VA confirms additional 18 vets in Phoenix died in wait-list fraud

posted at 10:01 am on June 6, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The VA had until recently resisted the linkage of dozens of deaths in the Phoenix system directly to the wait-list fraud that has engulfed the agency, and finally forced the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. Whistleblowers claimed that 40 veterans died while stuck on paper lists as VA officials cooked the books, denying them access to medical care. Last month the VA finally recognized that 17 veterans at least died while being kept out of the appointment system, and yesterday acting Secretary Sloan Gibson announced that 18 more had been identified — bringing the total to 35 confirmed:

An additional 18 veterans in the Phoenix area whose names were kept off an official electronic Veterans Affairs appointment list have died, the agency’s acting secretary said Thursday – the latest revelation in a growing scandalover long patient waits for care and falsified records covering up the delays at VA hospitals and clinics nationwide.

Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson said he does not know whether the 18 new deaths were related to long waiting times for appointments but said they were in addition to the 17 reported last month by the VA’s inspector general. The announcement of the deaths came as senior senators reached agreement Thursday on the framework for a bipartisan bill making it easier for veterans to get health care outside VA hospitals and clinics.

The 18 veterans who died were among 1,700 veterans identified in a report last week by the VA’s inspector general as being “at risk of being lost or forgotten.” The investigation also found broad and deep-seated problems with delays in patient care and manipulation of waiting lists throughout the sprawling VA health care system, which provides medical care to about 9 million veterans and family members.

Richard Griffin, the VA’s acting inspector general, told a Senate committee three weeks ago that his investigators had found 17 deaths among veterans awaiting appointments in Phoenix. Griffin said in his report last week the dead veterans’ medical records and death certificates as well as autopsy reports would have to be examined before he could say whether any of them were caused by delays in getting appointments.

The issue of the whistleblowers is a key point, because that was not exactly a risk-free maneuver. At least 37 whistleblowers have claims of retaliation for their efforts to protect veterans from the fraud and abuse of the wait-list activities, Breitbart’s Kerry Picket reports, and the Office of Special Counsel has opened probes into them:

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) announced on Thursday that it is presently investigating allegations from 37 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employee whistleblowers at VA facilities in 19 states of retaliation for disclosing improper scheduling practices and other threats to patient care.

The OSC gives three examples of alleged retaliation toward VA whistleblowers they are looking into and were able to provide “interim relief to these employees” through requested stays to the particular VA’s in question. …

“In one case, the OSC requested and obtained a stay of a proposed 30-day suspension without pay for a VA employee who reported the inappropriate and continuous use of patient restraints in violation of VA rules and procedures,” the agency says.

According to the OSC, the employee had never before been punished in over two decades while working for the VA.

In another case at a different VA facility, an employee received a proposed seven-day suspension after conveying concerns to the Inspector General regarding inadequate scheduling and coding procedures at the facility.

One whistleblower called the culture of the VA similar to that of a “crime syndicate.” These cases may end up establishing that this description may be more accurate than even the whistleblower knew.

Meanwhile, the Senate has found a bipartisan compromise on VA reform, which they hope will allow for some quick improvements. There is at least one flaw in this plan, though:

Senators announced a broad proposal Thursday to address health-care failures at the Department of Veterans Affairs that would authorize spending $500 million to hire more doctors and nurses, allow veterans to be cared for outside the overburdened system and give the next veterans secretary greater authority to fire employees for incompetence. …

A key provision of the deal, already approved by the House, would allow the VA secretary to clear out the department’s clotted bureaucracy by immediately firing or demoting senior officials tied to mismanaged or delayed medical care for veterans.

The worker would be immediately removed from the payroll but, in a nod to concerns that career government employees were at risk of losing their due process rights, the Senate deal gives the worker up to seven days to appeal the decision to the Merit Systems Protection Board, a federal panel that hears such appeals. The board would have three weeks to issue a decision.

The agreement also would give veterans greater flexibility to seek medical care at facilities not run by VA if they are experiencing long wait times or live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA hospital or clinic. Veterans could choose instead to seek care at private facilities that accept Medicare, federally qualified health centers, Indian Health Service facilities or medical facilities run by the Defense Department.

