VA offices in Baltimore and Philadelphia hid claims, mail

posted at 1:21 pm on July 14, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The VA scandal continues to unfold, although primarily through local and regional reporting, demonstrating that the issues of corruption and bureaucratic fraud go beyond just wait lists. Today, Congress will make public the testimony from an Inspector General agent, and it’s not pretty. The IG found that mail and claims were hidden in two separate VA systems, and in Philadelphia the postmarks go back to 2011, and claims were redated to hide their age:

Inspectors surveying Philadelphia’s Veterans Affairs benefits center in June found two stunning signs of disarray: mail bins brimming with claims dating to 2011 and other benefits that had been paid twice.

More alarming, the team from the VA Office of Inspector General found evidence that staff tasked with managing pensions for the eastern United States were manipulating dates to make old claims appear new, according to a report obtained by The Inquirer.

Two whistleblowers say the reforms since the scandal broke open are just window dressing:

Two whistle-blowers who work at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Regional Office, where the offenses were discovered, described the process the same: “cooking the books.”

“They’re hiding the real numbers from the people and saying, ‘We’re catching up to the backlog,’ ” said Ryan Cease, 31, who has worked at the Germantown facility for about five years. “But they’re not. They’re just hiding it.”

These revelations came almost two months after the exposure of the wait-list fraud. The IG received the tip from a whistleblower on June 18, long after one would have assumed that VA executives would have demanded an accounting from the bureaucracies that report to them. By June 18, Eric Shinseki had been gone for nearly three weeks, and before that both Shinseki and the White House repeatedly assured Congress that they were taking immediate action to clean up the corruption with the Department of Veteran Affairs. In fact, it came three weeks after the White House tried blaming the Bush administration for the problem, too.

Just two days before the tip, the New York Times was reporting that VA execs were targeting whistleblowers. It’s pretty clear why, now.

The story sounds very similar to what the IG investigators found in Baltimore, too:

An employee at the Baltimore office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs inappropriately stored thousands of documents — including some that contained Social Security data — according to testimony from an inspector general to be made public on Monday.

About 8,000 documents, including claims folders, unprocessed mail and Social Security information of dead or incarcerated veterans were stored in an employee’s office for “an extensive period of time,” according to testimony from Linda A. Halliday, an assistant inspector general, that was reviewed by The Baltimore Sun. …

Halliday will tell lawmakers that agency officials alerted the inspector general in June that an employee in the Baltimore office incorrectly stored claims-related mail, printouts of Social Security data and “various documents containing personally-identifiable information.” A subsequent review ordered by management found an additional 1,500 sensitive documents inappropriately stored, she will say.

More cases of death from long waits and red tape are emerging, including this story about Coast Guard veteran Gene Broadwell. Broadwell couldn’t get appointments at the VA, couldn’t get a referral to a private-sector provider, and couldn’t get the VA’s patient advocate to do anything. What the Broadwells did get was $200,000 in medical bills for emergency-room treatments when the VA wouldn’t see Broadwell, and a lingering death for the veteran as the price of serving his country:

“Why do veterans have to beg for treatment?” Being trapped in a single-payer bureaucracy is what forced Broadwell to both wait and pay ruinous fees, and keeping veterans trapped while begging for referrals is what the so-called reforms proposed by Congress will still do.


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Heads need to roll, yesterday…

OmahaConservative on July 14, 2014 at 1:24 PM

…how many people will “retire early”?

JugEarsButtHurt on July 14, 2014 at 1:28 PM

The White House does not think the American people really care. So they don’t care either. And nothing really changes.

s1im on July 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Broadwell couldn’t get appointments at the VA, couldn’t get a referral to a private-sector provider, and couldn’t get the VA’s patient advocate to do anything. What the Broadwells did get was $200,000 in medical bills for emergency-room treatments when the VA wouldn’t see Broadwell, and a lingering death for the veteran as the price of serving his country:

Oh STFU you racists , this guy was not an illegal alien gang banging honduran on welfare! Stop sympathizing for him ok ?

burrata on July 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM

More cases of death from long waits and red tape are emerging, including this story about Coast Guard veteran Gene Broadwell. Broadwell couldn’t get appointments at the VA, couldn’t get a referral to a private-sector provider, and couldn’t get the VA’s patient advocate to do anything. What the Broadwells did get was $200,000 in medical bills for emergency-room treatments when the VA wouldn’t see Broadwell, and a lingering death for the veteran as the price of serving his country:

….FORE!….
Eight ball in the corner pocket!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Remember this.

