Veterans dying because of treatment delays at VA hospitals, document says | MassCops

Veterans dying because of treatment delays at VA hospitals, document says

Discussion in 'Military News' started by kwflatbed, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Veterans dying because of treatment delays at VA hospitals, document says

    Published February 02, 2014
    The Department of Veterans Affairs has linked the recent deaths of at least 19 vets diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and 2011 to appointment backlogs and delays at VA hospitals and clinics and resulting hindrances in care, according to an internal document.
    Specifically, those 19 deceased veterans are reportedly part of a larger group of 82 vets who have either died, are now dying or have sustained serious health consequences from the VA’s failure to conduct medical screenings like colonoscopies and endoscopies in a timely, or prompt, fashion.
    CNN reported as much after obtaining an internal U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs document revealing the appointment backlogs – and potentially lethal repercussions - is national in scope.
    "The fact that we've had veterans who have died in the very facilities that are supposed to be taking care of them, and not by natural means, by means that could have been prevented is egregious," Rep. Jeff Miller, the chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, told CNN. "And it's not acceptable."
    The Florida Republican reportedly added the VA has not only thus-far failed to the name those responsible for the deaths and injuries, but also refused to internally discipline or fire anyone regarding the problem.
    "I don't want to hear the excuse anymore that 'It was multi-faceted. ...There were many people involved' " Miller told the news agency. “If there were many people involved then they all need to go.
    “We are not asking for one particular person, we want to know exactly why things happened and who was held responsible. At this point publicly, we haven't seen anybody held responsible."
  2. Mr Scribbles

    Mr Scribbles Mr

    Simple solution-have the Vets claim they're illegals and the services will be delivered on a silver platter so fast it'll make heads spin. What a disgrace this country has become where men and women who've put their life and limb on the line for the rest of us are relegated to the scrap heap in favor of foreign criminals. Not ONE PENNY should be handed over to anyone here illegally while one of our bravest wants.
    Tuna, HistoryHound and Goose like this.
  3. Harley387

    Harley387 MassCops Member

    My father recently passed away from service connected cancer. He waited months between treatments and doctor visits at the VA hospital. It really is that bad.
  4. LGriffin

    LGriffin Always Watching

    VA scandal exposes greedy socialism: Column

    Phony lists and dead patients wouldn't fly in a free-market health care system.

    So Secretary Eric Shinseki is now ex-secretary Shinseki, and cleaning up the Department of Veterans Affairs' health care mess will now be someone else's job. But there's a good chance that no matter who is in charge, the cleanup will be, basically, impossible. That's because the VA is government health care.
    Not all that long ago, some people were boosting the VA's government-run nature as a plus. Writing in the Washington Post during the debate over Obamacare, Ezra Klein suggested that we should expand VA coverage to non-veterans, because the government just does health care better than the private sector: "Medicare is single-payer, but VA is actually socialized medicine, where the government owns the hospitals and employs the doctors. ... If you ordered America's different health systems (from) worst-functioning to best, it would look like this: individual insurance market, employer-based insurance market, Medicare, Veterans Health Administration."
    A couple of years later, in 2011, Klein hailed the VA health system as an example of "when socialism works in America": "The thing about the Veteran's (Affairs') health-care system? It's socialized. Not single-payer. Not heavily centralized. Socialized. As in, it employs the doctors and nurses. Owns the hospitals. . . . If I could choose my health-care reform, I don't think I'd go as far towards government control as the VA does. But the program is one of the most remarkable success stories in American public policy, and it needs to be grappled with."
    Now that the VA has erupted in scandals involving phony wait lists, and people dying because of treatment delays, an audit reveals a "systemic lack of integrity" in the system. According to the auditors, "Information indicates that in some cases, pressures were placed on schedulers to utilize inappropriate practices in order to make waiting times appear more favorable."
    In other words, they cooked the books. And what's more, they did it to ensure bigger "performance bonuses." The performance may have been fake, but the bonuses were real. (One whistle-blower compared the operation to a "crime syndicate.")
    And that captures an important point. People sometimes think that government or "nonprofit" operations will be run more honestly than for-profit businesses because the businesses operate on the basis of "greed." But, in fact, greed is a human characteristic that is present in any organization made up of humans. It's all about incentives.
    And, ironically, a for-profit medical system might actually offer employees less room for greed than a government system. That's because VA patients were stuck with the VA. If wait times were long, they just had to wait, or do without care. In a free-market system, a provider whose wait times were too long would lose business, and even if the employees faked up the wait-time numbers, that loss of business would show up on the bottom line. That would lead top managers to act, or lose their jobs.
    In the VA system, however, the losses didn't show up on the bottom line because, well, there isn't one. Instead, the losses were diffused among the many patients who went without care -- visible to them, but not to the people who ran the agency, who relied on the cooked-books numbers from their bonus-seeking underlings.
    And, contrary to what Klein suggests, that's the problem with socialism. The absence of a bottom line doesn't reduce greed and self-dealing — it removes a constraint on greed and self-dealing. And when that happens, ordinary people pay the price. Keep that in mind, when people suggest that free-market systems are somehow morally inferior to socialism.
    Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor, is the author of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself.

  5. LGriffin

    LGriffin Always Watching

    Montel Williams derides Obama Administration’s use of DOD facilities for illegal immigrants

    Over the last several weeks, Glenn has spoken to “strange bedfellow” Montel Williams about a cause they can both come together on: The treatment of our veterans. Williams is a 22-year veteran who has spoken candidly about the atrocity that is the VA scandal. On radio this morning, Williams joined TheBlaze’s Mike Opelka to discuss the work he is doing to keep this scandal in the news.
    In light of reports that many of the illegal immigrants who have crossed the border in recent months are being cared for and housed at Department of Defense facilities across the American south, Williams is outraged that this care is coming at the expense of our veterans.
    “This is horrendous. We can’t really put a finger on the scandal to try to make people understand the scope, but… we’re contemplating, last week, allowing 50,000 children that were thrown at us in a terrorist way,” Williams explained. “Let’s explain: [This] wasn’t just refugees coming across the border. Countries have deliberately done this to impact our economy, to impact our society. That’s terrorism. But we are going to open up the doors to our active duty facilities to take care of these children.”
    “Now I’m a compassionate guy. We don’t need to be throwing people under the bus, throwing children away,” he continued. “But I’m going to tell you: How dare you. When we have 50,000 soldiers waiting to just see a doctor once, you will run a child in another country in front of him?”
    Williams sought to remind Americans that we are still actively fighting a war in Afghanistan and three soldiers were lost this week alone. He has created a petition on titled #VASurge, and he needs to reach 100,000 signatures by July 12 to force a response from the White House. The petition outlines three seemingly common sense suggestions that would get the ball rolling towards fixing this problem:
    • Declare a public health emergency pursuant to PL 109-364​
    • Order Secretaries of VA, Defense, HHS to present a plan within 10 days to Surge and clear the backlog within 90 days. USE THE SURGE TO DEFINE A BASELINE of what it takes to meet our 14 day commitment.​
    • Order all active duty hospitals, clinics, other Federal facilities open to Veterans.​
    Sign the petition HERE.
    “Montel created a petition on the White House website. We need 100,000 signatures on this… All it is asking is for the president to order a surge for the VA, as Montel outlined and to consider Ken Fisher of Fisher House as VA secretary,” Mike concluded. “I will keep pushing this until we get there. We only have two weeks to get this done, folks… Do a favor for a veteran. Do a favor for all veterans. Sign the petition.”

Share This Page

Search tags for this page