The bill would authorize VA to sign leases for 26 major medical facilities in 18 states and Puerto Rico and to use $500 million in unobligated spending on new doctors and nurses with expedited hiring authority to meet growing demand for medical care from older, aging veterans and younger veterans trying to adapt to civilian life after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Did you spot the flaw? The ability to seek outside care with VA coverage depends on wait times. Just who will be measuring those wait times? Don’t think for a moment that vets spending VA money in private-sector clinics and hospitals won’t produce pressure to block them from doing so, and one way to ensure that will be to insist that wait times aren’t a problem at the local VA. If bonuses incentivized this wait-list fraud, just wait until these incentives come into play.

Veterans should have the unconditional ability to seek care for non-service-related illnesses and injuries wherever they please without asking a bureaucrat for a by-your-leave to do so. Real reform will include allowing for those choices, and anything short will be nothing more than a Band-Aid on a cancer.


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So much for Bergdahl getting this off the front page.

CurtZHP on June 6, 2014 at 10:03 AM

At this rate, soldiers and veterans may be safer on the front than back at home waiting for healthcare. /s(Not to make light of our soldiers at risk.)

fortcoins on June 6, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Senators announced a broad proposal Thursday to address health-care failures at the Department of Veterans Affairs that would authorize spending $500 million to hire more doctors and nurses, allow veterans to be cared for outside the overburdened system and give the next veterans secretary greater authority to fire employees for incompetence. …

This isn’t going to work, the VA Hospital in Phoenix had over 100 valid openings for Doctors before this scandal hit and they couldn’t fill those spots then. what makes Congress think they can fill them now?

Did you spot the flaw? The ability to seek outside care with VA coverage depends on wait times. Just who will be measuring those wait times? Don’t think for a moment that vets spending VA money in private-sector clinics and hospitals won’t produce pressure to block them from doing so, and one way to ensure that will be to insist that wait times aren’t a problem at the local VA.

They will do everything in their power to make the Doctors they have now see more patients reducing patient wait times. Right now for the regular doctor they have 20 minutes per patient for PCP appointments. I am sure that will be cut down to 15 and then 10 minutes in the very near future to try and squeeze out every thing they can to make more appointments.

Additionally, who is gong to handle this inevitable increase in billing for out of network care? It takes them months already to make those payments and not all Doctors will accept VA outsourced patients because of that and the low payback rates. Trust me, been there and done that.

Johnnyreb on June 6, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Lean Forward! Right into the grave.

Bishop on June 6, 2014 at 10:11 AM

So they’ll settle for firing the crooks? How about a stint in a federal prison?

GarandFan on June 6, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Any high ranking official in the VA that got a bonus because of this fraud needs to go to prison.

major dad on June 6, 2014 at 10:16 AM

If bonuses incentivized this wait-list fraud, just wait until these incentives come into play.

Get rid of the damn bonuses for a start, and solve at least one problem.

AZCoyote on June 6, 2014 at 10:17 AM

In Obamaworld everyone has coverage but only the elite get care.

tommyboy on June 6, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Shouldn’t someone be charged with murder?

faraway on June 6, 2014 at 10:20 AM

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/phoenix-veterans-hospital-investigated/

Florida, US
17h
Florida Agency for Health Care Administration files lawsuit against Department of Veterans Affairs to gain access to inspect VA hospitals in state – @nbc6
Read more on nbcmiami.com
=========================

Sloan Gibson
18h
More: Bipartisan Senate bill would create 26 new Veterans Affairs medical facilities in 18 states – via @NBCNews
End of alert
============

Sloan Gibson
18h
Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson says agency will release nationwide data on patient wait times next week – @AP

canopfor on June 6, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Dems, Party of Death

Killing vets, releasing terrorists to kill again, killing millions of babies

faraway on June 6, 2014 at 10:21 AM

What gives?

Bowe was on a waiting list for 5 years….so to speak…
And Obama went out of his way when he learned that Bowe was in immediate danger of dying…

Not so much for our guys back home…..

Electrongod on June 6, 2014 at 10:21 AM

When are the administrators going to be charged with murder and perp-walked out?

Meople on June 6, 2014 at 10:22 AM

And Obama went out of his way when he learned that Bowe was in immediate danger of dying…

Not so much for our guys back home…..

