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Freedom of Choice for Vets ^ | May 25, 2014 | Paul Jacob

Posted on 05/25/2014 5:22:04 AM PDT by Kaslin

Chalk it up to “administrative error.”

Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System Director Sharon Helman was awarded an $8,500 bonus, even as her VA health care operation underwent investigation for falsifying patient information to hide the long wait times that reportedly have caused the deaths of 40 veterans.

The bonus has now, after much publicity, been rescinded.

Sadly, the veterans who died because of a fraudulently inefficient system cannot be brought back to life.

The bonus money merely adds insult to a much more serious injury — one we now know extends far beyond Phoenix. The investigation has already spread to 26 facilities. It is likely to grow.

Major veterans organizations demand that Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resign, or that the president, who once again claimed to have unearthed the crisis from media reports, find a replacement for him.

The first pink slips should belong to a White House staff apparently incapable of briefing the Great O on . . . well, anything. But by all means, the POTUS should certainly keep his cable TV bill paid up.

(Unless, by some strange happenstance, he’s fibbing to the nation about being so clueless.)

As for Shinseki, a logical first step in a accountability crisis might be to replace a failing leader, signaling in deeds, not just words, that those tasked with serving the people will be held accountable. Perhaps, however, Mr. Obama and his strategists might understandably fear where this thorny concept could lead.

Regardless, the Secretary should go and the personnel changes shouldn’t stop there. And those guilty of fraud should face criminal charges, if warranted — not simply be removed from their position.

But none of the above will likely be implemented. Instead of action, we’ll get words.

“As commander in chief, I believe that taking care of our veterans and their families is a scared obligation,” Barack Obama said in his weekly public address. “It’s been one of the causes of my presidency.”

Really? The VA healthcare system has been one of the president’s “causes”? So, this isn’t an issue of neglect?

Socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has gone the furthest trying to protect the VA, perhaps because he and his fellow socialist-minded leftists have so lionized the government-owned-and-operated health care system as proof that socialized medicine can indeed work well.

Well . . .

He is now floating the idea of introducing new legislation to allow for the termination of Veterans Affairs managers and personnel without so much red tape, much like the three-page bill that passed the House. Except Sanders seems intent on waving that same cut-red-tape banner while keeping much of the red tape.

It is the traditional, and fitting, color of socialism.

Others simply gloss over the scandal. Montana Senator Jon Tester says Shinseki should stay and that the VA has done a “remarkable” and “a pretty darn good job.”

A Washington Post editorial played down the scandal, noting that, “Delayed treatment has been an issue for decades.” Half-right. The problem of this federal healthcare bureaucracy shortchanging vets is indeed nothing new. Still, whether the dying and the indecent lack of promised care is old or new, whether political blame might be widely or narrowly distributed . . . all this ought be secondary to preventing the next veterans from early death by actually providing them the care they are legally owed.

Frankly, there’s a very easy way to ensure that veterans will not be denied care by endless waiting lines. Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), a Navy vet and doctor with years of VA experience, wants the federal government to offer vets a choice between staying in the VA system or receiving a voucher allowing them to purchase care outside the VA system.

It’s a solution aimed at protecting the vets who need care, rather than the VA bureaucracy. Does it stand a fighting chance in Washington?

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: vascandal; veteranaffairs

1 posted on 05/25/2014 5:22:05 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

this still won’t fix the problem. people need to be fired.

2 posted on 05/25/2014 5:50:02 AM PDT by dalebert
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To: Kaslin

Freedom of Choice starts in November at the ballot box! Take the Senate and House by huge majorities.

3 posted on 05/25/2014 6:10:19 AM PDT by ExTexasRedhead
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To: ExTexasRedhead

Nobody better sit on their butt because they want to punish the GOP to teach them a lesson like they did in 2006 and you know what that got us.

4 posted on 05/25/2014 7:17:54 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin
Definitely! I am chomping at the bit to vote for GOP-e candidates! Especially those who refer to me and those who share my values as “wacko-birds!”

I mean, it's great voting for those who are so good natured that they practically crawl over broken glass to give our political enemies everything they want and more while destroying our basic rights and freedoms.

Tell you what, let's see if they can stop performing fellatio on the marxists on the left long enough to demonstrate that they'll actually begin representing our interests and we'll think about voting for them.

5 posted on 05/25/2014 7:24:37 AM PDT by Rides_A_Red_Horse (Why do you need a fire extinguisher when you can call the fire department?)
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