Whenever the next lefty troll drones on about our evil corporate overlords remind them that if the VA were a private hospital we’d be seeing criminal prosecutions instead of “bureaucratic process” to “remedy” the issue.

gwelf on July 14, 2014 at 1:31 PM

And what has this Administration done regarding this beyond never-ending ‘investigations’ and retaliation against whistleblowers to address this scandal?

Beyond the feckless Shinseki, who has lost their jobs?

Being trapped in a single-payer bureaucracy is what forced Broadwell to both wait and pay ruinous fees, and keeping veterans trapped while begging for referrals is what the so-called reforms proposed by Congress will still do.

Yet it’s the same partisan, feckless, mendacious Democrat politicians who are spending their time declaring that single-payer is the solution for ALL of healthcare needs…..they can’t even make it work for a subsection of Americans…

Athos on July 14, 2014 at 1:31 PM

OT: Report: SMALL LIFELESS, DEAD CHILDREN Found “Washed Up Along Riverbank” of Rio Grande

OmahaConservative on July 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Those are clumps of cells donchano ?

burrata on July 14, 2014 at 1:31 PM

As a vet, I have never and will never use the VA medical services for anything.

Bitter Clinger on July 14, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Bergdahl is free, and back on ‘duty’.

The Marine who served with distinction sits in a prison cell in Mexico, the land which allows and enables the ruining of the USA by illegal usurpation.

obama hates the Soldiers, active, alive and dead.

Finally. An actual scandal.
libfreeordie on May 19, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Schadenfreude on July 14, 2014 at 1:32 PM

And nothing will be done to address any of this.

echosyst on July 14, 2014 at 1:33 PM

This is very important – all topics flow into themselves, you being raped by your own admin. and both sides in DC.

OK congressman Jim Bridenstine visited Fort Sill

“I will treat the do/don’t do this list during my visit to see the illegals the way our president treats our laws, as a guideline” — paraphrased.

Schadenfreude on July 14, 2014 at 1:34 PM

obama will go on a 15 days summertime splash at Martha’s Vineyard, in August. Work harder, fools.

“Let them die” — Commander in Chief

Schadenfreude on July 14, 2014 at 1:35 PM

OT: Report: SMALL LIFELESS, DEAD CHILDREN Found “Washed Up Along Riverbank” of Rio Grande

OmahaConservative on July 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM

If this had been an oil-soaked duck the MSM would have been all over it!!

Deano1952 on July 14, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Eh, this will never happen with Dog Eater care because the lefties have put the correct people in charge.

Bishop on July 14, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Here’s an idea for veterans;

1) Cross the Mexican border and then turn around and come back.
2) Find a border patrol agent.
3) Claim to be from a country other than Canada or Mexico.
4) Claim you have family in the US.
5) You will be fed, given a free place to stay, a free education and ultimately free health care. Courtesy of taxpayers.

Because Democrats and this administration treat foreigners who are not citizens better than our veterans.

Marcus Traianus on July 14, 2014 at 1:38 PM

“Most transparent administration ever!” he said in earnest.

Flange on July 14, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Marcus Traianus on July 14, 2014 at 1:38 PM

No matter what, say you’re 17 or under.

Schadenfreude on July 14, 2014 at 1:41 PM

So, how is it the same scheme happened in so many different locations? Why, it’s almost as if there was a coordinated effort to cook the books to make a campaign promise look like it was delivered.

HumpBot Salvation on July 14, 2014 at 1:46 PM

It’s becoming increasingly clear that we are going to have to burn the federal government to the ground, salt the earth where it stood, and start the hell over from scratch.

AZCoyote on July 14, 2014 at 1:46 PM

“Most transparent administration ever!” he said in earnest.

Flange on July 14, 2014 at 1:39 PM

He was just Joshing.

HumpBot Salvation on July 14, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Being trapped in a single-payer bureaucracy is what forced Broadwell to both wait and pay ruinous fees

Just what ØbamaCare intends for us. By his own admission: a single-payer system.

