While debate and discussion regarding the short comings of VA hospitals is entirely reasonable, I find it odd that the discussion was prompted by a conspiracy theory put forth by one doctor and a handful of "high level sources" (none of which are identified).
This is the same thing happening across the Nation in ALL pensions facing disaster.
Here in Illinois, the Teacher's Union and Pension fund which I am in is foolishly fighting in Cout a recent agreement to deal with the Pension,
similar to what other states have done and what Ryan tried to do.
When public pension payments are blowing a hole in the budget for education and other needed items, something has to give.
When Ryan came up with his plan last December, selfish Neo-Cons in his own party deep-sixed the plan.
Ryan and Cantor are coming after ALL Federal Pensions/Bennies.
The sooner they restructure the whole system, the better for today's current soldiers and public pensioneers .
Chemists Have Solutions .
I don't mean to give the impression that I think the VA (or by extension the .gov) is infallible in any respect.
I've had my issues with the VA, just not in relation to healthcare.
I can easily accept that others have.
If some part of the VA system is broken then I support fixing it 110%.
If VA officials, managers, or rank-and-file employees are failing our brothers then they need to be held accountable.
If that means firing, so be it.
If that means federal prison, so be it.
All I'm opposed to is this outrageous idea that, because the federal government is involved in something, it is of logical necessity bound to fail; or the obverse of that, which is that because the private sector is involved in something it is of logical necessity somehow more likely to succeed.
CLEARLY neither of those assertions is accurate.
This is the first I'm hearing about it but I'll take your word for it that this is an ongoing problem.Many of us have known about the Phoenix VA and have been complaining to Congressional representatives for years.
But it isn't, at its core, all that different a problem than what is experienced as a result of ineffective/inefficient/negligent leadership of civilian institutions.
Executives and managers everywhere are interested in saving $2 (by cutting whatever corners are necessary) in order that they'll see and additional $1 in their bonus.
Sometimes those corners are cut ethically, sometimes they're cut unethically.
These are HUMAN problems - not government vs. civilian problems.
Here's a quite from an article discussing this issue (I don't know if it's the article posted in the OP):
So in this case the government, Big Daddy VA, actually has policies in place to prevent just this sort of thing from happening.Dr. Sam Foote just retired after spending 24 years with the VA system in Phoenix. The veteran doctor told CNN in an exclusive interview that the Phoenix VA works off two lists for patient appointments:
There's an "official" list that's shared with officials in Washington and shows the VA has been providing timely appointments, which Foote calls a sham list. And then there's the real list that's hidden from outsiders, where wait times can last more than a year.
"The scheme was deliberately put in place to avoid the VA's own internal rules," said Foote in Phoenix.
The problem was/is that unethical managers way down the the VA pecking order deliberately circumvented the rules that the government has put in place in order to appear more effective and efficient than they actually are.
How often do we hear of such things happening in private industry?
General Motors is being sued, as we speak, for failing to recall 2.5 million vehicles despite the company's and executives' knowledge that the vehicles were built using defective ignitions switches (ie. ignition switches that did not meet government standards).
13 people are dead as a result of those switches and millions more have lost millions of dollars in aggregate resale value as a result.
But we don't hear our friends on the far right screeching that capitalism and private business ownership are to blame.
When it's a private business they'll place blame where it belongs: with the company or individual responsible for the problem.
But when it's the VA system that experiences a VERY similar type of problem the absolute VERY first thing they do is engage their mouths before their brains.
I'm sorry to hear that the VA system in your neck of the woods is sucking.
I hope you'll see whatever problems you're experiencing corrected very soon.
“Now it is not good for the Christian’s health to hustle the Aryan brown,
For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles and he weareth the Christian down;
And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear: “A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East.”
Originally Posted by ChomskyOriginally Posted by OrphanSlug
"When Faith preaches Hate, Blessed are the Doubters." - Amin Maalouf
This is the inevitable result of Washington demanding that wait times be shortened without providing the resources needed to do it.
Having to wait months for an appointment is SOP.
Last edited by LowDown; 04-24-14 at 01:44 PM.
“We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. – J Robert Oppenheimer.
The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources...
Internal e-mails obtained by CNN show that top management at the VA hospital in Arizona knew about the practice and even defended it.
In other words, this is not an unavoidable situation that confronted hapless managers.
1. Designing a system to mislead the federal government isn't a necessity. It's a matter of choice. Nothing compelled the managers at the Phoenix facility to provide misleading information to the federal government.
2. All managers have a fiduciary responsibility to make a good faith effort to provide accurate information. Unintentional errors are one thing. Deliberate deception is another. The Phoenix management, specifically those who were engaged in the fraudulent reporting, could have provided the actual data and such explanation as they felt were necessary. They chose to mislead their superiors in Washington. In turn, opportunities to identify a problem and provide a response to it were missed. Patients suffered the consequences. Those consequences included fatalities.
3. Holding the individuals who designed the fraudulent reporting system, provided the fraudulent data to the federal government, and otherwise had knowledge of the fraud but tolerated it, accountable for their actions and the consequences of the fraud is just. Justice connects actions with accountability.
I fully realize that from a perspective in which responsibility is viewed as collective in nature, not individual, the principle of holding individuals legally accountable for their actions could be problematic. From that perspective, such legal accountability could well seem unfair or heavy-handed, as collective responsibility seeks to spread the blame and thereby dilute personal responsibility. However, that philosophical debate is beyond the scope of this thread. Far more importantly, notions of collective responsibility are not relevant to the principles at the heart of the U.S. legal system and it's those principles that will guide the investigations that will be launched in coming days and any criminal proceedings that could follow.