An investigation by Watchdog.org has shown scandalous misuse of government money at the Overton Brooks facility in Shreveport, Louisiana: on the one hand, unseemly extravagance – millions of dollars spent on solar panels, flat-screen TVs, and furniture; on the other hand, patients – veterans who served our Republic – neglected by nurses and aides, and short of clean sheets, toothbrushes, and pajamas.
“It shouldn’t be like this. These are our veterans,” one employee said. “When I saw those solar panels out there and they waste money on things like new TVs that just play (public service) announcements, it really made me angry.”
According to the VA, the department spent $74,412 on 24 flat screen TVs for “patient/employee information” — one 50 inches wide and the others 42 inches. The furniture cost $134,082 and the solar project was approximately $3 million.
While the Obama administration and left-leaning majority media continue to sing every verse of the “All Is Well” chorus, a growing pool of federal investigations and scandals nationwide threaten to engulf the VA.
Watchdog.org’s original reporting has long been a thorn in the side of Democrats who prefer their graft and thievery not to appear in headlines. In 2013 they exposed shady visa-for-money dealings by former Democrat Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe. GreenTech, McAuliffe’s shell company, filed an $85 million lawsuit to silence Watchdog — which a judge unceremoniously threw out.
Their reporters spoke not only to patients (veterans, do not forget) but to employees and former employees dismayed by employee behavior – some of whom sometimes paid for patient supplies out of their own pocket.
The VA said in a statement that laundry is inspected before it is delivered. To this, the employee laughed in amazement.
“I can’t tell you how many times a blanket will be opened and there will still be the electrode pads stuck to it from the last patient,” he said. “And the pajamas still have tape on them from the last person’s IV.”
Some other employees? Not quite as dedicated to the care of patients:
“Nurse assistants were allowed to sit around and disappear and talk on the phone or listen to headphones,” she said. “Supervisors never supervised and didn’t know what was going on on the floor and didn’t want to hear about it. If I wanted something done, I had to do it myself.
“I didn’t want to lose my license I’ve had all these years,” Scott said. “If you can’t trust people you work with, you are in a bad situation.”
She recalled some nurses sitting at a computer doing personal business for an entire eight-hour shift while aides refused to bathe patients.
Scott said aides complained that patients often waited hours to be bathed. She said one aide complained that it was useless to keep patients clean early in a shift. The aide told her, “If I have to do it now, I will just have to do it again before the end of my shift.”
Administrative and employee behavior such as that reported in Shreveport show that the problem with the VA is not a shortage of taxpayer dollars; it’s a Culture of Corruption. Or I could have just said it’s a federal bureaucracy.
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