CNN reporter: VA can’t be fixed without a total gutting

posted at 6:41 pm on June 23, 2014 by Noah Rothman

CNN reporter Drew Griffin has owned the revelations surrounding the Department of Veterans Affairs and their scandalous treatment of military veterans. After a year of investigation, he broke the story involving the creation of secret waiting lists at a Phoenix VA hospital where 40 vets died awaiting care. Griffin’s reporting led to the uncovering of several more secret waiting lists – a revelation that forced President Barack Obama to accept the resignation of his VA secretary, Gen. Eric Shinseki.

On Monday, Griffin discussed a new report from an independent government oversight agency which found that VA has been ignoring whistleblowers for years. “Too frequently, the VA has failed to use information form whistleblowers to identify and address systematic concerns that impact patient care,” read a letter from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel addressed to the president.

“In 10 different cases across the country, specific examples, where they believe a whistleblower came forward, veterans were harmed, nothing happened,” Griffin said. “[It’s] been going on for a couple years.”

As an example of how neglectful the VA’s process of providing care to vets has been, Griffin cited one example in which one veteran applied for mental health care in 2003 and did not received a psychological evaluation until 2011. “It’s crazy,” Griffin added.

“Based on everything I know, to date, I don’t think that the VA can fix itself,” the CNN reporter declared. “I don’t know how you fix this. I really don’t know, if I was going to give advice, where you would give it, other than I would blanketly throw out every senior manager in the VA.”

“There is an entire bureaucracy here that has been allowing this to happen for years, and years, and years,” Griffin concluded. “I don’t know how you get one administrator at the top who is going to somehow change the culture without throwing out all these people.”

Meanwhile, an investigation from the Tampa Bay Times suggested that a rule change implemented in 2010 allowed administrators to lengthen waiting times for vets. VA critics allege that this change was an part of an effort to make VA hospitals’ performance look better than it actually was.

But about 2010, the VA allowed its hospitals to lengthen to 120 days the time veterans must wait without an appointment before they are put on the waiting list, potentially cutting thousands of veterans across the nation from the list, according to a Tampa Bay Times review of VA records and interviews.

The time frame is now 90 days.

Some critics say the changes were a deliberate ploy by VA leaders to make this much-watched measure of hospital performance look better than it actually was.

But some VA administrators claim that the once chronic problems at the VA are being addressed.

“If there is one message I’d want your readers to get,” said Dr. Carolyn Clancy, a VA assistant undersecretary of health for quality, safety and value, “is that it is a new day” at the VA.

Not according to the Office of Special Counsel.


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

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

canopfor on June 23, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Cummings couldn’t count the tines on the fork he uses at lunch, the man is a dolt.

You want to know who would happily order you and your family onto a train heading east, look no further than the demorat jackholes of this committee. The lengths they are going to ass-kiss that little gopher of a man, and to protect their dog eating master, is pathetic.

Bishop on June 23, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Bishop:

Hes a Lefty Kiss-*ss KOOL_AID Operative:)

canopfor on June 23, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Chandler Thornton ‏@chandlerUSA 7m

It’s a late night @GOPoversight hearing on #IRStargeting of conservative political groups. We deserves all the facts. pic.twitter.com/Hpcbeme2mN

https://twitter.com/chandlerUSA/status/481262808156610561/photo/1

canopfor on June 23, 2014 at 10:38 PM

CL, I feel SO stoopid now…

Remember that problem I had earlier? Well, I went back and double-checked my work.

Silly me…I transposed two cables…everything’s working fine, except now the DVR turns on when the TV is turned off…headscratcher…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 23, 2014 at 10:38 PM

why did Mr. Horseface (?) ask a question that has already been asked tonight in his second go. I guess he needed a platform to diss the Rs. And then they wonder why Americans rate them at 11 percent approval.

