VA employees switched to processing ACA applications

posted at 5:21 pm on July 3, 2014 by Bruce McQuain

In another indicator of how low a priority veterans have with this administration, a whistleblower in Atlanta has revealed that VA employees were switched from processing VA applications to those of the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare.

Scott Davis told the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

“We don’t discuss veterans. We do not work for veterans. That is something that I learned after working there. Our customer is the VA central office, the White House and the Congress. The veterans are not our priority. So whatever the initiatives are or the big ticket items, that is what we focus on.”

He later appeared on the Neil Cavuto show and claimed that 17,000 applications for VA Healthcare were destroyed.  He also said  they’re “also looking into a backlog of over 600,000 pending applications for VA Healthcare.”  Davis said the applications were purged as a way to deal with pressure from Washington D.C.

Davis: What I think happened, Neil, is that there was pressure by people in Washington for us to hit our numbers. You’ve heard a lot about the 14-day turn around time for the hospitals. But what most people don’t know is that there’s a five-day turn around time for health applications. And if we don’t hit that five-day turn around time, it affects performance goals for people in senior leadership positions.

Cavuto:  So if you don’t have that, and you’re not paying that out, it looks like you’re meeting your numbers and then some, right?

Davis: Absolutely. But what also happens, Neil, is that we’re currently neglecting not only the right thing to do, which is to process applications, not delete them. We have a huge system integrity issue at VA. For example, the VA right now can’t even tell the investigators what happened to those applications, because they can’t verify where they are, what happened to them, if they were deleted, why were they deleted, and why there was no paperwork showing the justifications for those deletions.

Cavuto:  We’ve asked for a statement out of the VA on this and we have yet to get one, Scott. I’m trying then to give them the benefit of the doubt here. It seems like a crazy situation. Did you or any of your co-workers ever get so overwhelmed — not you specifically — but they just say the heck with it, more files, more applications, just dump them in the trash, we’re overwhelmed. Do you think that has gone on?

Davis: I know that there was rumors that suspect those activities before I started work thing in 2011. What I can tell you is that there’s so much pressure on the employees to get stuff done so management can meet goals, it’s easy to make mistakes, it’s easy to have mishaps. What happens is, instead of the VA focusing on doing what’s right for our nation’s veterans — meaning taking time, processing each application diligently and appropriately — pressure is placed on front line employees to overwork themselves, rush through the application process, to hit goals for members of management.

Cavuto:  When you say to hit goals, is the goal a dollar goal or is it get the applications complete? Sometimes keep on top of this so there are no delays, or is it keep on top of it and get rid of something that could hurt our numbers?

Davis: Well, for what I’ve witnessed, it’s based on a performance goal.

Cavuto:  How is that performance measured?

Davis: That performance is measured based on our ability to turn around an application from beginning to end within a five-day turn around. There’s an acceptable percentage that we have to have, which is in excess of 80% for all applications that comes into that office. What you find is that there’s extensive pressure on the staff to process applications, to focus our attention to applications based on specific campaigns. For example, I shared with your producer that we actually put incoming applications aside so we could focus on the ACA related applications that came in over last summer. That’s wrong. We should treat each veteran equally and focus on applications, as they come in, not because of special campaigns coming out of D.C.

His statement is precisely how veteran’s applications should be treated.  But they weren’t because of partisan politics and the heavy hand of the administration.   Naturally the VA  bureaucracy cooperated.  When your “customer” is Washington DC and not the veteran then that’s unsurprising.

This is outrageous, but my guess is, as they dig deeper into the VA, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

This is the face of government run health care.  It is fair warning.  Just as Soviet bureaucracies fudged whatever numbers necessary to “meet” the government’s “5 year plans”, the government bureaucracies here are not above doing the same.  The bonus system along with identification of Washington as their “customer” was all the incentive the bureaucrats needed to let veterans down … again.

~McQ

 


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War on Vets!

Sven on July 3, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Now we have an opponent on the War on Vets, Obamacare.

Sven on July 3, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Not a smidgen of scandal…

sandee on July 3, 2014 at 5:26 PM

I think the blame ought to be shared between:
“It is a TAX” SCOTUS Chief John Roberts
AND
“All my records are gone” IRS chief schemer Lois Lerner

Missilengr on July 3, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Some Canadian dumb@$$ on a liberal blog was telling us how O-No-Care was so great.

