Privacy Violations

Benjamin KrauseShocking increases in Department of Veterans Affairs’ privacy violations were included in ProPublica coverage of a national question seeking to discover how secure our records are.

The news organization found shocking examples of data being sent to the wrong widows, employees snooping on patients who committed suicide, and whistleblowers who had their own privacy violated in various forms of retaliatory schemes.

VA TAKES PRIVACY VIOLATIONS SERIOUSLY, RIGHT?

But rest assured, VA told ProPublica that privacy is a top priority. Believe them? I am pretty sure the folks at ProPublica do not.

After some analysis, ProPublica determined privacy complaints at VA have more than doubled from 2011 to 2014, jumping from 1,547 to 3,054. VA attempted to explain away the increase by claiming the agency merely improved its reporting of privacy violations.

RELATED: VA Misleading Veterans About ‘Blue Button’ My HealtheVet

John Oswalt, VA’s associate deputy assistant secretary for privacy and records told ProPublica:

“I think we have a pretty good track record of getting people to report when they make a mistake or when they observe something happening… If we were out there punishing people for human error, I think you would see the number of reported incidents go down, but that doesn’t serve the needs of the veteran.”

VA claims it appropriately handles complaints that employees unlawfully snoop through medical files of whistleblowers who also receive their care from VA, ““Complaints that VA receives from whistleblowers about inappropriate access to their health records are thoroughly investigated and appropriate actions are taken where warranted.”

DOES VETERANS AFFAIRS MISUSE HIPAA TO HARASS WHISTLEBLOWERS?

But this is not true according to whistleblower Brandon Coleman who came forward about Phoenix VA failures to protect suicidal veterans. Coleman blew the whistle, but shortly thereafter various VA employees began sifting through his own medical file that the facility. Coleman is a disabled veteran of the Marines who was an addiction therapist until VA put him on paid leave after he outted VA for it numerous failures.

VA did nothing about HIPAA violations committed against Coleman.

RELATED: VA Dismissive About Data Breach

However, doctors report that VA is using HIPAA to leverage doctors to prevent them from reporting instances of misconduct by other health care providers. According to Dr. Kathleen Mitchell, VA will inappropriately investigate whistleblowers who release certain protected information to investigators to help detect wrongdoing.

Instead, VA apparently only likes to punish whistleblowers instead of wrongdoers when it comes to private medical records. So who is really being protected?

Source: https://www.propublica.org/article/privacy-violations-rising-at-veterans-medical-facilities

39 COMMENTS

  1. I am working with Congress to implement the Medlin act to get the active.duty army involved scandal after scandal after scandal this behavior has no choice but to fall into conspiracies within this agency the world sees this media coverage differently than we do my soul rattles with anger they are taking advantage of the flesh from the ones that have protected us

  2. HHS , OSC and the MSPB is a complete joke. The OIG directly violated my privacy rights by accessing the CAPRI system to see if I applied or was recieving Disability compensation so that they could communicate with DOJ regarding any weapons that I may own or how they could scheme to bar me from obtaining one. The special agent, Chris Algeri from the New Jersey OIG field office directly spoke with a social worker at the Wilmington VA regarding if I was a danger to myself or others. The social worker completely lied and altered an evaluation she made about me and never performed an MMPI to make an Axis I diagnosis about me based on 1 visit. Note, this was my last visit , which was 11/15/2013. On 6/5/2014, a psychologist , Patrick Litle, flagged my veteran record, based on the note written by the contact with poopboy Chris and false allegations of threats made up by a Union manager Johnel Ponzo, who is suspected of stealing union funds and Benjamin Mack who was suspected of inappropriate contact with a female veteran that previous year. The assbucket even had active warrant during the MSPB appeal that the AJ and the full board was aware of and the Agency attorney, Marcus Stoner Graham was aware of that is a serious Brady and discovery violation when I motipned for discovery. Michael Rudisill is another corrupt wannabe judge, but in reality is just an attorney.
    The flag was removed because they could not refute the direct evidence I supplied to HVAC and my State Representatives. The OIG report is almost 2 years overdue and that bogus OIG public affairs officer needs to be called out on her lies and false statements about OIG and their Independency.

  3. I received another Veteran’s complete C-File. I went to the media and they did a story on it. But to my knowledge, the Veteran file we received did not get anything but his credit monitored. I had the file for almost a month and then I was told to just mail it back. I paid to have the file properly shipped back UPS to the RO. For I knew They would come after me again, if the file they had sent to me in error was lost.

    I guess this explains why my name is all through my husband’s file after I complained about the good doctor Kimberly Baptiste. Stranger is the fact my husband was seen at that facility since 2007 and nothing was in his file (negative) about me, until 2014 after the incident with the doctor, at our home. Who fears for their safety and not the patient? I keep asking why she did not call the police since she never saw my husband (an 81 year old). Or APS. Someone needed to know she feared for her life but not the patient. Go Figure.

  4. I really doubt that those numbers are accurate. I was mailed a VA Form from another vets widow, exactly how you mention here. All of my data was on this form, addy, email, ssn, phone full name, the whole shot, and info about my heal via claim information.
    I reported this, and never heard a word from them. It was 2 months later, I initiated a follow-up contact, before a supervisor called me. Now, I play the waiting game to see if they forget about it again. This was a HIPPA violation, my full info was mailed to a 3rd party, and they have yet to lift a finger to notify me that they investigated this and what the results are.
    Point is, if this is how they respond to HIPPA violations, then thousand more just like mine will have gone unreported because they just ignore it. There is no excuse for this, it violates federal law, and they need to respond and take action to prevent this kind of thing from happening.

