We’ve written about this subject before, it’s personal. This particular post is really personal because it’s not only about the care our veterans are receiving from the VA, but it’s rolling out right here in our home town of Phoenix.
The director of the Phoenix VA hospital where at least 40 military veterans died from delays received more than $9,000 in bonus pay in 2013, public records show.
Last year, Sharon Helman, the director of the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System, got a $9,345 bonus, in addition to her annual base salary of $169,900. Overall, leadership at the hospital was paid more than $700,000 in taxpayer money, according to publicly available salary data.
This wasn’t some unfortunate oversight. It’s wasn’t a matter of misplaced records or some bureaucratic snafu. This was the plan. The senior management of the Phoenix VA consciously, and with malice aforethought laid out a plan and executed it. And they murdered 40 veterans in their care.
According to internal emails obtained by CNN, top management at the Phoenix hospital, including Helman, was aware of the practice and defended it.
They, of course, won’t be charged with anything, nor will they likely even lose their jobs. They’re government bureaucrats.
According to CNN, top management put together a secret list (so much for transparency) of patients who needed cancer diagnostics. Those patients were denied care, and the list was “secret” because the hospital management – Sharon Helman and her crack team – didn’t want to expose the long waits they were experiencing for relatively simple diagnostics.
The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.
“The scheme was deliberately put in place to avoid the VA’s own internal rules,” said [Dr. Sam] Foote in Phoenix. “They developed the secret waiting list,” said Foote, a respected local physician.
The VA hospitals are supposed to report patient waiting times to Washington. In this case, they were ordered to enter the veteran’s information into their system, make a hard copy print out and delete the information in the system. The hard copies were then held separately. No record of the appointments were ever reported.
“That hard copy, if you will, that has the patient demographic information is then taken and placed onto a secret electronic waiting list, and then the data that is on that paper is shredded,” Foote said.
“So the only record that you have ever been there requesting care was on that secret list,” he said. “And they wouldn’t take you off that secret list until you had an appointment time that was less than 14 days so it would give the appearance that they were improving greatly the waiting times, when in fact they were not.”
Get the idea why we call it murder?
This is your government at work, and needless to say the VA, from the top down, is in full defensive mode. Every time a senior VA official opens his or her mouth they start with a statement about how seriously they take care of our vets.
Let us say this: bullshit. But you decide for yourself.
We recommend you read the whole article. Yes, it’s CNN, but in this case they’ve actually done an excellent job of real journalism. The House committee on Veterans’ Affairs has requested records from Phoenix. We think they should have subpoenaed them and sent the US Federal Marshalls to enforce the subpoena because we’re pretty sure there’s a giant shredding party going on right now.
Government bureaucracies protect their own, they don’t give a damn about those they’re supposed to be serving. Please note that Sharon Hellman pocketed a $9,000+ bonus.
Oh, by the way, this is your future under ObamaCare.