House Dem: I’ve done my own reconnaissance and can assure you the VA is rock solid in Florida

posted at 11:21 am on May 29, 2014 by Allahpundit

A memorable moment from last night’s House hearing courtesy of Florida’s Corrine Brown, whose congressional legacy is already secure. I’ll say this for her: It takes guts to double down on your faith in the VA after yesterday’s IG report, at a moment when more prominent Democrats like Al Franken and Jeanne Shaheen are running in terror from Shinseki.

Then again, it’s a fine line between “guts” and “reckless stupidity.” Remember this story from a few weeks ago?

Three mental health administrators at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville have been placed on administrative leave after U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs officials found a “secret” waiting list of more than 200 patients, a local union president said Thursday.

The director of the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, Thomas Wisnieski, however, said what officials found was a paper list of patients who needed appointment callbacks. That list isn’t considered proper protocol, Wisnieski said.

Wisnieski said the list was not a secret waiting list, but he also said he did not know about it until a VA team discovered it while visiting the hospital Tuesday for a review…

Some of the patients on the list had been waiting six months or more for an appointment when the goal of VA hospitals is to schedule appointments within 14 days of getting a call, she said.

A few hours before Brown made this speech at the hearing, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced that he was suing the VA in Florida for “stonewalling” state health inspectors. Local VA hospitals have turned away the inspectors repeatedly on grounds that Florida has no authority over federal hospitals, which may be a winning argument in court but looks ludicrously shady now that the public’s paying close attention to the scandal. (For Scott, who’s up for reelection this fall, it’s a brilliant bit of retail politics.) Speaking of which, if you read nothing else today, make sure you read Hal Scherz’s piece in the Journal recounting “war stories” from doctors who worked at the VA. If there’s any government agency that needs health inspectors peering over its shoulder, it’s this one:

In my experience at VA hospitals in San Antonio and San Diego, patients were seen in clinics that were understaffed and overscheduled. Appointments for X-rays and other tests had to be scheduled months in advance, and longer for surgery. Hospital administrators limited operating time, making sure that work stopped by 3 p.m. Consequently, the physician in charge kept a list of patients who needed surgery and rationed the available slots to those with the most urgent problems.

Scott Barbour, an orthopedic surgeon and a friend, trained at the Miami VA hospital. In an attempt to get more patients onto the operating-room schedule, he enlisted fellow residents to clean the operating rooms between cases and transport patients from their rooms into the surgical suites. Instead of offering praise for their industriousness, the chief of surgery reprimanded the doctors and put a stop to their actions. From his perspective, they were not solving a problem but were making federal workers look bad, and creating more work for others, like nurses, who had to take care of more post-op patients.

At the VA hospital in St. Louis, urologist Michael Packer, a former partner of mine, had difficulty getting charts from the medical records department. He and another resident hunted them down themselves. It was easier for department workers to say that they couldn’t find a chart than to go through the trouble of looking. Without these records, patients could not receive care, which was an unacceptable situation to these doctors. Not long after they began doing this, they were warned to stand down.

According to Scherz, the best news a vet could get from the VA was that the service he needed was unavailable. In that case he’d be sent to a doctor in private practice, who wouldn’t stick him on a secret wait list to languish for months. Even doctors within the agency, in other words, preferred to voucher this problem out in the name of getting prompt care for their patients.

As for Brown, she’s got to nothing to worry about in terms of an electoral backlash when, not if, this assurance of VA quality blows up in her face. Like most House incumbents, her seat is safe as can be. She won her last election by nearly 45 points.


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Isn’t she Alvin Greene’s aunt?

Heck No!

She’s Curious George’s mother

txdoc on May 29, 2014 at 5:38 PM

why are you grouping them together? it wouldnt have anything to do with there skin colours now would it? cause that would be racist. – ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 29, 2014 at 12:09 PM

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch spells color using the Queen’s English spelling of colour. I think this poster is not an American. I wonder if he has ever heard of the United Negro College Fund or the National Association of Colored People? Negro is considered racist be some dumbos and even some African-American are a bit touchy about being called colored.

All that said this woman, and I don’t care what her color is, should voted out of Congress in November because of her comments on this just one issue.

SC.Charlie on May 29, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Squirrel!!

Newtie and the Beauty on May 29, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Somebody grabbed the wrong wig

Hening on May 29, 2014 at 6:19 PM

It takes a lot of fake fur to cover a tin foil hat.

jpcpt03 on May 29, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Ladies and gentlemen, Big Foot has been found!

NavyMustang on May 29, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Squirrel!!

Newtie and the Beauty on May 29, 2014 at 5:58 PM

That’s a muskrat and not a squirrel on her head.

RickB on May 29, 2014 at 7:40 PM

She received an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from Edward Waters College in Jacksonville

How does a college without a law school give an honorary doctor of law degree?

peacenprosperity on May 29, 2014 at 8:00 PM

I grew up in Jacksonville and suffered through Corrine as a city councilwoman, and lived in her district when she first won her Congressional seat (I actually had someone, I still don’t know who, write in my name against her in an election back in the 90′s). She’s a moron, but she plays the race card in her gerrymandered district with the aplomb of a Monte Carlo canasta shark.

I only have three words to say about Corrine Brown…. HAIL, HAIL FREDONIA!!

papabryant on May 29, 2014 at 8:07 PM

The Gerrymandered Democrat is only good for one thing…voting with the Democrats every time. She’s a liar and has had serious allegations against her.

She is an embarrassment to Florida and the country.