Electrongod on June 6, 2014 at 10:21 AM

America-hating deserters have priority service

faraway on June 6, 2014 at 10:22 AM

I have always believed that no government employee or official should be given bonuses.

Gothguy on June 6, 2014 at 10:23 AM

MeanWhile,………………….:

The Associated Press @AP · 20h

BREAKING: The Senate has confirmed Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be the nation’s new health secretary.
=============================

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 18h

17 Republicans joined majority Dems in voting for Burwell’s confirmation.

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 18h

In written statement, Pres Obama hailing 78-17 bipartisan Senate vote confirming Sylvia Matthews Burwell to be HHS Secretary.

Roll Call:

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=113&session=2&vote=00175

canopfor on June 6, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Did you spot the flaw? The ability to seek outside care with VA coverage depends on wait times.
==============================

Hmmmm,..:

United States Department of Veterans Affairs
19h
Bipartisan Senate bill would allow veterans who had long waits for VA appointments to use private doctors – @AP
Read more on bigstory.ap.org

canopfor on June 6, 2014 at 10:27 AM

This business with the 37 cases of whistleblower retaliation prove that system DOES NOT WORK. ( Snowden did the correct thing. Or to put it another way, can you name the other NSA whistleblowers and do you know what happened to them? )

I haven’t read the new bill the Senate came up with. Has anyone else looked at it?

Why do we even need more legislation to fix this? The VA has sufficient money, don’t they?

dogsoldier on June 6, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Every single person who was even remotely aware of these waiting lists and didn’t report it should be fired. Those who recieved bonuses, fined and jailed.

Not gonna happen, though. More likely, they’ll be given extra funds to investigate themselves.

WWPD?

ROCnPhilly on June 6, 2014 at 10:29 AM

The problem with whistleblowing is that the left always hears it as a racist dogwhistle.

RSbrewer on June 6, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Killing vets, releasing terrorists to kill again, killing millions of babies

faraway on June 6, 2014 at 10:21 AM

And then trying any lie they can come up with to justify what they did. Reminds me of a five year old.

dogsoldier on June 6, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Those who recieved bonuses, fined and jailed.

ROCnPhilly on June 6, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Why would you jail someone just for receiving a bonus?

faraway on June 6, 2014 at 10:30 AM

ROCnPhilly on June 6, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Should a doctor conclude something is wrong if they are only seeing two patients a day?

dogsoldier on June 6, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Add 18 to the number of veterans that obama has killed with his personally-authorized “cost-saving” measures at the VA.

Pork-Chop on June 6, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Veterans should have the unconditional ability to seek care for non-service-related illnesses and injuries wherever they please without asking a bureaucrat for a by-your-leave to do so. Real reform will include allowing for those choices, and anything short will be nothing more than a Band-Aid on a cancer.

That won’t happen because of THIS government. And just you wait–if passed, this will offer reimbursement rates comparable to those negotiated for Medicare or worse–Medicaid.

If/When that happens, our vets will be SO screwed…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 6, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Why would you jail someone just for receiving a bonus?

faraway on June 6, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Because most likely, the ones that got bonuses were the ones most deeply involved in rigging the lists.

May not be in every single case, but that’s what investigations and trials are for.

The administrators that did this all over the country need to be brought up on murder charges.

Meople on June 6, 2014 at 10:34 AM

My Father-in-Law died 3 years ago, could not see any Drs at Las Vegas VA clinics, 4-6 month wait time.
Cancer – which spread too much to save him.
Had to bring him to TX to get him in to see someone but it was too late.

Privatize It on June 6, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Every single person who was even remotely aware of these waiting lists and didn’t report it should be fired. Those who recieved bonuses, fined and jailed.

ROCnPhilly on June 6, 2014 at 10:29 AM

The secret “waiting list” is just one part of the overall “cost-saving” plan that was crafted by ‘team obama’ and authorized by obama himself. There is a reason why these “problems” are occurring system-wide, and that is because they are not mistakes, or the result of poor management – these are measures that were implemented by the White House.

Pork-Chop on June 6, 2014 at 10:36 AM

So much for Bergdahl getting this off the front page.

CurtZHP on June 6, 2014 at 10:03 AM

WOW! They must have really been desparate to get the Bergdahl story off if the front page if they are willing to release this information.

