Report: Obama transition team was warned about unreliable wait times at VA in 2008

posted at 2:01 pm on May 19, 2014 by Allahpundit

Great news for the White House, no? Sure, it shows they knowingly left sick and injured vets to languish in a Kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare. In a sane world, that would be the last straw in sending Shinseki packing. But it also lets O share blame with the Bush administration, one of his favorite methods of damage control. There are three steps in Hopenchange crisis management: (1) they profess to be “mad as hell”; (2) they accept a resignation/announce the retirement/place on “administrative leave” some relatively low-ranking officials; (3) as time wears on and media interest fades, they pronounce the whole thing a phony scandal. Their problem with the VA mess is that, no matter how long it drags out, they don’t dare pronounce this one “phony”; they can laugh at “#Benghazi” but they won’t laugh at wounded troops. So they need a Plan B for defusing the crisis, which, in this case, will be to claim that it’s another problem they’ve inherited from Bush. For, er, five and a half years.

Veterans Affairs officials warned the Obama-Biden transition team in the weeks after the 2008 presidential election that the department shouldn’t trust the wait times that its facilities were reporting.

“This is not only a data integrity issue in which [Veterans Health Administration] reports unreliable performance data; it affects quality of care by delaying — and potentially denying — deserving veterans timely care,” the officials wrote…

In particular, the 2008 transition report referred to a VA inspector general recommendation to test the accuracy of reported waiting times…

“Audits of outpatient scheduling and patient waiting times completed since 2005 have identified noncompliance with the policies and procedures for scheduling, inaccurate reporting of patient waiting times and errors in [electronic waiting lists],” the briefing papers state…

The briefing materials do not reveal any concerns about outright fraud in manipulating waiting times, but they make repeated references in summarizing past audits and reviews about data accuracy.

The briefing report also noted that not a single one of the nine recommendations made by the VA inspector general between 2005 and 2007 to improve scheduling practices had been implemented under Bush by 2008, further evidence of what the commander of the American Legion described as a “systematic lack of accountability.” The question for congressional investigators is when, precisely, inaccurate and unreliable data at the VA bled over into out-and-out book-cooking by administrators to hide the full extent of wait times. Did that begin under Obama or did this metastasize from incompetence and under-resourced bureaucracy into full-blown corruption under Bush as well, replete with whistleblowers being suspended for objecting — and then reinstated on condition that they stop blowing the whistle?

Here’s Drew Griffin of CNN reminding the public that not only has the problem of long waits for veterans been common knowledge on the Hill for a good 10 years, Senator Barack Obama promised the VFW in 2007 that he was going to work hard to reduce them. Click the image to watch.

dg

Update: Oof.


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http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/05/19/west-virginia-doctor-says-patients-suicide/

A West Virginia doctor is coming forward with new allegations against the Department of Veterans Affairs, claiming that she too was told to put patients seeking treatment off for months on end — and that at least two of them committed suicide.

I’m surprised it’s only two.

dogsoldier on May 19, 2014 at 3:07 PM

…they can laugh at “#Benghazi” but they won’t laugh at wounded troops.

You may want to check your premises on that one.

Tsar of Earth on May 19, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Really, Jay? Ya think?

“When will @BarackObama speak on VA scandal? @PressSec says, “I am sure you will hear from him at some point”” – Jonathan Karl tweet

non-nonpartisan on May 19, 2014 at 3:12 PM

I remember that in the 2008 election, McCain called for vets to be given vouchers to see private docs so they wouldn’t have to go through the VA system. The system had a bad rep back then.

juliesa on May 19, 2014 at 3:13 PM

So it’s a problem from the Bush era then?

weedisgood on May 19, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Long wait times occurred before, during and after the Bush era. But the 40 dead vets with coverup… that is on Obama’s watch.

dominigan on May 19, 2014 at 3:21 PM

“When 400,000 veterans are stuck on a waiting list for claims, we need a new sense of urgency,” said Sen Obama in 07: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=93227

11:28 AM – 19 May 2014

Obama, 2009-present: Put ‘em on a different list and let ‘em die!
It’s all Bush’s fault!!!

Steve Z on May 19, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Report: Obama transition team was warned about unreliable wait times at VA in 2008

Well of course it’s Bush’s fault!

