I’m not sure it’s possible that a scandal where the government allows our heroes to die without ever receiving care, then covers up those deaths as if they never happened… can get any worse. But if it can, it just did.
The New York Times is reporting that corruption, backlog and heartlessness at the VA go back much longer than the government first let on.
Staff members at dozens of Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country have objected for years to falsified patient appointment schedules and other improper practices, only to be rebuffed, disciplined or even fired after speaking up, according to interviews with current and former staff members and internal documents.
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The growing V.A. scandal over long patient wait times and fake scheduling books is emboldening hundreds of employees to go to federal watchdogs, unions, lawmakers and outside whistle-blower groups to report continuing problems, officials for those various groups said.
In interviews with The New York Times, a half-dozen current and former staff members — four doctors, a nurse and an office manager in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Alaska — said they faced retaliation for reporting systemic problems. Their accounts, some corroborated by internal documents, portray a culture of silence and intimidation within the department and echo experiences detailed by other V.A. personnel in court filings, government investigations and congressional testimony, much of it largely unnoticed until now.
The department has a history of retaliating against whistle-blowers, which Sloan D. Gibson, the acting V.A. secretary, acknowledged this month at a news conference in San Antonio. “I understand that we’ve got a cultural issue there, and we’re going to deal with that cultural issue,” said Mr. Gibson, who replaced Eric K. Shinseki after Mr. Shinseki resigned over the scandal last month. Punishing whistle-blowers is “absolutely unacceptable,” Mr. Gibson said.
The federal Office of Special Counsel, which investigates whistle-blower complaints, is examining 37 claims of retaliation by V.A. employees in 19 states, and recently persuaded the V.A. to drop the disciplining of three staff members who had spoken out.
The Times article also says that thus far, the pogrom against whistleblowers goes back at least 7 years!
This is simply more proof of how the government works. Whether it’s the IRS, the NSA, the Justice Department, the EPA, the BLM, or the VA, government agencies are heavy-handed and often without oversight. The government is just too BIG. There is no way to monitor all of the horrible mismanagement and malfeasance that happens among these agencies – which is a prime example of why socialism/communism is always full of corruption and waste. It is inefficient, and when dealing with people, simple and unmeant inefficiency very quickly becomes destructive evil.
So, the VA has known about these problems for years and done nothing to solve them. In fact, instead of dealing with the issues, they’ve instead persecuted the people trying to fix things, and just swept the mess under the rug.
Sounds just like our government.
The folks at Reason have put together a brilliant music video that succinctly explains the entire VA scandal and throws in a little Bowe Bergdahl just for fun.
When we heard the wait times on our list
were so long that patients died
We said “This is government-run healthcare”
“So we’re gonna do what’s right”
We’re gonna grab a piece of paper
and we’ll make a second list
We’ll just say that wait times aren’t that long
and that no deadlines were missed
and when people die we’ll cross them off
and pretend they don’t exist
cuz there ain’t no doubt we can’t be fired
God bless the government
Our government sucks. Let’s get to work on getting a new one.
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