Stupid is as Stupid Does-VA Hospitals

October/31/2015 7:24AM
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Let’s take an issue that gets us all very emotional. Medical care for veterans. Remember the heat when the whistle blowers started telling the country about the Phoenix VA hospital? Right in the back yard of the senator who has never seen a potential war he doesn’t like. The poster boy for not making hero’s senators. Right, Mr. Trump. Of course, the president had no clue. When he was forced to do something, he put one Bob McDonald in change of fixing this problem.  A former veteran himself and the ex-CEO of Proctor and Gamble, a billion dollar consumer products corporation. Old Bob did a PR lap around the track and told us he would fix the problem in short order. Few of us bothered to look at his record at P&G. Maybe Obama should have like the few of us who did.  McDonald virtually destroyed P&G. They may never recover even after selling off 100 brands. Can you say Carly Fiorina? So, how’s it going? Put a man in the job who put a big hurt on a company founded in 1837, and expect him to fix a mess where the deck is stacked against him. Not good. The whistle blowers are in the penalty box where they will stay. It’s business as usual at the Phoenix VA where the honorable Senator McCain is fund raising for another campaign. Incidentals like polygrip, bibs, suphose, depends, and Viagra to be included. Do you really believe he’s worried about the fellow vets in his home state? No, Hillary, it’s not Republicans using the Phoenix VA hospital for gain. A recent report shows the problem is worse. At least 8,000 vets have waited over 90 days to get an appointment. Some die while waiting.



Multiple veterans died of cancer after receiving insufficient care at the Phoenix VA hospital, the same VA facility at the heart of the fake waitlist scandal. A report from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Office of Inspector General released Thursday outlined the delays experienced by nearly 50 percent of patients referred to the urology service in Phoenix because of “extreme staffing shortages.” Investigators reviewed 3,321 electronic health records between August 2014 and April 2015 and found that 1,484 patients—45 percent—experienced delayed care. Delays involved either not receiving a timely evaluation or not receiving a timely follow-up appointment at the Phoenix urology facility or through so-called “Non-VA Care Coordination.” The report singled out 10 individuals in particular who experienced “significant delays” in care that therefore placed them “at unnecessary risk for adverse outcomes.” Half of these patients died. The majority of these patients received care that delayed the diagnosis of or treatment for prostate cancer. In many cases, appointments were “cancelled by the clinic” for unclear reasons, therefore delaying care. Three of the patients died of prostate cancer, one of bladder cancer, and another of a condition producing blood in his urine. The inspector general also found the quality of non-urological care to be unacceptable in two of these cases that put the pair of patients at “unnecessary risk for harm.”

And so it goes for our veterans in Phoenix.  Bob McDonald says he can’t fire anyone in the VA system. Of course not, they are public union employees who have priority over sick veterans. Makes sense, right.? But, Congress decided to try to help old Bob out with this problem. They passed a bill called the VA Accountability Act of 2015. This would allow more expedient discipline for VA workers who aren’t doing their jobs. How’s that going?



President Obama threatened to veto the Veterans Affairs Accountability Act in a statement on Wednesday.

The President called the bill “counterproductive” and said it would create “a disparity in the treatment of one group of career civil servants.” President Obama’s statement also said the bill would “have a significant impact on VA’s ability to retain and recruit qualified professionals and may result in a loss of qualified and capable staff to other government agencies or the private sector.”

“These provisions remove important rights, protections, and incentives which are available to the vast majority of federal employees in other agencies across the government and are essential to ensure that federal employees are afforded due process,” the statement said.

The bill would expand the VA’s ability to fire incompetent or corrupt employees. It is a follow-up to the 2014 Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act, which extended that ability to top executives at the agency. The new bill would go beyond just executives to lower level employees.

James Freeman slammed the veto threat in the Wall Street Journal.

“Perhaps the next Miller bill should instruct the executive branch that potential employees put off by the idea that they might be fired for letting a patient die while they process his paperwork are not ‘top talent,’” he said.

Government unions oppose the bill, while Veterans of Foreign Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and Concerned Veterans for America support it, Government Executive reports

So, there you have it. Stupid is as stupid does. The VA system is a mess. Good men and women are dying. Obama drove right by this hospital when it was big news and had to double back months later to cover his ass. He appoints a man who failed at his last job. The man needs help with a law change. The president, already the most hated president in military history, will veto a bill providing the failing leader with help because he favors the unions over the veterans.


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