/obligatory

Ward Cleaver on May 19, 2014 at 3:31 PM

It seems like time can’t keep all this incompetence from coming out. For years, the msm did their best to hide and minimize O’s troubles. But eventually the stink can’t be covered up with simple air freshener. More to come.
Watch this space.

gopsteve on May 19, 2014 at 3:35 PM

I really think the public is done with the “It’s Bush’s fault” mentality (though not with the msm and Obama).

gopsteve on May 19, 2014 at 3:40 PM

It seems like time can’t keep all this incompetence from coming out. For years, the msm did their best to hide and minimize O’s troubles. But eventually the stink can’t be covered up with simple air freshener. More to come.
Watch this space.

gopsteve on May 19, 2014 at 3:35 PM

He couldn’t manage a Subway in a mall, let alone the presidency. I wouldn’t trust him to cut my lawn. I think his excuses are going to fail him this time.

non-nonpartisan on May 19, 2014 at 3:41 PM

they won’t laugh at wounded troops

Really?

They had no problem calling cancer patients complaining about their Obamacare policies “liars” and dismissing their stories as “phony.”

Laughing because veterans are being scammed out of healthcare, and dying because of it, would be second nature to this bunch of anti-American freaks.

I think what you really meant was: they won’t laugh in public at wounded troops.

AZCoyote on May 19, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Finally. An actual scandal.

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Finally. An actual scandal.

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Do you have a good name for it? Maybe ObamaDontCare?

faraway on May 19, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Finally. An actual scandal.

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Until the next one hits, and this one gets demoted to being a ‘fake’ scandal.

See: Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS corruption, etc.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 19, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Report: Obama transition team was warned about unreliable wait times at VA in 2008

Well of course it’s Bush’s fault!

/obligatory

Ward Cleaver on May 19, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Yeah. Another inherited problem.

kcewa on May 19, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Finally. An actual scandal.

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Impeachable do you think?

kcewa on May 19, 2014 at 3:54 PM

What difference, at this point, do a few dead veterans make?
/

faraway on May 19, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Anyone remember this from the VA a few years ago. Kind of puts what’s happening now into perspective.
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/08/20/wsj-va-pushes-vets-to-consider-death-as-an-alternative-to-treatment/

vcferlita on May 19, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Finally. An actual scandal I can stop defending Obama.

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 3:48 PM

portlandon on May 19, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Impeachable do you think?

kcewa on May 19, 2014 at 3:54 PM

If they can prove the WH knew or had ample reason to know, which I believe is the case here, it’s game on.

non-nonpartisan on May 19, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Who is the WaitList Czar? Who decides? Can we see their emails?

faraway on May 19, 2014 at 4:08 PM

If they can prove the WH knew or had ample reason to know, which I believe is the case here, it’s game on.

non-nonpartisan on May 19, 2014 at 4:08 PM

I agree. I was just wondering what libfreeordie thought. Since he’s acknowledged that it’s an “actual scandal”.

kcewa on May 19, 2014 at 4:11 PM

I agree. I was just wondering what libfreeordie thought. Since he’s acknowledged that it’s an “actual scandal”.

kcewa on May 19, 2014 at 4:11 PM

What I think about what? Is it impeachable? I don’t know why it would be more impeachable than drone strikes overseas that kill children, but I also think I have a different definition of what constitutes a criminal Presidency than you. *shrug*

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 4:15 PM

I agree. I was just wondering what libfreeordie thought. Since he’s acknowledged that it’s an “actual scandal”.

kcewa on May 19, 2014 at 4:11 PM

I hope you don’t mind that I answered, too. =) This scandal really bothers me.

non-nonpartisan on May 19, 2014 at 4:17 PM

If GWB would have had this many scandals the leftist Guinea worms would have eaten his liver by now.

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2014 at 4:24 PM

It is extremely racist to NOT hold this president to the same account as any other.

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Obama and Holder find it very interesting that *somepeople* are really uncomfortable about “the changing America.”

That appears to be their now-routine retort to complaints or even inquiries into their ghastly destructive row against this nation.

“So, you’re COMPLAINING!? You need to CHAAANGE. Where’s your donation?”

About this recent spate of excuses, that Obama ‘only knew about XYZ when he saw it on CNN,’ I perceive a campaign.

It’s being used too often and too intensely not to be intentional campaigning by Obama/Left. They’re up to something, to restate the obvious.