IrishEyes on July 14, 2014 at 1:49 PM

And how many of those dead soldiers voted in Maryland over the past several elections? Both cities are cesspools for Democratic corruption, so I can see this becoming a bigger issue than just a VA scandal. Remember how Holder saved the Philadelphia New Black Panther Party from prosecution. And how Governor O’Malley is a former Mayor in Baltimore. All Democrats know that these major cities sway state elections for them.

djaymick on July 14, 2014 at 1:50 PM

I’ve seen the future of Obamacare, and it’s…

vnvet on July 14, 2014 at 1:53 PM

incorrectly stored?

Is that the term we are now using? It wasn’t intentionally HIDDEN to make them look better, it was “incorrectly stored”. If you ever get audited, just tell the IRS you can’t comply because you “incorrectly stored” your past returns. I’m sure they’ll understand.

bandutski on July 14, 2014 at 1:53 PM

So, how is it the same scheme happened in so many different locations? Why, it’s almost as if there was a coordinated effort to cook the books to make a campaign promise look like it was delivered.

HumpBot Salvation on July 14, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Obama’s scams are often repeated all over the nation. ObamaGlitch and the VA are prime examples. They’re using the same exact schemes for both.

Other repeated schemes, Fast and Furious, duplicated in Libya to give arms to Al Qaeda, including Stinger missiles.

Another version of Fast and Furious is going on right now on the border with the surge in illegal kids. It was all set up by Obama to give him a reason to do amnesty by himself.

This “President” should spend the rest of his life in prison.

Meople on July 14, 2014 at 1:54 PM

That stupid Sarah Palin should stepped in it when she talked about Death Panels in government decided healthcare.

What a dunce!

HumpBot Salvation on July 14, 2014 at 1:57 PM

We may as well get ready for a repeat of the targeting of Conservatives at the IRS as well.

They will use the same exact tactics with ObamaGlitch and our healthcare. Count on it. That’s how these people operate.

Meople on July 14, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Remember that the VA is totally government run health care.

This is the sort of healthcare system the Leftists WANT. Lots of opportunity for graft, cronyism and corruption.

Providing health care? Not so much.

ajacksonian on July 14, 2014 at 2:05 PM

I don’t care about the VA” — obama

Schadenfreude on July 14, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Every “executive” in the VA should be fired….as of last month!

GarandFan on July 14, 2014 at 2:19 PM

“Nothing”

Schadenfreude on July 14, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Do the majority of veterans vote Republican? This is the only explanation as to why this is happening. I realize that the VA hasn’t been perfect for a while but this is ridiculous, giving bonuses to kill our heroes? Obama is weaponizing all the bureaucracies.

Cindy Munford on July 14, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Drip, drip, drip…just like I said when the first reports of VA problems came up.

I came from single payer Canada…same crap..endless waits…run by a bureaucracy

Have to pay out of your pocket to go to USA to get anything done promptly.

I bet no one gets fired. They will be given time off with pay and sent to VA rehab where they will be taught how to hide crap without being found out.

txdoc on July 14, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Do the majority of veterans vote Republican? This is the only explanation as to why this is happening. I realize that the VA hasn’t been perfect for a while but this is ridiculous, giving bonuses to kill our heroes? Obama is weaponizing all the bureaucracies.

Cindy Munford on July 14, 2014 at 2:27 PM

It matters not the political affiliation of vets. All active military members and vets alike are loathed by the Left and treated accordingly. The active members are simply pawns to be used and abused as needed for our Imperial pResidents purposes.

hawkeye54 on July 14, 2014 at 2:33 PM

More proof that Eric Shinseki is a G-damned liar when he claimed to have had no knowledge of any wrongdoing within the VA.

Happy Nomad on July 14, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Do the majority of veterans vote Republican? This is the only explanation as to why this is happening. I realize that the VA hasn’t been perfect for a while but this is ridiculous, giving bonuses to kill our heroes? Obama is weaponizing all the bureaucracies.

Cindy Munford on July 14, 2014 at 2:27 PM

I wondered this for a long time. They did it with the IRS, I wouldn’t put this past them at the VA either. It’s the SAME PEOPLE. Same ideology, same “ends justify any means” type of thinking.

