Four years ago discoveries at the Phoenix VA Hospital should have blown up the Veterans Administration. They discovered that administrators were canceling follow-up appointments for veterans and keeping them on a paper list to slot them back and when they had time in order to give the appearance of reduced wait times. The appearance of reduced wait times meant tens of thousands of dollars in performance bonuses for people like the director of the VA hospital, Sharon Hellman.
It turns out the problem was nationwide. General Edward Shinseki, Barack Obama’s choice to be head of the VA was run out of town. Obama promised that the problem would be fixed. He also promised you $2,500 savings on your healthcare.
Frankly, you’re closer to saving $2,500 on your healthcare than the VA is to fixing anything.
Delayed appointments in Phoenix are at about the same level they were four years ago. All the promises from the White House for “reforms” at the VA have come to exactly nothing. U.S. Senator John McCain who has made lots of noise and about the conditions of the VA is right there with Barack. He hasn’t done anything either.
The Inspector General’s report for 2015 indicated that another 200 veterans died while waiting for appointments at the Phoenix VA Hospital. It seems as though the Inspector General is following FBI director Comey’s lead because he included a comment in the report that only one of those deaths could be directly linked to an appointment problem.
The Chief of Specialty Care Clinics in Phoenix told the Inspector General, “I personally handed [the hospital director]a list of 300 patients who were removed by primary care supervisors in order to meet national metrics. There are people who are supervisors in primary care still today who ran the secret wait lists. Not one of them has been punished.”
In the history of the scandal the Veterans Administration has fired exactly no one. Sharon Hellman, the director of the Phoenix VA four years ago, was fired for taking a bribe from a contractor. But there was absolutely no disciplinary action for burying hundreds of veterans. Today, Hellman is suing to get her old job back.
I called John McCain’s office yesterday and talked to one of his lackeys. She had the audacity to tell me that McCain had been very active in making sure that the Phoenix VA was fixed and all that had been accomplished. Tell that to 200 dead veterans.
Obama’s VA deputy secretary, Sloan Gibson, said, “Though we have made irrefutable progress, there is still much work to be done.”
Tell that to hundreds of dead veterans, Sloan.
Obama’s (and McCain’s) government at work.
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