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Acting head of VA says agency needs $17.6 billion to fix problems
Los Angeles Times ^ | 07/16/2014 | REBECCA BRATEK

Posted on 07/16/2014 8:20:36 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

The Department of Veterans Affairs needs $17.6 billion in additional funds over the next three years to meet patients’ needs and fix the troubled agency’s problems, its acting director said Wednesday.

Testifying for the first time on Capitol Hill, interim VA Secretary Sloan Gibson told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee that the money would help VA medical centers decrease appointment waiting times and hire more doctors.

But the request divided lawmakers. Democrats, including Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, supported the appeal, while Republicans, including Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska, questioned whether VA care would improve if it received additional funding.

“This sounds so similar to what we’ve heard over the years,” Johanns said, adding that the committee had routinely met previous VA requests for additional funding.

“If you can’t clean up your act, then guess what? You lose out,” he said. “I don’t think you need more billions and billions of dollars.”

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: healthcare; va; veterans
And Obama needs $3.7 Billion to fix the border crisis.

And Obama needs $11 Billion because the highway fund has run out of money.

I wonder what department is going to be the next to ran out of money...

1 posted on 07/16/2014 8:20:36 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind; blueyon; KitJ; T Minus Four; xzins; CMS; The Sailor; ab01; txradioguy; Jet Jaguar; ...

V A ping.


2 posted on 07/16/2014 8:22:17 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Hell, I’m a bargain, then. I only need 1 billion to fix my problems.


3 posted on 07/16/2014 8:23:49 PM PDT by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Sorry. All the taxpayer dollars are going to Barry’s Kids. The veterans are going to have to wait. The majority of them don’t vote DemocRAT anyway so there is nothing in it for the ‘RATS.


4 posted on 07/16/2014 8:24:11 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (The future must not belong to those who slander bacon.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Outsource it.


5 posted on 07/16/2014 8:29:03 PM PDT by TigerClaws
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To: SeekAndFind

Dump the VA and go to a voucher system. Problem solved. And now the leeches at the VA can get a job where they’re expected to produce.


6 posted on 07/16/2014 8:32:15 PM PDT by mykroar (This is an insult to the nation's intelligence and these days, that isn't easy.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Wait,what? I swear only a week or two ago there was a story about the VA having more money than it could spend and we all wondered why if that was the case the Vets were getting such crappy care!


7 posted on 07/16/2014 8:32:28 PM PDT by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: TigerClaws

I assume the doctors are on salary. I have also heard they see a ridiculously low number of patients per day.

So here is the answer. You work every weekend until the back log is worked off. Ta Da.

No extra money.


8 posted on 07/16/2014 8:33:12 PM PDT by djwright (Impeach Teleprompter)
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To: SeekAndFind

How’s this? Everyone who works at the VA is fired as of now. Every veteran who needs help can choose his own doctor and the feds pick up the tab.


9 posted on 07/16/2014 8:33:18 PM PDT by dainbramaged (Get out of my country now)
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To: SeekAndFind

Social Security and SSDI.


10 posted on 07/16/2014 8:43:21 PM PDT by corlorde (forWARD of the state)
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To: SeekAndFind

Never let a crisis or scandal go to waste. Cronies need money.


11 posted on 07/16/2014 8:45:34 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Mastador1

You’re right. Good catch. I remember the article.


12 posted on 07/16/2014 9:04:37 PM PDT by rockinqsranch ((Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will. They ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.))
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s all they know, the answer to everything. Give us more. No shame for how they have been treating veterans, no one held responsible, no ones fault. The same people will do the same jobs but will do it better because they have 17 Billion more.

It deserves no response except your fired


13 posted on 07/16/2014 9:13:59 PM PDT by reefdiver (Be the Best you can be Whatever you Dream to be)
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To: SeekAndFind

If one cent is allocated to the VA the Congress needs it’s head examined. The VA has been well funded for years. It’s mismanagement that caused the mess. Throwing more at them will fix nothing.


14 posted on 07/16/2014 9:16:08 PM PDT by NKP_Vet
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To: SeekAndFind
As I said before I've been in the VA system for a long time and my care is top notch. The goal should be to assure all Vets get the same care I get.

I was told I needed a liver biopsy back in April, I had to wait until June to get it done and it took another month to meet with the MD for the results the results. The cost of that biopsy would have been 8-10k in a civilian hospital (I priced it) but it only cost the VA about 1/3 of that.