ProfShadow on May 29, 2014 at 8:21 PM

She received an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from Edward Waters College in Jacksonville

 
How does a college without a law school give an honorary doctor of law degree?
 
peacenprosperity on May 29, 2014 at 8:00 PM

 
$5 says it’s an HBCU.

rogerb on May 29, 2014 at 9:07 PM

One of you racists owes me $5.
 
http://collegeapps.about.com/od/collegeprofiles/p/edward-waters-college.htm
 
Test Scores — 25th / 75th Percentile
 
SAT Critical Reading: 330 / 440
SAT Math: 350 / 450
SAT Writing: 330 / 410
 
For the 1.66 million test-takers in 2013, the mean scores were 496 critical reading, 514 math, and 488 writing.
 
http://collegeapps.about.com/od/sat/f/goodsatscore.htm

rogerb on May 29, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Damn, Urkel, Get a haircut.

S. D. on May 29, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Putting aside her apparent mental retardation for a moment … WTF is up with that helmet hair?!

Jaibones on May 29, 2014 at 9:44 PM

rogerb on May 29, 2014 at 9:16 PM

I’m buzzed on strong ale and golf and jusssttt joining. So…WTF exactly are you takking about?

Jaibones on May 29, 2014 at 9:45 PM

That’s a muskrat and not a squirrel on her head.

RickB on May 29, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Muskrat Love? o_O

Newtie and the Beauty on May 29, 2014 at 9:47 PM

$5 says it’s an HBCU.

rogerb on May 29, 2014 at 9:07 PM

[hands Roger one Lincoln...]

Newtie and the Beauty on May 29, 2014 at 9:49 PM

One of you racists owes me $5.

http://collegeapps.about.com/od/collegeprofiles/p/edward-waters-college.htm

Test Scores — 25th / 75th Percentile

SAT Critical Reading: 330 / 440
SAT Math: 350 / 450
SAT Writing: 330 / 410

For the 1.66 million test-takers in 2013, the mean scores were 496 critical reading, 514 math, and 488 writing.

http://collegeapps.about.com/od/sat/f/goodsatscore.htm

rogerb on May 29, 2014 at 9:16 PM

And remember, the scores start at 200, not 0. So it looks as though their students can fill out their names on the test, then fill in circles at random. If they fill them out randomly, they should get about 25% correct, which should give them scores in that 330,350 range.

Hilarious.

talkingpoints on May 29, 2014 at 9:54 PM

Following up on the SAT score post, we never have seen Obama’s scores, because given that he was born to a white mother and raised by a white family and had minimal contact with his black family pre-college and went to private schools we couldn’t expect him to to have good scores, because he has more melanin in his skin or something. And if you don’t see that he would have lower scores just because he has darker skin you must be a racist, at least based on Obama supporters response to requests for his test scores/grades, etc.

Can’t imagine he did much better than 450 on either math or reading.

talkingpoints on May 29, 2014 at 10:03 PM

I would say dumb as a box of rocks but would have to apologize to the rocks for the comparison.

Johnny on May 30, 2014 at 1:25 AM

Ok, this will sound racist but it is an honest question.

Which black leader on the Left is not:

a) A complete idiot.
b) Utterly corrupt.
c) A racist.
d) All of the above.

mitchellvii on May 30, 2014 at 5:17 AM

rogerb on May 29, 2014 at 9:16 PM

 
I’m buzzed on strong ale and golf and jusssttt joining. So…WTF exactly are you takking about?
 
Jaibones on May 29, 2014 at 9:45 PM

 
The school that gave her an honorary doctorate in law doesn’t appear to have a law school.
 
It does, however, look like they’ll sell you a diploma in criminal justice.

rogerb on May 30, 2014 at 6:29 AM

Is that a dead polecat on her head?

Mr. Arrogant on May 30, 2014 at 9:13 AM

My God, that’s a rough wig to face in the morning.I think later in the day my eyes can just skim past it.

talkingpoints on May 30, 2014 at 9:23 AM

If the shoe fits…I mean the wig…I mean the dead muskrat

http://tinyurl.com/pxklwvh

Luthier on May 30, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Is that a dead polecat on her head?

Mr. Arrogant on May 30, 2014 at 9:13 AM

I really have to wonder what she’s trying to compensate for.

LawfulGood on May 30, 2014 at 10:17 AM

I love the hair. Looks like she tried to fix a blown fuse with a penny.

Yasherka on May 30, 2014 at 10:58 AM

I thought they cancelled Fraggle Rock..?

shinty on May 30, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Granted there are some good lines regarding the hair, but know this? It isn’t the stupid ones that are robbing the country. Second, they aren’t smart enough to avoid jail. So, I have no worries about this lady and way she chooses to honor her dead pet.

This is all about money and power kids, people will follow a blithering idiot to the end of the earth if they are convinced this person will fight for them. Even if the individual has demonstrated they can’t fight their way out of a paper bag. I am really beginning to believe the electorate are unengaged or all just nuts.

Africanus on May 30, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Putting aside her apparent mental retardation for a moment … WTF is up with that helmet hair?!

Jaibones on May 29, 2014 at 9:44 PM

The pressure of that pelt on her cranium is probably causing the broken speech and mental impairment. She is on a waiting-list to have it examined, I believe.

virgo on May 31, 2014 at 12:02 AM

Mrs. Brown you’ve got an ugly daughter…

Where did she get that 80′s hair band wig?

The Evil Doctor K on May 31, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Where did she get that 80′s hair band wig?

The Evil Doctor K on May 31, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Thats Spinal Tap hair baby!..it goes to 11!

Mimzey on May 31, 2014 at 8:20 PM

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