Patterico's Pontifications


The VA: Two Years Too Late

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:20 am

[guest post by Dana]

Last week, retiring Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) released a detailed 119-page report about the systemic problems at the VA. In summation:

“Over the past decade, more than 1,000 veterans may have died as a result of VA malfeasance, and the VA has paid out nearly $1 billion to veterans and their families for its medical malpractice.”

Because of unfathomable greed and corruption by government workers who chose to falsify records in order to earn greater performance bonuses for themselves, American veterans died.

The fallout from the VA scandal continues as we hear of more tragic stories due to malfeasance within the agency.

One of those who died while waiting for the VA to schedule an appointment was Doug Chase, a Vietnam veteran. Horribly, three years ago it was discovered that he had a brain tumor. Last month his wife finally received a letter from the VA to schedule an appointment to see Doug – except that he died in 2012.

The Veterans Affairs Department is apologizing to a Massachusetts woman for offering an appointment to her husband almost two years after he died. …

In 2012, she tried to move his medical care to the VA hospital in Bedford. They waited four months and never heard anything. He died in August 2012.

Suzanne Chase says two weeks ago she got a letter addressed to her husband, saying he could call to make an appointment.

She says the VA had to know her husband was dead because she applied for funeral benefits and was denied.

The department said in a statement: “We regret any distress our actions caused to the veteran’s widow and family.”

With that, yesterday the president tapped former Procter and Gamble CEO *Robert McDonald to take over the troubled agency.

What especially makes Bob the right choice to lead the VA right now is his three decades of experience building and managing one of the world’s most recognizable companies,” Obama said at VA headquarters. “In short, he’s about delivering better results.”

Hopefully, the president’s confidence in McDonald has a higher rate of return than with his predecessor.

*The Washington Post makes a point to inform readers:

McDonald, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, was not likely chosen because of any past support for the president. He donated to Republican Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign to unseat Obama and has funded numerous other Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner.


12 Responses to “The VA: Two Years Too Late”

  1. From the WaPo article:

    In tapping a businessman rather than a decorated general or health care leader, Obama is pulling from a playbook he’s used before when faced with a major crisis requiring a near-total agency reboot. When crashed and burned last year, Obama tasked management consultant Jeffrey Zients with leading the rescue effort, then nominated his budget director, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, to take over after then-Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius resigned.

    Naturally, neither the Obama Administration nor the Washington Post itself cares to comment on the idea that when things are in disaster mode even liberals recognize that putting them in the hands of a “seasoned Washington insider” (i.e., bureaucratic or political hack) is simply out of the question.

    JVW (feb406)

  2. As usual, if you want something done, hire a Republican.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  3. New York Times article Saturday:

    That report was attributed to Rob Nabors, Mr. Obama’s deputy chief of staff. He and Sloan D. Gibson, the acting secretary of the department, met with Obama for more than an hour on Friday.

    The Veterans Affairs scandal has its roots in a mathematical mismatch: At a time when demand for visits to doctors and nurse practitioners was growing, the Veterans Affairs health care system tightened its own standards on how fast patients should be able to see doctors to, in many cases, within 14 days.

    That wasn’t a miscalculation. That was doubling down on a cpver-up.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  4. Coburn issued his report on Tuesday, last week.

    This is his summary:

    He also crioticizes the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, saying it was AWOL.

    I tried to click Click for the entire report but got nothing, even in Firefox.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  5. No one would believe this level of utter incompetency if it was scripted in a movie.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  6. The Washington Post makes a point to inform readers:


    all i can tell you is so far there hasn’t been a single pulitzer prize awarded for coverage of this veterans administration whatever thing

    remember at Walter Reed, Dana Priest saw mouse poopies and National Soros Radio went out of their freaking mind

    so far this veterans administration whatever thing isn’t really having anywhere near the same effect

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  7. Something to remember:
    Tom Coburn is retiring (again) this year two years before the expiration of his current term.
    He retired from the House in 2000 after serving 6-terms, then ran for the Senate in 2004, re-elected in 2010.
    He has no need to obfuscate the facts to appease anyone anymore.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  8. feets,

    “Walter Reed” was under a Republican Administration.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  9. Just like the Customs department people who granted the visas of the 9/11 killers…six months after they killed themselves and 3,000 others.

    And we think these people can run our health care? Or check the backgrounds of 12 million illegals? Insanity.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  10. So Proctor and Gamble was built by private industry?

    Oh, Empty Chair.

    It’s beginning to look like it’s more dangerous to attempt to use the VA than it is to serve a tour in the sandboxes.

    htom (412a17)

  11. Considering that money (and lazy government employees including union members) has held back the service let’s make it a financial decision to treat patients promptly and well. Make it cost the VA more to wait too long for an appointment than they save holding off on the appointment. And if the appointment cannot feasibly be suitably prompt make it incumbent upon the VA to provide transportation and suitable care during transport for getting the patient to and from a facility that can treat them appropriately. As many as three family members should be entitled to travel with the patient to the destination city and enjoy suitable living facilities while there.


    JDow (c4e4c5)

  12. Patricia (5fc097) — 7/1/2014 @ 12:01 pm

    Or check the backgrounds of 12 million illegals?

    Obama doesn’t seem to believe that he can check the background of Iraqis who aided the United States (often as interpreters) who are vouched for by former U.S. soldiers.

    Congress passed special legislation to let them immigrate to the United States. It didn’t help when Congress passed a second law. (renewing the program) It’s still slow.

    And when Obama evacuated some of the U.S. personnel from the embassy in Baghdad, the people he took out were those processing these special immigration or other visas.

    (the State De[artment noted that if they can get to Erbil or Basra or someplace else there’s an embassy or consulate the process can continue.)

    I read some article which said there were about 80 or so on some list somebody had – most are ow out of Iraq – one place is Turkey – bit in limbo. A few are still there and a few were killed., but I can’t find the article.

    I think this is the article:

    Of the 90 Iraqis with whom I worked during my time in Baghdad and Falluja, 85 had been chased from Iraq and three had been assassinated by the time the assault began. When I last heard from one of the remaining two, he was holed up in his apartment with his wife, his 5-year-old daughter and a Colt pistol — not much protection against ISIS if the militants find them. The other, named Jalal, fled to Turkey last week with his wife and three daughters. He was lucky, in a way, since all flights out of Baghdad are now booked solid until July 15. But his voice carried only defeat when we spoke by phone. His life, he said, is already ruined.

    “I’ve lost all the hope in everything,” he told me. “I left everything back there — my car, my house, everything. We have to run away for how long? One year? Two years? For how long? I’m 37. I have been in this drama for 10 years. I’m fed up with everything. I need to raise my daughters. I need to secure their lives, secure their future.”

    Sammy Finkelman (95e288)

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2872 secs.