Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Veterans Administration, Health Care, Audits

“Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

Salisbury VA Director: "No major concerns" found in audit
May 20, 2014 - The director of the Salisbury VA Medical Center says "no major issues" have been uncovered in a partial audit of three of the four sites providing healthcare to veterans served by the center.

In a statement provided to WBTV Tuesday morning, Director Kaye Green said she and her staff are committed to the well being of veterans.

"Presently, VA is conducting a nationwide audit of access to care issues," Green said. "The purpose of this audit is to ensure a full understanding of VA's policy and continued integrity in managing patient access to care."

"As of today, the Salisbury VA Health Care System has undergone a partial audit with three of the four Salisbury sites being complete. While the audit team shared no specifics during their out-brief, no major concerns were voiced about scheduling practices." read more>>>

Good marks, bad marks in audit of Montana VA health system
21 May 2014 - The VA Montana healthcare system ranks near the top of the VA system in some key categories, according to a VA Inspector General report released Monday.

The 37-page document gave the Montana VA high marks for its low patient mortality, infection and readmission rates.

But the report placed Montana near the bottom of the system in employee satisfaction, wait times for service, and nurse turnover.

The Montana VA Director at Fort Harrison agreed with findings and recommendations in the report.

The study took place in March and is unrelated to a nationwide audit currently in motion across the system on wait times for medical care. read more>>>

Obama Addresses Alleged Misconduct at VA

"If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too" "not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

Obama: People 'Will Be Held Accountable' For Veterans Affairs Problems
21 May 2014 - Anybody found to have manipulated or falsified Veterans Affairs records "will be held accountable," President Obama said Wednesday. The president condemned the reported widespread problems at the VA, defending Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki.

Obama spoke after he and Shinseki met in the Oval Office Wednesday morning with White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors, who since last week has been detailed to work with the VA. Neither of those men attended the president's news conference.

Speaking about reports of long wait times — and efforts to cover up the delays — Obama said that if they're proven true, the behavior is "dishonorable" and "disgraceful."

"I will not stand for it," Obama said. "None of us should." read more>>>

President Obama's remarks on veterans health care

Republicans outraged over treatment of veterans filibustered better health care for vets in February

May 21, 2014 - Someday the Republicans and Fox News will be outraged enough about our treatment of veterans that they will agree to do something about it. Why, Reince Priebus is beside himself.

Don't bet on it, though; remember, it was less than three months ago that they again blocked the expansion of health care programs for those same veterans: read more>>>

Our Forgotten Wounded

May 21, 2014 - Nine years ago I originally posted this. With the focus on the VA "scandal" front and center, I thought it might be worth posting it again.

Our Forgotten Wounded

Sun Apr 17, 2005

When I turned on the tube last week, I flipped to CSPAN for some reason and low and behold there was Senator Larry Craig - (R - ID) followed by Kay Bailey Hutchison - (R - TX) speaking against the Murray amendment for a $1.9 billion emergency supplimental increase in the VA's budget. This was diaried that day by Ioo Screw the Vets, Let them Eat Cake. I contributed a shot of the cover of Life magazine from May 22, 1970 "Our Forgotten Wounded".. I had received a copy of that issue the week before while volunteering at the American Friends Service Committee traveling exhibit "Eyes Wide Open. Between now and then I have scanned the article and converted to a PDF file which I will be printing and taking to my High School counter recruitment presentations. The file is too big for download (54 megs) so I would like to share the results with you in a diary. The pictures are downsized (still kinda big) and I have included the text of the article and captioned the pictures as they were in the magazine.

The Article was written by Charles Child, photographed by Co Rentmeester.

Where are the journalists today?

Press Release from Disabled American Veterans (Shame on Republicans) - Apr 15, 2005 - "Less than half way through the current fiscal year, Veterans Affairs medical facilities across the country have already run out of money and face huge deficits, an emergency situation if there ever was one,"

--Disabled American Veterans National Commander James E. Sursely

The double tragedy of Eric Shinseki
May 21, 2014 - As you may recall, the Bush administration's reaction to Shinseki's February 25, 2003 testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee was immediate and vicious. Less than a month before the invasion to topple Saddam was to begin, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld blasted Shinseki's warnings that a massive American occupation force would be needed in "a piece of geography that's fairly significant" like Iraq with a history of "ethnic tensions that could lead to other problems." As CNN reported on February 27, 2003:
Rumsfeld said the post-war troop commitment would be less than the number of troops required to win the war. He also said "the idea that it would take several hundred thousand U.S. forces, I think, is far from the mark."
Paul Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld's number two man at the Pentagon, echoed that point. Wolfowitz, who just days after the invasion claimed "we're dealing with a country that could really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon," lambasted Shinseki at a hearing of the House Budget Committee: read more>>>

May 21, 2014 - Republican Medicaid refusal leaves over 250,000 veterans uninsured

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