congress had authorized the “Courageous Act” Medal (I refer to it as the “Yellow Heart”), the Directors of the VA Hospitals in question would certainly qualify.

Obama: “Let’em die on the battlefield, let’em die in line for healthcare. I don’t care how you get it done, I want the biggest threat to the US government…me….eliminated. You all have read Big Sis’s report on that, right?”

BobMbx on May 8, 2014 at 1:56 PM

If Eric Shinseki had any honor, he’d resign.

Schadenfreude on May 8, 2014 at 1:24 PM

The President of South Korea stepped down over a ferry disaster. The CEO of Target stepped down because of computer hacking. The founder of Mozilla was forced out for a small contribution he made six years ago……..

This is much worse and Shinseki, apparently, is going to hunker down and pretend that there really isn’t a problem. The American Legion has already called for his resignation. My guess is that the VFW and DAV are not going to be too far behind. My guess is that every Congressional office in DC is getting messages from constituents demanding for Shinseki step down.

He may be talk about serving at the pleasure of the President (meaning anyone calling for him to go can stuff it). But if I were Shinseki, I would be saving a few copier paper boxes to pack up the office.

Happy Nomad on May 8, 2014 at 1:57 PM

canopfor on May 8, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Slowly? What’s taking you so long? ;)

CTSherman on May 8, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Fraud easy to find, easy to vido, easy to tape record.

Go to any VA Hospital, wear a Vietnam Vet hat, act like you are a newbe, be sure you and your ?wife look old enough. Caugh a lot.

Log in and sit in the wait room. Soon a guy who for some reason soon known to you will come over and sit near or next to you or your wife. Some chit chat.

Then “you new here?’. Answer yes its all new to me, do not know a thing. Some more chit chat.
Then something like, “you ever around that agent orange stuff”?
You say why,,, he will go into how bad it was, and how he knows how to help you get help, maybe more disibility, he knows an atty. who does this stuff, just let me help you fill out the forms, we got your back…

money changes hands, fraud goes on

Real care takes a back seat at the VA hospitals now.

The Congress knows, the goverment is a failed state on this , the border, the jobs, the you name it.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on May 8, 2014 at 2:14 PM

All you need to know is that John F. Kerry was never in the dock before a Courts Marshall for his treason.

Shit still runs down hill.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on May 8, 2014 at 2:20 PM

canopfor on May 8, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Slowly? What’s taking you so long? ;)

CTSherman on May 8, 2014 at 1:59 PM

CTSherman: Well, of late, Boehner is on a roll, and
if he boinks up again, which is highly likely,
its under da bus he go’s!–:0

canopfor on May 8, 2014 at 2:21 PM

AP Politics ‏@AP_Politics 57m

AP VIDEO: House committee signs subpoena against VA Secretary Shinseki over reports of deaths, delayed treatment. http://apne.ws/1oulMqz

Subpoena Voted Against VA Secretary Shinseki

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn94jdihIkA

canopfor on May 8, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Karma!!!

General Eric Ken Shinseki knifed President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld in the back during the Iraq invasion.

He got his current job as a reward for that heroic bureaucratic action.

Fxxx him! He sucked as a military commander also.

patch on May 8, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Karma!!!

General Eric Ken Shinseki knifed President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld in the back during the Iraq invasion.

He got his current job as a reward for that heroic bureaucratic action.

Fxxx him! He sucked as a military commander also.

patch on May 8, 2014 at 2:37 PM

You are correct sir. For his treachery the Democratics felt they had to reward him, so they gave him the lowliest cabinet position that’s hard to screw up. True to his nature, he screwed it up.

slickwillie2001 on May 8, 2014 at 2:47 PM

VA, ATF,Border Patrol, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Sandia Lab included as the smart ones there live the Climate Change lie..

U.S.A. is a failed state, only we stand now and if we fail it is all done.

Stand up.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on May 8, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Coincidences. Been trying to get my VA glasses repaired since January. They showed up in yesterdays mail. Been trying to get an appointment with my primary care Doctor since October 2013. Just got a call. Have appointment in 7 days. Just read that audit to be conducted. Just all coincidences.

This is in the Maryland VA system.

I think one of the problems is they have always been making the appointments 60-90 days out but not posting them on the computer system until they were within 30 days. That way all appointments were within 30 days.

Another problem is that management from the mid level out is not working not from the top down. Mid level is just not doing their basic job of supervising. Instead they play the Wizard of OZ and hide thing behind the current. This brings up a third problem in that this all appears to be bonus driven behavior.

I just don’t get it. I joined the Army in 1966 and got my final retirement letter in 2004. No one ever gave me a bonus for “doing my job”. “getting peppered with sharp mail”,”loss of hearing from excessive gun fire”.

To me this looks very simple. If they got a bonus for not telling the truth and not doing their job. Get the governments money back, fire them and put them in jail. Do this a few times and you will be surprised in the improvement in quality of care.

jpcpt03 on May 8, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Maybe if Shinseki has everyone in the VA wear a beret, things will get better.

GarandFan on May 8, 2014 at 5:40 PM

…Shinseki is a Vet…he should be respected and not grilled by any TRU-CONS!

………….signed….joana

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Yeah, Clinton flack that spiked the experimental uparmored HMMWV program, as well as add-on armor for the rest of the fleet, during the Bosnian conflict, over the objections of TACOM Program Managers that wanted to expand it to all tactical/armored vehicles.

Instead he wanted to build Crusaders and wanted the “Army of One” soldiers to look snazzy in black (imported from China) berets. Then of course, Rumsfeld gets the blame for going to war with the Army he had.

Oboobie brung him back from exile to run the military version of OboobieCare. How’s the bending healthcare cost curve down working out?

Shinseki, your name is AA mud!!!

AH_C on May 8, 2014 at 7:29 PM