I am used to the long wait times it comes with the territory. The Veteran patient population is older and sicker than the population as a whole and this trend will only continue for at least the next 50 years.

The VA has been a good political target for the past few months but its going to cost much much more to cut down on the wait times, to get veterans seen and procedures done faster no matter how many employees the VA fires as so many here advocate.

Tell you what, give all Vets a voucher and then shut up and pay for it when the bills come in.

But that wont happen...because the idiot politicians are not interested in actually providing the promised care for the Veteran they are only interested in getting reelected.

15 posted on 07/16/2014 9:17:05 PM PDT by montanajoe
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To: montanajoe

Fire everyone at the VA. The system is replete with negative-attitude people. Give the Vets insurance and let them use whatever doc they want. This is a mismanaged agency that is out of control. For goodness sake...they even murder Vets by neglect then give themselves bonuses. Fire them all and bulldoze the facilities.


16 posted on 07/16/2014 9:21:53 PM PDT by ogen hal (First amendment or reeducation camp)
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To: SeekAndFind

The GOP-e will grab the ankles for us and approve anything: BOHICA.


17 posted on 07/16/2014 9:37:46 PM PDT by DTogo (High time to bring back The Sons of Liberty !!)
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To: ogen hal
Ok do that..

But be pay for it....through higher taxes in the next 50 years. Something I'm sure you oppose.

You do realize there are 20 million Veterans and about 7 million in the VA health system now? Provide insurance to that 13 million for say 10k a pop to the tax payer that's a cool 130 billion. The those 7 million in the system now.. maybe a hundred thousand on average per vet per year, what's that 7 trillion..

If the American tax payer would pay for it I have no problem with your suggestion but we both know they wont pay far more than they are paying now.

The VA can and does work well for a majority of Veterans at a reasonable cost to the taxpayer. The goal should be to fix whats broken not start over with a far costlier system in the long run.

18 posted on 07/16/2014 9:40:51 PM PDT by montanajoe
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To: montanajoe

OK. I’ll pay my part. The VA is full of evil.


19 posted on 07/16/2014 9:46:55 PM PDT by ogen hal (First amendment or reeducation camp)
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To: SeekAndFind

They need more money to pay more bonuses.


20 posted on 07/16/2014 9:50:42 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican (Liberals were raised by women or wimps. And they're all stupid.)
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To: ogen hal

“The VA is full of evil”

Really, I’ve missed that.

It certainly isn’t perfect but I’m grateful that it works as well as it does.


21 posted on 07/16/2014 9:54:36 PM PDT by montanajoe
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To: mykroar

“Dump the VA and go to a voucher system. Problem solved. And now the leeches at the VA can get a job where they’re expected to produce.”

And to bootstrap the needed capacity, sell all the VA facilities to private HC companies, or community medical facilities, and let these entities have free reign on who gets to keep their job and who gets a pink slip.


22 posted on 07/16/2014 10:30:26 PM PDT by vette6387
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To: mykroar

“Dump the VA and go to a voucher system. Problem solved.”

Were you under the impression they wanted to solve the problem?


23 posted on 07/16/2014 10:35:43 PM PDT by MichaelCorleone (Jesus Christ is not a religion. He's the Truth.)
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To: montanajoe

“I am used to the long wait times it comes with the territory. The Veteran patient population is older and sicker than the population as a whole and this trend will only continue for at least the next 50 years.”

Montanajoe, you deserve way better than what you say you are getting. In exchange for your service, you should be getting the best medical care this country has to offer and getting in on a timely basis. The waits you say you experience, are unacceptable.
My doctor prescribed an ultrasound for me yesterday and I had it done this morning, and I am 73 and on Medicare. That is the level of care you are due!


24 posted on 07/16/2014 10:45:30 PM PDT by vette6387
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To: SeekAndFind
"We are corrupt because you do not give us enough tax money"
           --interim VA Secretary Sloan Gibson
25 posted on 07/16/2014 10:51:51 PM PDT by UnwashedPeasant (Don't nuke me, bro.)
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To: vette6387
That's a nice sentiment but the fact is the County cannot afford to put the Vets into the civilian health care system.

The VA works pretty well for most Veterans at a reasonable cost to the tax payer.

In my view dismantling the system is just another attack on the military by the left and far to many on the right.