Lourdes on May 19, 2014 at 4:28 PM

At least now we are getting confirmation from Obama that he, AND those “people (he) surrounds (him)self with,” are utterly incompetent.

All Obama’s vacationing, campaigning, bum-sliding for hamburgers and sports projections (with calls to gay-athletes from the WH, because:gay) now appear even more obscene than ever before.

Lourdes on May 19, 2014 at 4:31 PM

The obamas, Holder and Donna Brazile see re-segregation in the stars of America, heh.

You putzes…MLK fought and died so you choomed bastids could harangue the nation.

May the Guinea worms consume you all.

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Finally. An actual scandal.

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 3:48 PM

The Dog Eating, Rat bass turd’s entire presidency has been nothing short of a scandal, you pile of rubber monkey nuts…(H/T Buford T. Justice)

bimmcorp on May 19, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Anyone remember this from the VA a few years ago. Kind of puts what’s happening now into perspective.
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/08/20/wsj-va-pushes-vets-to-consider-death-as-an-alternative-to-treatment/

vcferlita on May 19, 2014 at 4:04 PM

That’s the actual ‘chaaaange’ Obama and the DNC had in mind, and still do: if you’re a vet, if you’re an ‘old white’ person, just get on with it, accept the trend and don’t be inconvenient.

Lourdes on May 19, 2014 at 4:33 PM

What I think about what? Is it impeachable? I don’t know why it would be more impeachable than drone strikes overseas that kill children, but I also think I have a different definition of what constitutes a criminal Presidency than you. *shrug*

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 4:15 PM

So glad we can all depend on what “you” think and not the actual written law.

Deckard BR on May 19, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Nice thing about 0. The trolls here at HA are apparently completely overwhelmed.

Bmore on May 19, 2014 at 4:56 PM

I hope that The Worst Ever President is sunk by this.

Bmore on May 19, 2014 at 5:03 PM

I don’t know why it would be more impeachable than drone strikes overseas that kill children, but I also think I have a different definition of what constitutes a criminal Presidency than you. *shrug*

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Care to share your “definition” with us and give some credible examples?

Take your time.

Del Dolemonte on May 19, 2014 at 5:35 PM

…but I also think I have a different definition of what constitutes a criminal Presidency than you. *shrug*

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 4:15 PM

But not that antiquated high crimes and misdemeanors standard, right libfree?

stvnscott on May 19, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Veterans on wait lists while any illegal alien with the sniffles can walk into the nearest emergency room, be treated within hours and then skip out without paying.

There are people on both sides of the aisle (Schumer, Durban, Rubio, Ryan, etc.) whining about the plight of illegals while they ignore those who have served our country.

Anyone else see a problem here?

bw222 on May 19, 2014 at 6:21 PM

I don’t know of a single thing I would say that Obama has done to help this country as a whole. I am one of his biggest critics. But, if the Bush Admin. knew that waiting times were bad and the reporting by the VA was suspect on waiting times as reported, then it is going to be dam near impossible to blame this entire VA scandal on Obama. One can argue degrees, but the fact remains, the Bush Admin. knew the books were likely being cooked. The Pubs. also likely knew.And don’t forget the Pubs. did control the WH, Congress, and the Senate under Bush. Why did they do nothing to fix the VA problem?

Maybe because they did not want to attack the VA and show that Vets were receiving pee poor care in the middle of a Bush war in which soldiers were getting killed and maimed on a daily basis. Bad PR. So, they let the problem linger and fester for political reasons. That’s my take on it, and as much as I dislike Obama, in this case Bush can share the blame. We know that both parties play politics with our soldiers while giving lip service in public.

they lie on May 19, 2014 at 6:26 PM

I hope that The Worst Ever President is sunk by this.

Bmore on May 19, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Agreed..:)

PS..Good evening..:)

Dire Straits on May 19, 2014 at 6:41 PM

Impeachable do you think?

kcewa on May 19, 2014 at 3:54 PM

If they can prove the WH knew or had ample reason to know, which I believe is the case here, it’s game on.

non-nonpartisan on May 19, 2014 at 4:08 PM

The truth here that no one wants to face is that Barry doesn’t give a crap about VA care for the same reason Democratics do all they can to keep those serving in the military from voting. Democratics will win more elections as veterans die off.