KW64 on June 6, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Why would you jail someone just for receiving a bonus?

faraway on June 6, 2014 at 10:30 AM

In this case, upper management bonuses were based on wait times, which is the reason the secret lists existed in the first place. If you base the punishments on “who knew the list existed”, only the whistleblowers will be punished.

ROCnPhilly on June 6, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Why would you jail someone just for receiving a bonus?
faraway on June 6, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Why should one get a bonus for failing to do one’s job?

Why should gubmint employees be getting bonuses anyway? Why should they be getting paid more to do their job than their civilian counterparts–you know, the poor schlubs whose taxes make up the gubmint workers’ salaries…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Why would you jail someone just for receiving a bonus?

faraway on June 6, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Smack talk knee jerk reactions. Happens a lot on here, especially when the threads have anything to do with any form of Civil Service. Fire them all, break the Unions, we don’t need any Federal, State or Local Civil Service, etc.

Johnnyreb on June 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Fire them all, break the Unions, we don’t need any Federal, State or Local Civil Service, etc.

Johnnyreb on June 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

This is EXACTLY what needs to happen.

Meople on June 6, 2014 at 10:42 AM

And the only way to clean house is to get rid of the union.

blink on June 6, 2014 at 10:14 AM

I think you would find it much easier to achieve true World Peace.

Reuben Hick on June 6, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Why would you jail someone just for receiving a bonus?
faraway on June 6, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Because they fraudulently cooked the books to get those bonuses.

tommyboy on June 6, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Should a doctor conclude something is wrong if they are only seeing two patients a day?

dogsoldier on June 6, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Depends on his/her specialty, I’d imagine. Some doctors did try to improve care and got hammered for it.

I’m beginning think if Obama had his way, every legal American citizen would be forced into the VA system. The sooner the hard-working people who love, understand and fund this country die, the happier that smarmy bastard will be.

ROCnPhilly on June 6, 2014 at 10:45 AM

“nothing more than a Band-Aid on a cancer”

Undoubtedly a hugely expensive Band-Aid. But reality is much worse than that!

IF the Veterans were authorized/voucherized so they could get health care everywhere, then the VA system would rapidly lose patients, and the entire system could shrink. Unfortunately, shrinking the system will be fiercely resisted by big government politicians, the VA unions and employees, the media and thoroughly misguided souls like John McCain. So nothing meaningful will happen.

Expect the VA bureaucracy to be rewarded with bigger budgets, more facilities, and more inscrutable bureaucratic rules and policies.

pilsener on June 6, 2014 at 10:46 AM

My Father-in-Law died 3 years ago, could not see any Drs at Las Vegas VA clinics, 4-6 month wait time.
Cancer – which spread too much to save him.
Had to bring him to TX to get him in to see someone but it was too late.

Privatize It on June 6, 2014 at 10:34 AM

do you think maybe your FIL case should be told to the IG? really thinking his death (and I am sorry for you) may have been direct result of these lists since they have been happening for years.

dmacleo on June 6, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Out: immigration reform.

In: VA reform and federal civil-servant reform.

BuckeyeSam on June 6, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Expect the VA bureaucracy to be rewarded with bigger budgets, more facilities, and more inscrutable bureaucratic rules and policies.

pilsener on June 6, 2014 at 10:46 AM

This is exactly why the entire VA system should be canned and privatized.

Then at the same time, ObamaCare should be gutted until the next President can repeal it.

The Vichy Repubes in Congress won’t allow that though.

Meople on June 6, 2014 at 10:50 AM

De facto death panels…

BMG on June 6, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Johnnyreb you’re right those people who are responsible for these vets dying should be getting bonuses. How do we calculate it? Higher the rank of the dead vet the higher the bonus? Even more bonus for the more you kill?/

Really Johnny? It’s got nothing to do with unions and civil servants but it has everything to do with negligence and the fact that vets have earned a hell of a lot more by their service than what the va has been providing them.

bbinfl on June 6, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Smack talk knee jerk reactions. Happens a lot on here, especially when the threads have anything to do with any form of Civil Service. Fire them all, break the Unions, we don’t need any Federal, State or Local Civil Service, etc.