CoffeeLover on June 23, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Dude!:

In one test case, a workload that ordinarily took 4 hours was accomplished in just 4 seconds—so fast that the technologists on hand weren’t quite sure anything had actually happened. “People say, ‘I don’t think it ran,’” said Ellison. In fact, it did.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/oracle/2014/06/23/12-ways-in-memory-tech-is-faster-better-and-more-flexible/

davidk on June 23, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Newtie and the Beauty on June 23, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Hey that’s great you got it working. No clue why DVR turns on though…did you hit a button on the DVR?

CoffeeLover on June 23, 2014 at 10:40 PM

GOP Oversight ‏@GOPoversight 10m

WATCH: @jasoninthehouse exchange with #IRS Commissioner Koskinen on IRS 6-month backup tapes: http://youtu.be/Rf4e3JZXtFs #IRStargeting

6-23-2014 Rep. Chaffetz Q&A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rf4e3JZXtFs

canopfor on June 23, 2014 at 10:40 PM

Hey that’s great you got it working. No clue why DVR turns on though…did you hit a button on the DVR?
CoffeeLover on June 23, 2014 at 10:40 PM

I’ll reprogram the remote for the TV…Oldest Dear Son DID walk across the front of the new box while the remote was searching for the TV code…

Unless the TV and VCR/DVD is from the same manufacturer… <—insert confusedly suspicious look here…shrug shoulders…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 23, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Wait…didn’t Issa make his money in computer tech or something like that?

Newtie and the Beauty on June 23, 2014 at 10:43 PM

From the article http://www.forbes.com/sites/oracle/2014/06/23/12-ways-in-memory-tech-is-faster-better-and-more-flexible/ :

It’s actually more than in-memory. Oracle Database In-Memory puts a new column store into fast RAM (random access memory). The row store, meanwhile, continues to read from and write to memory, flash, and disk, and syncs information with the column store. The column store exists only in memory.

If you are bothering to read this article and especially if you’ve stuck with it this far into the article, you don’t an explanation for the acronym “RAM.”

davidk on June 23, 2014 at 10:44 PM

Well, ask and ye shall receive… o_O

Newtie and the Beauty on June 23, 2014 at 10:45 PM

Veterans Affairs Health Administration scandal 2014
2m
At House hearing, Veterans Affairs officials acknowledge department has to restore credibility Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., calls for new secretary – @AP
Read more on yahoo.com

canopfor on June 23, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Newtie and the Beauty on June 23, 2014 at 10:45 PM

:)

CoffeeLover on June 23, 2014 at 10:46 PM

:)
CoffeeLover on June 23, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Baa-baa…yeah, I feel sheepish… :o

Newtie and the Beauty on June 23, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Likje how long is recess???

canopfor on June 23, 2014 at 10:53 PM

Newtie….don’t sell yourself short. I know you know more about that stuff than I do :) and for that matter for a lot of folks.

CoffeeLover on June 23, 2014 at 10:54 PM

https://twitter.com/AP

IRS flagged conservative political groups
3m
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen tells House committee he didn’t learn former official Lois Lerner’s emails were lost until April – @AP
Read more on bigstory.ap.org

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/irs-head-face-another-flogging-over-lost-emails

canopfor on June 23, 2014 at 10:55 PM

I don’t know canopfor….obviously they will be calling Mr. K back. I can’t believe I’m still hearing him answer questions to the press. I see Chad Pergram in the gaggle.

CoffeeLover on June 23, 2014 at 10:56 PM

Newtie….don’t sell yourself short. I know you know more about that stuff than I do :) and for that matter for a lot of folks.
CoffeeLover on June 23, 2014 at 10:54 PM

I should’ve had my tip-off when the Dear Techie said the box was getting no signal.

No. Signal. Oh well, at least he learned a couple of new things today… ;-)

Newtie and the Beauty on June 23, 2014 at 10:59 PM

I don’t know canopfor….obviously they will be calling Mr. K back. I can’t believe I’m still hearing him answer questions to the press. I see Chad Pergram in the gaggle.