All Barry cares about is the damage done to Democratic candidates by exposing this scandal.

slickwillie2001 on May 19, 2014 at 6:43 PM

kcewa on May 19, 2014 at 4:11 PM

 
What I think about what? Is it impeachable? I don’t know why it would be more impeachable than drone strikes overseas that kill children, but I also think I have a different definition of what constitutes a criminal Presidency than you. *shrug*
 
libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 4:15 PM

 
Wait, so telling them you supported their actions up to 2012 and that you personally desired their continued and similar expansions for another criminal presidential term didn’t help, professor?

rogerb on May 19, 2014 at 7:07 PM

So?
Unless the transition team told (leaked) the info to the NYT, how was The Lightworker supposed to find out?
It’s not like he gets briefed or something.

Another Drew on May 19, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Obama transition team was warned about unreliable wait times at VA in 2008

Um, wasn’t the Boosh transition team warned of the heightened terror levels which led to 9/11? Jus’ sayin’.

“O”‘s team was probably too focused on closing Gitmo and selling the Olympic committee on Chicago as the next Olympics site. Arrrgh, never mind!

socalcon on May 19, 2014 at 7:34 PM

I don’t know why it would be more impeachable than drone strikes overseas that kill children…

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Isn’t that your guy too?

socalcon on May 19, 2014 at 7:41 PM

If Bush knew about this, then it is a black mark on his record as far as I’m concerned. Bush proclaims to love the troops and then leaves vets in the cold when it comes to the VA. My uncle was one of those vets that had to constantly fight with the VA for his care. When his eyesight started to go, they kept using experimental eye drops on him when what he needed was laser surgery. He finally went outside the VA system and paid a doctor to fix his eyes. He was practically blind for over a year, while the VA used him as a guinea pig. I can still remember how happy he was after the surgery because he could see again and could do his carpentry work.

This isn’t, sadly, anything new. The VA has been poorly managed for decades. Bush and Obama didn’t start it, but it looks like both administrations turned a blind eye to it. Our vets deserve better care.

Ibanez Lotus on May 19, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Um, wasn’t the Boosh transition team warned of the heightened terror levels which led to 9/11? Jus’ sayin’.

socalcon on May 19, 2014 at 7:34 PM

I don’t know…were they???

BigWyo on May 19, 2014 at 9:55 PM

I don’t know why it would be more impeachable than drone strikes overseas that kill children, but I also think I have a different definition of what constitutes a criminal Presidency than you. *shrug*

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Care to share your “definition” with us and give some credible examples?

Take your time.

Del Dolemonte on May 19, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Still waiting. Golly Gee, can someone post libfree’s “give me 10 minutes” classic?

As for what constitutes “a criminal Presidency”, how about one where the President in question engaged in adultery in the workplace with a teenaged female workplace subordinate, and then asked her to commit criminal perjury while he did the same?

Oh, and at the same time, this same “criminal Presidency” also purloined FBI files of hundreds of their political opponents. As well as firing more Federal Prosecutors in one day (one of his very first days in orifice, no less!) than Chimpy Bush did in 8 years.

Add to that the fact that said President refused to use his legal authority as President to help prevent the worst attacks on US soil in history, while at the same time claiming the same dude was in cahoots with Saddam Hussein.

Discuss.

Del Dolemonte on May 19, 2014 at 10:10 PM

Um, wasn’t the Boosh transition team warned of the heightened terror levels which led to 9/11? Jus’ sayin’.

socalcon on May 19, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Ask any Leftist how Boosh could have prevented those attacks with that intel, and they all go silent.

Especially when you ask them to tell you how he would have done so in a manner that they would approved of at the time, or even now.

I’ve asked this same question on assorted political forums for almost 15 years now, and have never gotten a response. Just like how I’ve never gotten a response in the same time span telling me why Hillary Clinton was “q

Del Dolemonte on May 19, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Um, wasn’t the Boosh transition team warned of the heightened terror levels which led to 9/11? Jus’ sayin’.

socalcon on May 19, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Clinton’s Administration indicted bin Laden in 1998 for among other things working in cahoots with Saddam Hussein! But that Inconvenient Truth has since been magically vanished down the Wabbit Hole by the Fudds in the Democrat Media.

Ask any Leftist how Boosh could have prevented those 9/11 attacks with that intel, and they all go silent.

Especially when you ask them to tell you how he would have done so in a manner that they would approved of at the time, or even now.