26 posted on 07/16/2014 11:58:33 PM PDT by montanajoe
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To: SeekAndFind

Nope. Bigger government is the problem. Not the solution.


27 posted on 07/17/2014 2:10:41 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: Jet Jaguar

28 posted on 07/17/2014 2:11:44 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: SeekAndFind

typical answer to any and all that ails any worthless federal agency.
Throw MORE money at the problem...
Never do away with any worthless federal anything even though about 80%of the fed is worthless


29 posted on 07/17/2014 2:17:40 AM PDT by Joe Boucher ((FUBO) obammy lied and lied and lied)
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To: montanajoe

Sorry Joe but you and I will have to disagree. I joined the ARMY in 1969 was wounded in 1971 and discharged in 1972. So far the only time I’ve been in a VA was to take my ex wife to work on a few days that the roads were iced up. She still works for the VA and my sister and brother in-law have both retired from the VA. While I have no personal dealing with the VA I do have a pretty good understanding of it’s operations and it is an abused system by both the patients and the employee’s.

My brother in-law receives 81 thousand dollars a year and my sister 58 thousand a year, my ex makes a little over 80 thousand as an RN. Before my ex went to work for the VA she was a charge nurse at a nursing home making 60 thousand taking care of 122 patients. She had 4 halls and one LVN and 2 aids for each hall, she now has 2 halls with 1 RN 2 LVN’s and 4 aids per hall and has never had more than 30 patients total. Most of her patients are Addicts, alcoholic’s and people being treated for non service related problems.

With that said, my new wife is the ER Director at the local private hospital here in West Texas where she gets VA transfer patients in daily. The local VA just sends them out if there’s a real medical problem that needs to be addressed. They have no ER and no ability to handle emergency’s yet they did put in a new helo pad out front that so far has only been used once by a transfer crew that walked across the street to Long John Silvers for lunch.

Shut them down and give the VETS ID that gives them care at any hospital they walk into so they don’t have to travel 40 to 70 miles just to find treatment and stop just feeding them drug’s! They are a disgrace to VETS with service related injuries and nothing more than a bucket for those that feed off of them.


30 posted on 07/17/2014 3:44:24 AM PDT by Dusty Road
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To: SeekAndFind
Finally! Someone has the guts to sit there and ask for more money. That will surely clear up the vast wave of apathy and incompetence that's been the hallmark of the VA for decades!
31 posted on 07/17/2014 4:17:21 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: SeekAndFind

I will personally fix it for half that.


32 posted on 07/17/2014 4:20:23 AM PDT by Hoodat (Article 4, Section 4)
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To: Hoodat

Sorry VETS, that money is going to the new “American’s” who are streaming across our borders by the thousands. No money left for those who protect/protected this nation. (sarc)


33 posted on 07/17/2014 4:25:17 AM PDT by DaveA37
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To: Hoodat

Sorry VETS, that money is going to the new “American’s” who are streaming across our borders by the thousands. No money left for those who protect/protected this nation. (sarc)


34 posted on 07/17/2014 4:25:18 AM PDT by DaveA37
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To: SeekAndFind

Fire him and half of the rest of the administrators and then ask the acting head again if he needs any more money you’ll fire some more to get the money —


35 posted on 07/17/2014 4:45:29 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: SeekAndFind

17.6 Billion......huh?

Not 17 billion or 18 billion, but a precise 17.6 billion. Gee, isn’t it strange they know down to the penny exactly how much it will cost to “fix” the problem?

However, they can’t tell you exactly what the problem is and what caused it.

A billion here, a trillion there......what the heck!


36 posted on 07/17/2014 4:47:31 AM PDT by DH (Once the tainted finger of government touches anything the rot begins)
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To: SeekAndFind

Last I heard it does not cost a penny to tell your workers to get their act together and do right by the patient!


37 posted on 07/17/2014 5:13:39 AM PDT by blueyon (The U. S. Constitution - read it and weep)
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To: montanajoe

“The VA works pretty well for most Veterans at a reasonable cost to the tax payer”.

