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Senate Democrats block VA accountability bill

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  • Senate Democrats block VA accountability bill

    Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked a bill designed to give Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki more leeway to fire senior department executives he believes are responsible for long wait times and care problems at VA medical facilities.



    Bernie Sanders wanted more debate on a 2 1/2 page bill.

    “I am very glad that my Republican colleagues are now beginning to focus on veterans’ issues, and we need to step up to the plate to help not only our veterans but their families,” Sanders said, objecting to the VA Management Accountability Act. “We are going to hold a hearing on that legislation and other legislation in early June.”
    So it's not about doing the right thing, it's about making sure that the Democrats get to claim victory for passing legislation fixing the problem they've ignored.



    Yay big government
    "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."
    -John Locke

    "It's all been melded together into one giant, authoritarian, leftist scream."
    -Newman

  • #2
    The VA was bad as far back as the first Bush Administration (in my experience), but this is the first time I've seen actual bonuses paid for fraud.

    Did I mention that nothing was done when this fraud was discovered in 2010 and formally reported in 2012?

    This is government healthcare, folks.
    Last edited by scott; Thursday, May 22, 2014, 9:50 PM.
    "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."
    -John Locke

    "It's all been melded together into one giant, authoritarian, leftist scream."
    -Newman

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by scott View Post
      The VA was bad as far back as the first Bush Administration (in my experience), but this is the first time I've seen actual bonuses paid for fraud.

      Did I mention that nothing was done when this fraud was discovered in 2010 and formally reported in 2012?

      This is government healthcare, folks.
      My understanding is that, on the whole, the VA has never really been all that great, W/R/T hospitals and health care in general. Individual VA hospitals have done well over time (most people praise our VA here in Nashville, for example), but the system as a whole has apparently always pretty much sucked.
      It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
      In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
      Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
      Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Adam View Post
        My understanding is that, on the whole, the VA has never really been all that great, W/R/T hospitals and health care in general. Individual VA hospitals have done well over time (most people praise our VA here in Nashville, for example), but the system as a whole has apparently always pretty much sucked.
        That's my understanding as well, but things changed with the Walter Reed Hospital scandal and the government types were refocused somewhat.

        But this is something different. The VA used to be where new doctors earned their credentials, where foreign doctors earned their visas, and where researchers with basic (for Physicians, still a high bar) skills got pensions. The scandal is about the easily gamed incentive program that was started in 2009, experienced NO oversight, and even when the GAO reported on actual fraud nothing happened.

        Here's Bok's response to his fellow Airborne soldiers:

        Congressional Republicans are ignoring the need for bipartisanship, and trying to blame President Obama for the VA scandal that they helped to create.





        Big government problems are not solved by a commitment to an even bigger government.
        "Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind : which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason, and so cannot be opposite to it."
        -John Locke

        "It's all been melded together into one giant, authoritarian, leftist scream."
        -Newman

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Adam View Post
          My understanding is that, on the whole, the VA has never really been all that great, W/R/T hospitals and health care in general. Individual VA hospitals have done well over time (most people praise our VA here in Nashville, for example), but the system as a whole has apparently always pretty much sucked.
          Exactly. Even 30 years ago the VA was the last choice for health care for many families. I experienced it with my grandfather. The Bush Administration did not address any of the concerns and I really don't think any President has.

          The former chairwoman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee said last week the Department of Veterans Affairs failed to implement legislation she wrote two years ago to counter problems of gaming the appointments system.

          Sen. Patty Murray's policy changes followed a 2012 hearing in which VA health administrators outlined methods that VA middle managers had created ways to hide long wait times for sick or injured veterans to see doctors.

          Nicholas Tolentino, a former mental health administrator at the Manchester VA Medical Center in New Hampshire, told the Senate panel in May 2012 that VA hospital officials across the country shared workarounds for meeting VA appointment goals.

          The overriding objective, "from top management on down, was to meet our numbers," Tolentino told the committee
          .

          Sen. Patty Murray says the VA failed to implement legislation she wrote to counter problems with the appointments system.,The former chairwoman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee said last week the Department of Veterans Affairs failed to implement legislation she wrote two years ago to counter problems of gaming the appointments system.


          I guess Obama did not know there were issues even though he had signed legislation to correct it.

          Fox News has done a great job laying out the timeline clear back to the Bush years. It was aired Thursday night but I do not see a link yet.

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