22044 on July 3, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Barack Obama: Misanthrope.

VorDaj on July 3, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Hope he has good security.

pambi on July 3, 2014 at 5:40 PM

This is the face of government run health care.  It is fair warning.  Just as Soviet bureaucracies fudged whatever numbers necessary to “meet” the government’s “5 year plans”, the government bureaucracies here are not above doing the same.  The bonus system along with identification of Washington as their “customer” was all the incentive the bureaucrats needed to let veterans down … again.

Dead on. And soon it will be our lot in life unless you are a commissar….just like the soviet system.

cthemfly on July 3, 2014 at 5:46 PM

The ACA?? Are you kidding me?

Whitey Ford on July 3, 2014 at 5:46 PM

When those in power are rewarded for good books, AND they can cook the books with impunity, this is always what happens. Doesn’t matter if it’s private or government, US or Soviet or etc.

And in healthcare, when it’s time to reduce the expenditures on terminal patients, and you are a terminal patient…

you’ll be lucky if your ‘final solution’ is a grande shot of morphine.

Marcola on July 3, 2014 at 5:47 PM

This is the face of government run health care. It is fair warning. Just as Soviet bureaucracies fudged whatever numbers necessary to “meet” the government’s “5 year plans”, the government bureaucracies here are not above doing the same.

The really bad part of all this is liberals don’t care.

This is the left. They simply don’t care who dies, or how many die as long as their march towards utopia continues. In the end people are nothing to them but a means to an end and not only do they hate people who don’t share their pipe dream, they consider them expendable above all else.

darwin on July 3, 2014 at 5:51 PM

They killed veterans to try to bail out Obama of his ACA disaster.

In the end they just lied about enrollment numbers anyway. Probably down to about 4-5 million now due to nonpayment, duplicate apps and applications that are just plain FUBAR. Probably why they quit announcing enrollment figures claims altogether.

forest on July 3, 2014 at 5:55 PM

This is outrageous, but my guess is, as they dig deeper into the VA, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

…guaranteed!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 3, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Who at HHS said “Hey, you know what? Let’s ship some of our applications to the VA!”?

While this sounds all too plausible, I think we need to be a little cautious here…

darkpixel on July 3, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Of course the media is doing their part. They may mention “VA” but quickly move to a cute cat video.

darwin on July 3, 2014 at 6:08 PM

While this sounds all too plausible, I think we need to be a little cautious here…

darkpixel on July 3, 2014 at 6:07 PM

With all the subterfuge and outright lying from this administration why in the world would you want to be cautious?

darwin on July 3, 2014 at 6:10 PM

This is everyone’s future under the dem’s single payer dream.

clnurnberg on July 3, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Terminate all VA management pensions, and let them appeal through the same system used to schedule Vets if they want to get their pensions back.

You’ll see changes happen overnight.

HopeHeFails on July 3, 2014 at 6:15 PM

The ACA wasn’t processing applications last summer. The application process didn’t start until the first of Nov. I don’t doubt they were working on ACA stuff, but it couldn’t be applications could it?

bopbottle on July 3, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Nothing surprises me about this administration, this government, and this Congress. I’m sure, this is another case where Obama used his phone and his pen. Can’t get the computer to work on Healthcare.gov, send it to the VA and have them do the applications, those veterans can wait.

If we, as a country, continue to tolerate this stuff it won’t be long before we don’t have a country. The most secretive, duplicitous administration in my lifetime.

bflat879 on July 3, 2014 at 6:16 PM

A little like realizing on 12/8/41 your gardener is Japanese.

formwiz on July 3, 2014 at 6:18 PM

“They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work.”

flyovermark on July 3, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Robbing those who’ve earned the most, to pay those who’ve earned the least.
.
That’s just basic everyday Socialist government ideology, and strategy.

It’s only newsworthy due to the other recent VA scandal(s).

Really nothing surprising here.

listens2glenn on July 3, 2014 at 6:21 PM

These POS’s should be hung.

nobama1267 on July 3, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Really nothing surprising here.

listens2glenn on July 3, 2014 at 6:21 PM

So is that why the MSM is leaving the work to others? Tapper (here on HA for his occasional eye rolling) is only concerned about the storm. Is it any wonder that Gretchen Carlson has more followers than Mr. The Lead?

clnurnberg on July 3, 2014 at 6:25 PM

The bonus system along with identification of Washington as their “customer” was all the incentive the bureaucrats needed to let veterans down die … again.