We can expect the same kind of “lists” and preferential treatment, all throughout ObamaCare as well. Same kind of people running it.

I’m telling you, the federal government has these same people spread out all through it, from top to bottom. The whole thing will have to be gutted, fumigated, and burned to the ground if we’re ever going to hope to get rid of the stench.

Meople on July 14, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Not a smidgen of corruption or fraud…(sarc)

crosshugger on July 14, 2014 at 2:35 PM

“Why do veterans have to beg for treatment?”

I think Chris Stevens and those killed at Bengazi know why.

socalcon on July 14, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Those rogue employees in Phoenix certainly had reach, didn’t they?

Happy Nomad on July 14, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Not a smidgen of corruption or fraud…(sarc)

crosshugger on July 14, 2014 at 2:35 PM

That is the IRS scandal. This is one of the “madder than hell” ones.

Happy Nomad on July 14, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Those rogue employees in Phoenix certainly had reach, didn’t they?

Happy Nomad on July 14, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Yeah, just like the “rogue” agents in the Cincinnati IRS office right?

Riiiiight.

Meople on July 14, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Black residents of Chicago slam Obama over preferential treatment for illegals

Will go down as worst president‘…

PAPER: Dems’ immigration push aliening white working class… ‘BORDER CONTROL’ AGENT: DISEASES COMING IN WE HAVEN’T SEEN IN DECADES…

27,000 illegals found in non-border county…

FLASHBACK: AZ Rancher Warned: ‘They’re Coming to Your Town’…

Migrants cross through designated ‘environmental areas’ to avoid capture…

– Drudge

Cantorize them all
In the fall

Schadenfreude on July 14, 2014 at 2:38 PM

OT: Report: SMALL LIFELESS, DEAD CHILDREN Found “Washed Up Along Riverbank” of Rio Grande

OmahaConservative on July 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Were they wearing Obama shoes?

Just sayin’

Electrongod on July 14, 2014 at 2:43 PM

“Why do veterans have to beg for treatment?”

Because they’re not a “protected class” like illegal aliens.

Mike Honcho on July 14, 2014 at 2:44 PM

I foresee a wave of VA transfer/promotions, just over the horizon.

“Keep yer’ mouth shut, play along, and everything’s gonna be just Jake, see?”

orangemtl on July 14, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Meople on July 14, 2014 at 2:35 PM

I guess we will have to see what they do if they don’t have a leader when The Won is gone. This is just crazy. I guess along with the chance that veterans might vote Republican, there is still the military industrial complex the Left must destroy.

Cindy Munford on July 14, 2014 at 2:47 PM

I foresee a wave of VA transfer/promotions, just over the horizon.

“Keep yer’ mouth shut, play along, and everything’s gonna be just Jake, see?”

orangemtl on July 14, 2014 at 2:45 PM

They get transfers to handle ACA. With their experience and judgement in handling VA duties the transition should be very smooth.

hawkeye54 on July 14, 2014 at 2:50 PM

I guess we will have to see what they do if they don’t have a leader when The Won is gone. This is just crazy. I guess along with the chance that veterans might vote Republican, there is still the military industrial complex the Left must destroy.

Cindy Munford on July 14, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Yep, they’re working to destroy that from within:

Bergdahl Headed Back to Active Duty

Meople on July 14, 2014 at 2:50 PM

obama will go on a 15 days summertime splash at Martha’s Vineyard, in August. Work harder, fools.

“Let them die” — Commander in Chief

Schadenfreude on July 14, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Pretty much his answer to several current issues. I’m lucky when I get a long weekend. What the heck is a vacation?

dogsoldier on July 14, 2014 at 2:52 PM

“Why do veterans have to beg for treatment?”

Because they’re not a “protected class” like illegal aliens.

Mike Honcho on July 14, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Vets are no longer useful to this admin and a drag on resources, so they’d better learn to just take some aspirin and get on with dying already.

/SNARK

hawkeye54 on July 14, 2014 at 2:54 PM

They get transfers to handle ACA. With their experience and judgement in handling VA duties the transition should be very smooth.

hawkeye54 on July 14, 2014 at 2:50 PM

I posted a link to an article where VA admins were ordered to process ZeroCare™ paperwork, and not perform their duties to handle like veterans.