Johnnyreb on June 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Not smack, just logical sense. Get rid of public service unions and redundant agencies. Make them work real jobs where they get fired for being lazy and useless. Or they can starve. Or move to Greece…

WWPD?

ROCnPhilly on June 6, 2014 at 10:55 AM

So I’ve got an idea.

Let’s not close Guantanomo. Let’s just convert it into a “Terrorist Administrations Hospital” and waitlist all of the detainees. I know some mid-level administrators who would be great at it.

Nethicus on June 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Fire them all, break the Unions, we don’t need any Federal, State or Local Civil Service, etc.

Johnnyreb on June 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

This sentence followed your previous sentence referring to “knee jerk” reactions from people here.

Do you think government employees should get bonuses?
They are paid more than their private sector equivalent, and they get better benefits. Why on earth should they get bonuses too?

Do you think public sector employees should be allowed to unionize? By forming unions, they are essentially looking to get more from taxpayers when they are already paid more than private sector employees.

Mark Boabaca on June 6, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Seriously, why do you write this nonsense?

blink on June 6, 2014 at 10:57 AM

because he’s a dumbass

dmacleo on June 6, 2014 at 10:59 AM

“War on Vets”

Sven on June 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Jail for these bastards is the only solution.

rplat on June 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

I have always believed that no government employee or official should be given bonuses.

Gothguy on June 6, 2014 at 10:23 AM

How can we complain about inefficiency and incompetence at Gov institutions and at the same time want to remove any incentive for efficient and competent people to work there?

Bigbullets on June 6, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Johnnyreb you’re right those people who are responsible for these vets dying should be getting bonuses. How do we calculate it? Higher the rank of the dead vet the higher the bonus? Even more bonus for the more you kill?/

Really Johnny? It’s got nothing to do with unions and civil servants but it has everything to do with negligence and the fact that vets have earned a hell of a lot more by their service than what the va has been providing them.

bbinfl on June 6, 2014 at 10:53 AM

And you assumed that I defended the VA in my post exactly how? Care to point out where I said Bonuses were OK and no one should be fired or face criminal charges? I was just answering a question and said nothing about the current VA scandal.

Once again, knee jerk over reactions without reading proving the point of my post. In the future please read my post before you comment on it. 21 Year Retired Navy man here that uses the VA on a monthly basis.

Johnnyreb on June 6, 2014 at 11:03 AM

How can we complain about inefficiency and incompetence at Gov institutions and at the same time want to remove any incentive for efficient and competent people to work there?

Bigbullets on June 6, 2014 at 11:01 AM

How you can public sector employees complain about incentive without looking at their private sector counterparts and realize that their pay is much higher with better benefits?

Why not tell them to go get a private sector job if they don’t like what they’re getting paid? That should be all the incentive they need to do a good job.

Mark Boabaca on June 6, 2014 at 11:03 AM

How can we complain about inefficiency and incompetence at Gov institutions and at the same time want to remove any incentive for efficient and competent people to work there?

Bigbullets on June 6, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Exactly why the entire system should be privatized. Get the government out of it and fire every public sector union goon there.

Meople on June 6, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Once again, knee jerk over reactions without reading proving the point of my post. In the future please read my post before you comment on it. 21 Year Retired Navy man here that uses the VA on a monthly basis.

Johnnyreb on June 6, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Again you call reactions knee jerk, but you said this:

Fire them all, break the Unions, we don’t need any Federal, State or Local Civil Service, etc.

Johnnyreb on June 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

No one but YOU said we should fire them all or that we don’t need federal, state or local civil service.

I do agree that there should be no public sector unions.

So you should read your own comment again since you used the hyperbole.

Mark Boabaca on June 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

This administration is acting as rats act when trapped.

Bmore on June 6, 2014 at 11:06 AM

21 Year Retired Navy man here that uses the VA on a monthly basis.

Johnnyreb on June 6, 2014 at 11:03 AM

So, how did you manage to stay off the cooked lists? How did you get in on a monthly basis while some are forced to wait 6 months to a year?

Are you a registered (D)? I’m just wondering, since the IRS stuff happened, I wouldn’t be surprised if the cooked lists were based on political affiliation.

