And the President actually dug himself in a bit deeper with the resulting press conference. Maybe I’m just being a weary cynical partisan about this, but the man’s continuing ‘surprise’ over every bad thing that ever happens grates on me. Listening to him, you’d never know that Barack Obama campaigned on the Veterans Affairs issue…
PS: On a more general note? Don’t appoint antiwar partisans to important positions. As Eric Shinseki just demonstrated, they’ll only screw it all up.
Embattled Democrats are starting to crack under the strain:
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki’s support on Capitol Hill crumbled on Wednesday as members of his own party deserted him in the aftermath of a highly critical inspector general report that found “systemic” problems at VA medical facilities.
Within just hours of the report’s release, the number of Democrats calling for Shinseki’s resignation more than doubled. By Wednesday evening, more than a dozen congressional Democrats publicly called for his ouster, joining a growing number of influential Republicans.
…turns out that your average at-risk Democratic Senator really does have a limit to how much water he’ll carry for President Barack Obama, and this load was just one jerry-can of Presidential* incompetence too many. Not that it’ll save any of said Senators, but it’s a better alternative than continuing to go down with the ship. At any rate, the next two days should be interesting…
Continue reading The Eric Shinseki Resignation Watch Clock is now engaged.
There Politico goes, putting words in our mouth again:
GOP leaders and officials have spent the last week talking about the backlogs and misconduct, but what they’re hoping voters hear is: Obama is still an unprepared executive who needs to be stripped of power in the midterms. Once again, they say, he’s presenting himself as an angry bystander, confronted with high-profile management failures on his watch that he says he learned about from news reports.
Unlike in October, when Republicans focused their message on calling for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to be fired, they’ve gone broader now, saying this is about more than VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, whom most have avoided calling on to resign or be fired.
This, they say, is much, much bigger — the phrase that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his colleagues have been emphasizing is “systemic failure.”
Continue reading Politico: Hey, look at all these GOP arguments against Eric Shinseki! …ARE YOU LOOKING?
How many Veterans Affairs offices did this, anyway?
A Department of Veterans Affairs scheduling clerk has accused VA officials in Austin and San Antonio of manipulating medical appointment data in an attempt to hide long wait times to see doctors and psychiatrists, the American-Statesman has learned.
In communications with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, a federal investigative body that protects government whistleblowers, the 40-year-old VA employee said he and others were “verbally directed by lead clerks, supervisors, and during training” to ensure that wait times at the Austin VA Outpatient Clinic and the North Central Federal Clinic in San Antonio were “as close to zero days as possible.”
All of them?
Continue reading And now *Texas* Veterans Affairs offices join the Dying In Line scandal.
This time, in Colorado.
A VA investigation of one of its outpatient clinics in Colorado reveals how ingrained delays in medical care may be for an agency struggling to rapidly treat nearly 9 million veterans a year amid allegations that dozens have died because of delays.
Clerks at the Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in Fort Collins were instructed last year how to falsify appointment records so it appeared the small staff of doctors was seeing patients within the agency’s goal of 14 days, according to the investigation.
Continue reading More accusations that Veterans Affairs let veterans Die In Line.
Because whatever the number is, it’s apparently “more than forty:” “At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list. 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.”
…Only it wasn’t much of a secret, given that what went on here. Essentially, VA officials created a dummy list that made it look like they were processing veterans care in a timely fashion, while keeping actual sick veterans on a separate list that had some of them waiting for months for healthcare appointments. This, indeed, resulted in veterans dying before they could be seen by a doctor: and before anyone thinks that I’m exaggerating the situation, please note that everybody concedes that Phoenix VA officials were actually shredding records to hide the problem. So this was all known, including internally – but the resulting stink raised inside the organization over this went nowhere for months, apparently. Take a gander at this:
Continue reading How many veterans will have to die of neglect before Eric Shinseki resigns?