We need to clean house at the VA. All the excrement must be scrubbed OUT.

dogsoldier on July 14, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Marcus Traianus on July 14, 2014 at 1:38 PM

No matter what, say you’re 17 or under.

Schadenfreude on July 14, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Seeing stories about people with gray hair showing up to sign up for school as junior/high school students with no background info, no health checks, etc. One helpful guy did, however, provide a copy of his arrest warrant when asked for identification.

This is going to go well – gray-haired illegals in school with junior high kids. What could go wrong?

Midas on July 14, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Drip, drip, drip…just like I said when the first reports of VA problems came up.

I came from single payer Canada…same crap..endless waits…run by a bureaucracy

Have to pay out of your pocket to go to USA to get anything done promptly.

I bet no one gets fired. They will be given time off with pay and sent to VA rehab where they will be taught how to hide crap without being found out.

txdoc on July 14, 2014 at 2:32 PM

I hear this all the time, and from real-life friends as well. And I still have two friends who live in Canada who swear up and down this isn’t true, lol. *scratches head*

Midas on July 14, 2014 at 3:06 PM

OT: Report: SMALL LIFELESS, DEAD CHILDREN Found “Washed Up Along Riverbank” of Rio Grande

OmahaConservative on July 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Setting up, and maintaining the lawless invasion of the Southern border that creates tragedies like this is the ultimately cynical evolution of Cloward-Piven. Children, dead or alive, are used for moral leverage. For us to “live up to our rules” we are expected to welcome the entire world into our country and provide it with food, shelter, childcare, healthcare and employment, since the left is exempted from any morality, rules or guilt.

bofh on July 14, 2014 at 3:07 PM

“Why do veterans have to beg for treatment?”

Shut up, serf.

PackerBronco on July 14, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Clinton /shrill … “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
Sibelius… “People die.”

RedManBlueState on July 14, 2014 at 3:30 PM

We need to clean house at the VA. All the excrement must be scrubbed OUT.

dogsoldier on July 14, 2014 at 2:55 PM

To be most effective, the scrubbing needs to be from the top down…..the VERY top.

hawkeye54 on July 14, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Clinton /shrill … “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
Sibelius… “People die.”

RedManBlueState on July 14, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Well, of course “People die”. That is the end game for the VA…..and for ZeroCare as well. Dead people means one can use resources for more important people and purposes not directly related to care.

hawkeye54 on July 14, 2014 at 3:37 PM

OT: Report: SMALL LIFELESS, DEAD CHILDREN Found “Washed Up Along Riverbank” of Rio Grande

OmahaConservative on July 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM

They died during the Bush administration and have only been found now because Barry just cares so much.

slickwillie2001 on July 14, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Do the majority of veterans vote Republican? This is the only explanation as to why this is happening. I realize that the VA hasn’t been perfect for a while but this is ridiculous, giving bonuses to kill our heroes? Obama is weaponizing all the bureaucracies.

Cindy Munford on July 14, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Yes, by a small margin of 5-10%. Are Democratics that ruthless in their corruption? Yes.

These same margins apply to military votes, and Democratics do all they can to trash votes from the military in every election.

slickwillie2001 on July 14, 2014 at 3:41 PM

As a vet, I have never and will never use the VA medical services for anything.

Bitter Clinger on July 14, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Whether you want to or not.

runawayyyy on July 14, 2014 at 3:51 PM

“War on Vets”

Sven on July 14, 2014 at 3:52 PM

They’re just following the lead of the IRS.

formwiz on July 14, 2014 at 4:31 PM

This is not a problem that is unique to the VA.

The same thing is happening in every government agency. It doesn’t matter if it is the VA, HUD, DHS, HHS, DOD, EPA or any of the other alphabet agencies. They are all managed by bureaucrats for bureaucrats.

If it appears that they are well managed it is because no one has taken a good hard look.

Remember that the VA was held up as an example of how effective the government can be, right up until the scandal broke.

The qualifications for receiving benefits has expanded to such a degree that I doubt that there exists enough funds to pay or bureaucrats to process the applications. In the VA or any other agency.

schmuck281 on July 14, 2014 at 11:00 PM

We don’t have time or money for the veterans, we have to use that $4 billion to help “THE CHILDREN”.

Nomas on July 15, 2014 at 8:55 AM