Meople on June 6, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Sounds exactly like the stories that come out of England about the NHS. Single payer gov’t provided health insurance. Yeah…

deepdiver on June 6, 2014 at 11:11 AM

35 know deaths due to govt death panels,
govt single payer
govt health care just like obamacare

too bad obama ignored 35 vet deaths but traded 5 taliban for one deserter.

oh and the 4 guys who died in benghazi

sniffles1999 on June 6, 2014 at 11:11 AM

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) announced on Thursday that it is presently investigating allegations from 37 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employee whistleblowers at VA facilities in 19 states of retaliation for disclosing improper scheduling practices and other threats to patient care.

I’m less worried about hostility from the Taliban/Al Qaeda than I am about hostility from the federal bureaucracy.

rbj on June 6, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Here’s my analogy:

The government is like a beached whale. As long as a whale is at sea, hidden by the ocean, it can survive. But let it be exposed and trapped in public view, it suffocates under its own weight.

The liberal “free shit” whale is beached, and struggling to breathe.

BobMbx on June 6, 2014 at 11:17 AM

I have always believed that no government employee or official should be given bonuses.

Gothguy on June 6, 2014 at 10:23 AM

How can we complain about inefficiency and incompetence at Gov institutions and at the same time want to remove any incentive for efficient and competent people to work there?

Bigbullets on June 6, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Private sector incentives include both carrots AND sticks. We’ve eliminated any threat of being fired in the public sector. And that’s why there’s no incentive for people in government institutions to be efficient or competent.

de rigueur on June 6, 2014 at 11:20 AM

And the only way to clean house is to get rid of the union.

blink on June 6, 2014 at 10:14 AM
I think you would find it much easier to achieve true World Peace.

Reuben Hick on June 6, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Weren’t gooberment unions established via exec order? (Kennedy?)

If so, that just takes a pen.

8 weight on June 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Meople on June 6, 2014 at 11:10 AM

No, it’s far more likely to be a combination of available healthcare provider resources at the facility/community coupled with cost constraints and funds available.

Another possibility would be having a target list of patients with a specific range of diagnosis codes (those with poor prognosis) and shifting those patients to the wait list (i.e. defacto death panels)

I’d love to see the medical records/patient history for those put on waiting lists. And financial audit.

lineholder on June 6, 2014 at 11:27 AM

How can we complain about inefficiency and incompetence at Gov institutions and at the same time want to remove any incentive for efficient and competent people to work there?

Bigbullets on June 6, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Your salary and the resultant ability to buy food is your incentive to do a good job. The public sector already pays more than the private sector on average.

Do your job well or be replaced. It’s a simple reality concept no longer in practice where unions have taken hold.

ROCnPhilly on June 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Did you spot the flaw? The ability to seek outside care with VA coverage depends on wait times. Just who will be measuring those wait times? Don’t think for a moment that vets spending VA money in private-sector clinics and hospitals won’t produce pressure to block them from doing so, and one way to ensure that will be to insist that wait times aren’t a problem at the local VA.

I missed the Congresscritter who said it but one of them (they all look alike anyway) was talking about a visit to a VA facility. The administrator was lamenting that $8M of treatment was performed out of system. Nevermind that it was $8M worth of services for treating veterans, she was pissed that it didn’t happen at the VA hospital. This is the mindset that must be eradicated in the VA system.

Happy Nomad on June 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Veterans Affairs hospitals secret waiting lists allegations
3m

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee invites acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson to testify about organizational structure of department – @ChadPergram

https://twitter.com/ChadPergram

canopfor on June 6, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Anybody know at which VA hospital Sgt. Abdullah Bergdahl is receiving his tax-payer-funded life-saving health care?

ROCnPhilly on June 6, 2014 at 11:36 AM

The issue of the whistleblowers is a key point

Yeah, it is. We really need to keep whistleblower protections in place. We need for that legal precedent to stand. It may be a last line of defense we the people end up having against socialized medicine gone bad.

Senators announced a broad proposal Thursday to address health-care failures at the Department of Veterans Affairs that would authorize spending $500 million to hire more doctors and nurses

So, they believe that the names were put on waiting lists due to limited access because of inadequate staffing? Have they conducted a fact-finding mission to gather all the facts? Or are all they just assuming this to be the case?

I know…it would seem literally evil to think that our vets are being put on wait lists when access to care might be available. But the VA is socialized medicine. Nothing more and nothing less.