Since gov’t goons never produce a profit they should never receive bonuses. May they all get scabies and itch eternally, the lice.

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2014 at 6:25 PM

These POS’s should be hung.

nobama1267 on July 3, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Curtains are hung, people are hanged. I have no issue with the punishment as it led to so many deaths of the people we should be treating like gold.

clnurnberg on July 3, 2014 at 6:27 PM

This is the face of government run health care. It is fair warning. Just as Soviet bureaucracies fudged whatever numbers necessary to “meet” the government’s “5 year plans”, the government bureaucracies here are not above doing the same.

The really bad part of all this is liberals don’t care.

This is the left. They simply don’t care who dies, or how many die as long as their march towards utopia continues. In the end people are nothing to them but a means to an end and not only do they hate people who don’t share their pipe dream, they consider them expendable above all else.

darwin on July 3, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Democratics don’t give a crap about veterans. They play a good game when they are up for elections because showing their hatred for the military is a loser, but Democratics hate the military, and hate veterans. They see anyone that joins the military as a sucker.

No surprise then that a typical federal bureaucracy, infected with Democratics and their greedy unions want to do anything BUT serve hated veterans.

slickwillie2001 on July 3, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2014 at 6:25 PM

I see scabies regularly at my facility, luckily it’s pretty treatable so not an effective punishment for the goons.

clnurnberg on July 3, 2014 at 6:29 PM

VA employees switched to processing ACA applications

…accountability?

JugEarsButtHurt on July 3, 2014 at 6:30 PM

The sentiment that the VA doesn’t work for veterans is telling. The FDA does therefore not work for patients, the DoD does not work for national security, and so on. This is one of the scarier stories as it highlights the true nature of 0bama’s self-serving administration.

clnurnberg on July 3, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Who at HHS said “Hey, you know what? Let’s ship some of our applications to the VA!”?
While this sounds all too plausible, I think we need to be a little cautious here…
darkpixel on July 3, 2014 at 6:07 PM

[looking for "/sarc" tag...hello? /sarc? Bueller?]

Newtie and the Beauty on July 3, 2014 at 6:37 PM

What is so damn special about 0 that people have so willingly sold their souls?

clnurnberg on July 3, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Guys, we live under a malevolent tyranny. It’s time we started calling it what it is. And no Republican officeholder is going to fix that.

fossten on July 3, 2014 at 6:51 PM

fossten on July 3, 2014 at 6:51 PM

United Stasi?

Remember when the press did all the mea maxima culpas over hiding Saddam’s crimes to maintain “access”? What we have here is far more malignant on the part of the press. At least the AJC is reporting something, but the media is busy, like Ace said, gaslighting the people. We didn’t see what we saw, or hear what we heard.
It’s terribly discouraging.

clnurnberg on July 3, 2014 at 7:10 PM

So obama’s Free Shit Army takes precedence over those who actually served in the Army?

FUBO

HumpBot Salvation on July 3, 2014 at 7:13 PM

HumpBot Salvation on July 3, 2014 at 7:13 PM

It is in keeping with his civilian army plan, no? As are the thousands of young male recruits invading the border states. There’s a different definition of adulthood there. ISIS teens hold guns, why not the Obama migrant soldiers?

clnurnberg on July 3, 2014 at 7:20 PM

So the VA is expanding to kill Americans in general not just veterans.

DamnCat on July 3, 2014 at 7:26 PM

#%!@ this Obama and the Dem party and its voters! Shame on each and every one of you bas+@rds! Vets are dying because Obama values his lousy legacy over America’s finest, our vets. To he// with all of you!

neyney on July 3, 2014 at 7:28 PM

Just FOAD already, every single jackhole in this entire administration.

The GOP can go to hell too, cowardly losers; I hate all of them.

Bishop on July 3, 2014 at 7:41 PM

It’s a violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act to have the VA process HHS applications.

blammm on July 3, 2014 at 7:42 PM

blammm on July 3, 2014 at 7:42 PM

Law? What law?

clnurnberg on July 3, 2014 at 8:05 PM

A system as thoroughly screwed up as this just cannot be reformed.