I’ve asked this same question on assorted political forums for almost 15 years now, and have never gotten a response. Just like how I’ve never gotten a response in the same time span telling me why Hillary Clinton was “qualified” to become the Junior Senator from a state she had never lived in.

Del Dolemonte on May 19, 2014 at 10:18 PM

sickening, really….katrina happens (mind you, natural, not man-made disaster) and the media accuses Boosh of not caring about and letting black people die because…they’re black… this VA scandal happens on O’s watch, despite repeated warnings for a number of years now, and the media goes ‘meh, Petzel resigned, what more do you want’…

jimver on May 19, 2014 at 10:48 PM

jimver on May 19, 2014 at 10:58 PM

I don’t know how anyone expects Obama to know anything.

I mean, it wasn’t in the paper.

Obama has these stages of outrage at scandals which is somewhat similar to the stages of grief.

1. Disbelief – I only found out about this in the morning paper, like you did.

2. Outrage – I am mad as all heck-fire about it.

3. Bargaining/Promising – I will get to the bottom of it and hold people accountable

4. Procrastination
– Delaying compliance with investigations, or outright refusing, while claiming “I have already fully complied”

5. Resolution
– Quietly, no one is held accountable and less is said on the subject

6. Nostalgia – That? It’s old news, a phony scandal from, like, two years ago, dude.

It’s not like they don’t have a plan. It’s just NOT to tell the truth.

Adjoran on May 20, 2014 at 1:59 AM

Knew of the VA ‘Death Panels’ in 2008

Started the IRS Targeting in 2010(after TEA Party / Conservatives helped GOP take back the House)

Obama was a Community Organizer and a 1/2 term Senator (before he started running for President). He was / is WAY out of his league, and besides – he was solely focused on ‘fundamentally changing the U.S.’ with the socialist agenda he carried from his tutoring and mentoring by Frank Marshall Davis, Saul Alynski, and Jeremiah Wright.

Also, Liberals, for the most part, do not respect or care about the military – evidence of this has been documented in every Democratic Party Presidency. It should be no surprise to anyone that Obama allowed over 100 of our greatest to die while waiting on his ‘death panel’ lists, that he abandoned 4 Americans who fought for their lives in Benghazi during a 12-hour attack, and that he ordered our troops to help Al Qaeda take over Libya. American blood must be spilled for his to destroy what our Founding Fathers built and replace it with his father’s ‘legacy’.

easyt65 on May 20, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Adjoran on May 20, 2014 at 1:59 AM

I beg to differ….

1. DENY
2. LIE / AMNESIA
3. ‘Blame-Shift’
4. Fight / Oppose Calls for Investigations
5. Appoint a DONOR to ‘Investigate’ – “Nothing to see here”
6. FINALLY release ALL documents – the ones they hid
7. DENY / LIE
8. Claim ‘Racists’ are after them
9. No Accountability
10. Claim that is ‘old news’ – “What does it matter (now)?!”

easyt65 on May 20, 2014 at 10:02 AM

What I think about what? Is it impeachable? I don’t know why it would be more impeachable than drone strikes overseas that kill children, but I also think I have a different definition of what constitutes a criminal Presidency than you. *shrug*

libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 4:15 PM

How able if he had sex with a very juvenile teen boy? Oh …

Oh, that’s right. Never mind.

hawkdriver on May 20, 2014 at 10:46 PM

How “about” …

hawkdriver on May 20, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Do you have a good name for it? Maybe ObamaDontCare?

faraway on May 19, 2014 at 3:52 PM

VADeathPanelsForBonusesGate

Schadenfreude on May 23, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Also awful, breaking today

In 2010 alone, 6.7 billion, not million, dollars were ‘mis-coded’ and paid out to dr. crooks and other crooks on Medicare fraud and wrong coding/charges.

Nothing will be done, because “it’s too expensive to fix it”.

I bet you anything that the Feinsteins are in there for several hundreds of millions and many crooks in DC are too, to the highest levels.

In many cases there were every other day drug tests done, by one doctor to 1.5 patients, an impossibility. Nothing will be followed up…wonder why? Stuffed pockets of politicians like Feinstein and her husband, who have defrauded Medicare by the hundreds of millions, under different company names.

Medicare is one of the biggest frauds in the land.

Good luck with obama’care’.

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2014 at 2:09 PM

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