I used to work in VA and been a patient in the VA for 23 years now. Some of the best healthcare in the country is the VA Medical System, especially the ones that work hand-in-hand with a civilian Healthcare University. Of course not all VAs are lucky enough to be attached to a top-rate medical university. Then you have smaller VAs all over the country that struggle to keep up with the neverending flow of new veteran patients from these neverending wars in the Middle East. New vets take priority, old farts like me go to the back of the line. But I accept that. I am used to “hurry up and wait”. Learned it in the military. The VA has some employees and most are overworked. I salute every one of them, especially direct healthcare providers. I’m getting fed up with all the “experts” like Hannity and the rest piling on the VA night after night. They need to concentrate on that traitor Bergdahl. And the VA has always sent vets to an outside provider (and paid for it), if they can’t do the job. This is nothing new.


38 posted on 07/17/2014 5:55:02 AM PDT by NKP_Vet
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To: TADSLOS

Didn’t know you need money to fire all those pompous ass elitist. More money to throw in the pit.


39 posted on 07/17/2014 6:00:28 AM PDT by Busko (The only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain.)
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To: montanajoe

“In my view dismantling the system is just another attack on the military by the left and far to many on the right.”

So from what you say, you are willing to continue to be like an “abused wife.” and accept substandard care? For me, it’s sad to understand that you won’t fight for what should be your right as a veteran. And I surely hope that you are able to stay healthy in spite of the VA.


40 posted on 07/17/2014 8:10:24 AM PDT by vette6387
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To: SeekAndFind
I wonder what department is going to be the next to ran out of money...

SSDI part of Sosh Security.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/social-security-disability-trust-fund-projected-to-run-out-of-cash-by-2016/2012/05/30/gJQA3AfH1U_story.html

FEDGUVINC planfor everything:run deficit,raise taxes,rinse,repeat.

41 posted on 07/17/2014 3:01:23 PM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: TurboZamboni

17.6 billion divided by the number of veterans means how much per veteran?

they could (used to) be able to buy private insurance to do a better job at that amount.

how much of the 17.6 billion is political campaign contribution kickbacks to politicians? (paging huey long, paging huey long...)


42 posted on 07/17/2014 3:13:09 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: TurboZamboni

RE: SSDI part of Sosh Security.

When ( not if, but when ) we ever reach that milestone where even SS needs to ask for more money, America as a country is DONE FOR.

That one will need TENS OF TRILLIONS ( not Billions ).


43 posted on 07/17/2014 3:44:21 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (If at first you don't succeed, put it out for beta test.)
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To: longtermmemmory

“17.6 billion divided by the number of veterans means how much per veteran?”

880 bucks...


44 posted on 07/17/2014 7:49:34 PM PDT by montanajoe
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To: vette6387

Pal..you need to revisit math.

The VA provides excellent care for the majority of veterans at a cost the tax payer can afford. Fighting to make the system so expensive that the tax payer cannot afford it is well..just dumb


45 posted on 07/17/2014 8:21:54 PM PDT by montanajoe
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To: SeekAndFind; All

Ummmmmmm, no...

The VA is due to have its budget doubled in the next fiscal year starting at the beginning of the next quarter...

I heard they are going from a current budget of about $84 billion, to about $154 billion this next fiscal year...

I say they have enough...Way more than enough to fix this, and have much left over to take care of the Vets even more...

But hey, what do I know...


46 posted on 07/18/2014 10:12:48 PM PDT by stevie_d_64 (I will settle for a "perfectly good, gently used" kidney...Apply within...)
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To: montanajoe

I would agree with that in some cases...It is a regional issue with the horrific substandard and much delayed care being afforded to veterans...

In some areas it is good care, timely service, and not a lot of controversy...


47 posted on 07/18/2014 10:19:14 PM PDT by stevie_d_64 (I will settle for a "perfectly good, gently used" kidney...Apply within...)
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To: Dusty Road
"...they did put in a new helo pad out front that so far has only been used once by a transfer crew that walked across the street to Long John Silvers for lunch."

In all fairness, LJS does make some pretty good chow....

48 posted on 07/18/2014 10:21:02 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: mykroar

I could do one better than the voucher-program.

Flip all vets to the MEDICARE program....put them into a class called MED-I-VET, and just let the guy use his local resources in his town or county. Ensure all rehab treatment is fully paid up to the level required because of injuries, and let the MEDICARE program function as it does currently.

The VA has been a failure since day one of 1930-era. Why not admit it was fixed to funnel gov’t cash into special hospitals in each state, and to be a “gift” in some ways to each state. So, dismantle that part and just do away with the “gift” deal. Let the Vet pick his clinic or doctor....and clear out the VA entirely.


49 posted on 07/19/2014 3:04:27 AM PDT by pepsionice
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