I wish they would just set up the legislation so that the funds come back down to the states, because one size doesn’t fit all in healthcare, with the stipulation of periodic oversight reviews, and criminal punishment for misuse/abuse of funds.

lineholder on June 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

The VA: Doing the job our enemy can’t.

BobMbx on June 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM

How can we complain about inefficiency and incompetence at Gov institutions and at the same time want to remove any incentive for efficient and competent people to work there?
Bigbullets on June 6, 2014 at 11:01 AM

How about we de-certify/abolish the Central Gubmint public sector unions, fire the incompetent and abusive (p@rn watchers and the like) employees, unload the employees whose sole purpose at *ahem!* work was performing union-based activities on the public dime and renegotiate/reform those oh-so-generous pension packages?

Oh, and the incentive? You do your job in a professional, competent and honest manner, you can keep your job. Just like in the private sector.

Newtie and the Beauty on June 6, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Anybody know at which VA hospital Sgt. Abdullah Bergdahl is receiving his tax-payer-funded life-saving health care?
ROCnPhilly on June 6, 2014 at 11:36 AM

I believe it’s at the military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

So Johnny is your 21 years supposed to trump my 6? While I may not have to use the VA myself a friend of mine has a brain tumor and other ailments that he has to get treatment by the VA for and his experience has not been the same as your experience. You griped about someone saying no bonuses should be paid and I disagree with you. Why should bonuses be paid for incompetence? You also started griping about knee jerk reactions about career civil servants and federal unions, they don’t help but I also don’t think they’re totally responsible for the negligence that has existed in that organization for many years. Let me put it this way when my father in law who was on Vietnam and my wife’s grandfather who was at Iwo Jima and Okinawa told me about their poor treatment at the VA I tend to believe them more than some anonymous poster on the internet. Good for you I wish you the best of luck in keeping on getting good service from them but just because you do not everyone does.

bbinfl on June 6, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Veterans could choose instead to seek care at private facilities that accept Medicare, federally qualified health centers, Indian Health Service facilities or medical facilities run by the Defense Department.

Uh Huh … Sure.
Does anyone believe that those other “health care providers” are more qualified than the VA?
Indian Health Services is without a doubt the most sloppy and incompetent government system I have ever seen. Just ask any Indian.
Further, so the VA is going to hire a boatload of new doctors and other “professionals”, eh? From where – INDIA?
What a massive fraud and a very sad joke.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on June 6, 2014 at 11:57 AM

I’d like to offer my sincere apologise to the Greatest Generation. On behalf of the 30 somethings. We have taken the great things your generation accomplished for granted, we’ve allowed ourselves to consider your Greatness our birthright. From the struggles you faced ‘over there’ to your unbridled spirit to continue to fight to re-biuld America upon your return, we’ve taken the strong foundations you biult adn upon them we have set a structure that with each passing year seems to become more riddled with holes, dry rot, and nearer to colapse. We have not been good stewarts of your legacy. We have allowed trivial disagreements to divide and weaken our once Great Nation. And from the shouts of baby killer, to the chants of ‘you lied, people died’ to the current VA deaths at the hand of a growing beuracracy of fools we can only now turn to you with hat in hand, head bowed in deserved humility adn meakly whisper, we are sorry.

Von Kleist on June 6, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Any guesses as to how quickly the bit in the “bi-partisan” bill that allows veterans to seek private care gets cut out?

McCain is the Trojan Horse for wasteful spending. I think that every time it sounds like he has a good idea; the hatch in the ass of the Arizona Senator opens up an Democrats jump out.

notalemon on June 6, 2014 at 12:18 PM

…and the monthly bonus b!tch who ran the hospital…is on “paid leave”!

KOOLAID2 on June 6, 2014 at 12:40 PM

At this rate, soldiers and veterans may be safer on the front than back at home fortcoins on June 6, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Bingo !!!!!!!

MaiDee on June 6, 2014 at 12:45 PM

This kind of fraud is probably a felony. At least in Texas, causing a death without justification in the course of committing a felony is referred to as Capital Murder. Perhaps some enterprising DA can turn things around by filing capital murder charges on the fraudsters involved. Once they’re all on death row, the practice should become less prevalent.

rayward on June 7, 2014 at 12:34 AM