Shut it down, give vets with service-related health problems federal employee coverage, and pay the deductibles/copays for them. And we must go back to covering only service-related problems, we just can’t afford free care for everything for all vets, it’s just arithmetic.

Vets will get better, faster care with the doctors and hospitals of their own choice. The useless union workers and criminal managers at VA will no doubt find jobs in some other criminal industry, but at least they won’t be being paid by taxpayers anymore.

Adjoran on July 3, 2014 at 9:28 PM

Does Obama despise the Vets as much as he does the Military or worse?

Who would want to fight for Obama – Corrupter in Chief?

Obamatrix on July 3, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Meanwhile the government is paying companies to do absolutely nothing.

New complaints are arising about workers getting paid to do nothing by a company with a $1.2 billion government contract to process Affordable Care Act applications.

KMOV was the first news outlet in the country to report on the issues with a company called Serco and its processing plant in Wentzville. Hundreds more Serco employees work in a similar facility in Rogers, Arkansas.

Multiple employees said there were days they did not process even one application, in fact they believe they only averaged seven to nine processed applications per month since the facility opened in October, 2013.

Hill60 on July 3, 2014 at 10:45 PM

The bureaucrats need their “bonus money”.

Screw the Vets!

GarandFan on July 3, 2014 at 10:58 PM

What people don’t seem to realize is that the VA is not unusual. The same attitude is endemic throughout the government.

The bureaucracy is not there to serve the people; the people are there to serve the bureaucracy.

It’s all VA, all the way down.

schmuck281 on July 3, 2014 at 11:41 PM

Gee – Dem War on Vets, Dem War on Workers, Dem War on Small Business, Dem War on Property Owners, Dem War on Men, Dem, War on Law, Dem War on Immigration, Dem War on Schools……

Where does it stop? When will the press wake up b/c sooner or later it will become the Dem War on Media.

MN J on July 3, 2014 at 11:49 PM

MN J the media is hoping that will be the last ones the alligator eats. That and they are all true believers and fellow totalitarian travelers like Obama.

jukin3 on July 4, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Gee – Dem War on Vets, Dem War on Workers, Dem War on Small Business, Dem War on Property Owners, Dem War on Men, Dem, War on Law, Dem War on Immigration, Dem War on Schools……

Where does it stop? When will the press wake up b/c sooner or later it will become the Dem War on Media.

MN J on July 3, 2014 at 11:49 PM

It’s an endless cycle. I believe the media is already awake and does realize it, therefore, it is in the media’s best interest to carry water for big government. You can’t think of the media in the same terms as it once was. It used to be an opponent of government and truth teller above all else. At some point all major media (tv, newspaper) became entertainment and little else.

preallocated on July 4, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Another way of saying that chronic welfare chiselers and POS that sneak over our border get better medical care and attention than our veterans. Nothing short of a government employee hanging from every lamp post between DC and NYC will ever rectify the situation.

MaiDee on July 4, 2014 at 2:47 PM

As a vendor with the VA, I was doing an install recently and was alone in a new room toiling away. In the hall outside of the doorway, (I was off to one side so I was out of sight) I heard a supervisor of some sort trying to “correct” a non-medical staff. Half way thru the staff member said, “so? not like you’re gonna fire me..” and walked away. The supervisor sighed and walked off too…
That in a nutshell is what I see all the time in my dealings with the government and medical facilities. Medical people who care but are beaten down with bureaucracy, and management who care about numbers, and staff who generally don’t care about anything. All this and no one is accountable for anything. The government as its currently constructed is simply incapable of delivering healthcare.

BamaXray on July 4, 2014 at 5:32 PM

I worked for the federal government for 27 years. We never had a bonus system. I don’t know when this started, I left in 1982, but until it is abolished the bosses will focus on the bonus and not on what is right. Their paycheck is the reward for doing their job.

Tsuchino1 on July 4, 2014 at 11:32 PM

I hope this Davis is protected. He is black a patriot and knows where our priorities should be in regards to veterans. No doubt he will be ripped for being black and going against Obama.

CW20 on July 5, 2014 at 2:04 PM