CoffeeLover on June 23, 2014 at 10:56 PM

CoffeeLover: Ya,..i’m taking a break,…getting bug-eyed:)

canopfor on June 23, 2014 at 11:00 PM

https://twitter.com/ChadPergram

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 16m

#IRS Commissioner John Koskinen: “You can grumble and say what you want to about me in a hearing, but I’m not going away.”

Replied to 0 times

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 17m

#IRS’s Koskinen on if his credibility was unfairly questioned at hearing: “I think so.”

Replied to 0 times

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 18m

Koskinen on if lawmakers were grandstanding at #IRS hrng: There’s an element in any Congressional hearing of people playing to the crowd.

Replied to 0 times

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 23m

#IRS’s Koskinen said he had never been subpoenaed to a hearing before. “If you want to have a hearing, I’m happy to come.”

Replied to 0 times

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 23m

#IRS’s Koskinen says tough grilling before Congress “comes with the territory.”

Replied to 0 times

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 24m

After hearing, Koskinen tells reporters he did not “come out of retirement..to play games.” #IRS

canopfor on June 23, 2014 at 11:49 PM

canopfor on June 23, 2014 at 11:50 PM

At the Albuquerque VA hospital the cardio department with 8 doctors treats fewer patients per week than one private practice cardiologist.

A pulmonologist at the Montgomery, AL VA facility,copied old notes onto new charts for more than 1,200 patients.

Multiple people at VA facilities across the country earned big bonuses by manipulating patient wait time statistics.

How do you fix something that is rotting from the top down?

Nomas on June 24, 2014 at 12:05 AM

The problem with the VA is in the quote itself:

“If there is one message I’d want your readers to get,” said Dr. Carolyn Clancy, a VA assistant undersecretary of health for quality, safety and value, “is that it is a new day” at the VA.

An assistant undersecretary of health for quality, safety and value?? WTF???? That means there is at least a secretary of HQSV right? Probably THREE more “unders” each with a specific job like site development, public relations etc. WITH all having dozens of bureaucratic assistants WHO HAVE ASSISTANTS!

Listen, no matter how much money you throw at it, it will all be absorbed by these guys in positions, raises and bonuses. The VA lives, like all big government, to serve itself- the bureaucrats within it. THAT is why it does what it does like abusing us with the IRS.

Politicians are just the well paid mouthpieces. If you want to get a good look locally, study the organizational chart of a local school board. Same darned thing.

And you wonder why your vets are dying and your kids are stupid.

archer52 on June 24, 2014 at 6:52 AM

Ok then – FIRE THEM ALL. Send a message.

dogsoldier on June 24, 2014 at 7:53 AM

A total gutting? I agree, but why stop with the VA? All the other fed agencies need a complete fumigation anyway. I await a candidate who will seriously promise to do this.

Don L on June 24, 2014 at 8:03 AM

CNN reporter: VA can’t be fixed without a total gutting

NEITHER CAN THE IRS!

easyt65 on June 24, 2014 at 9:57 AM

…OR THE WHITE HOUSE…

easyt65 on June 24, 2014 at 9:57 AM

…gut the government!…not just the VA!

JugEarsButtHurt on June 24, 2014 at 11:11 AM

“In 10 different cases across the country, specific examples, where they believe a whistleblower came forward, veterans were harmed, nothing happened,” Griffin said. “[It’s] been going on for a couple years.”

The entire government is nothing more than a crime syndicate. Until laws are enforced with prosecutions and prison time, nothing will change. As long as the crooks know they can get away with their crimes, why change?

earlgrey on June 24, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Yes, a total gutting.

And then VOUCHERS!

Competition is the only cure for the bureaucratic disease.

PattyJ on June 24, 2014 at 11:43 AM

A total gutting? I agree, but why stop with the VA? All the other fed agencies need a complete fumigation anyway. I await a candidate who will seriously promise to do this.

Now you’re talking.

geezerintraining on June 24, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4