    • Contact the Privacy Officer and ask what steps you need to take to report this. Put it in writing. I believe you can report a violation on your own without them. If you want to pin them in a corner, send them a FOIA request for any information on you and this violation. When they can’t produce anything, you can ask in writing why they didn’t formally report this after you notified them, and after a supervisor called you.
      I forgot to mention, there is a link in that Propublica article where you can report violations to them, and they might contact you for a follow-up article.

  5. Have y’all ever noticed VA always says things like;
    “We’re investigating (the problem)”, yet nothing happens.
    Or, “That’s Unacceptable”, yet nothing changed!
    Or, Whenever they get caught in something illegal, they say, Our “Highest priority is veterans safety!” or some drival.
    Or, some idiot will sit in front of our “representatives” and try to bullshit their way out of trouble. By thinking the American public is stupid. Case in point, Gibson trying to rewrite “Webster’s Dictionary” over the definition of “Accountability”!
    I believe y’all see where I’m headed with this!

    Does anyone but me see this as a clear cut case of “Criminal Activities” by VA on all levels? I do believe these “scandals” have gone on long enough. In my opinion, the VA (VHA, VBA, VAMC’s and all other departments need to be shut down, until the problems are solved! I believe, once VA employees are arrested, tried and convicted, (from McDonald on down), nothing will change this corrosive behavior.

    • You’re right crazyelf, they minimize everything or try painting a rosy picture, such as the comment by Oswalt.
      This attitude has been created by the VA believing they are exempt from the laws, rules, regulations that any other provider must follow. Look at the contrast in what a private hospital must do, and what the VA does, and you can see how that attitude permeates the entire VA because of the arrogance in thinking they are exempt.
      Contaminated with Legionella? No big deal, we’ll just move vets to the other side of that door rather than to another building. Best a vet to death? Well, he was just a vet, so we’ll believe the thug and give him time off to recover. We are exempt from following the rules, so we have no requirement to report elder abuse, assault, etc. Sexually assault vulnerable veterans? Pfftt. Just an unfortunate incident that we will ignore until a whistle blower forced us to do…something.
      There is no accountability within the VA because of this attitude of them believing they don’t have to be responsible for their actions.
      By the way, yesterday when I was at the VA, I looked everywhere for posters or pamphlets on the Patient Bill of Rights that I’ve seen at other VAs. I found none. I did find multiple posters warning about travel fraud, not just outside the travel office. I did see multiple printouts for suicide prevention, which makes me want to puke because of the “we care” attitude portrayed when everything else shows differently.

  6. The ProPublica article is very good, and contains some links within the article that could be very useful to veterans. I commented on those here last week. Thanks for writing about this Ben.
    One of the better links is to a site called HIPAA helper where you can search through REPORTED HIPAA violations at your VA, and read the lame excuses or minimal action the VA took on each one.
    I emphasize reported because you can be sure there are many more violations that do not get reported. When reading through the violations and what the VA did to address them, you get the sense that the VA only reported the violation because they were forced to, or had no choice in reporting it. Like facing a veterans medical paperwork to a bank, then just sending a letter to the Vet.
    My privacy was violated yesterday during my annual PCP checkup when the intake nurse wanted to ask several medical history questions with the door open in an office less than 6 feet from the patient waiting area with numerous other veterans waiting. I thought about closing the door first, but I figured the female, pregnant nurse would freak out being behind a closed door with a patient. I also thought of doing it anyway if the questions became too personal, with the explanation she was violating my privacy asking those questions with the door open. She did ask if I wanted a Hep C screening which she said she could easily add since they already had my blood. She got very flustered when I asked if the VA would provide treatment if it were positive. She said it was a very good question, but couldn’t seem to get me out the door fast enough.
    Read the linked ProPublica article and check out the other links within the article. They are very good.

  7. Dear Mr. Krause:

    The comment by Daniel Medlin about getting Congress involved sounds good,but wirh all the publicity this isue has been getting I cannot believe Congress is not aware of it including the President, with all the publicity it has been getting through the O.I.G. and the D.O.J.who watered it all down whereby they reduced 45 criminal acts to only 5 and the “President” lets that slide by?

    Yes and all the Federal laws now in existence and the President can not do something about it? come on now.

    Yours for GOD and Country
    Frank P. Calderon

  8. Dear Mr. Krause:

    An additional comment now I think it is time to impeach all in high government from the top all down the provisions to do so can be found in Art. 2 Sec.4 or Art.1 Secs.2 and 3.

    And nor only Veteran’s rights but that of all 365+ million Americans for whom we were willing to fight and die including those of the JUDASES we now have in Government.

    Yours for GOG and Country
    Frank P. Calderon

  9. I have a flag that has caused me great emotional harm. High risk for suicide flags open your record to everyone with a computer. I do have thoughts and went to the VA for help. Instead they placed me on a list. I cannot use the Va for over four months now because I do not want clerks seeing my medical issue. It stigmatizes me. I am not a danger and feel this is my business. The VA says they can do it under safety. I have learned that mental health records can be shared under the word SAFETY. It has caused me danger and the VA no longer care if I get care or not. Before the flag, the VA saw me twice a week for mental health. Most don’t know our records are looked at by outside survey companies. All of those surveys can be reviewed on line. I also learned that for a veteran to get off this flagging action, they must deny any suicidal thoughts. How does that help a veteran? Why does a veteran have to give up their privacy to get care? This flag is nation wide. How can they do Rhys? I have written letters to everyone just to get ignored.

  10. More than five months ago, I requested copies of my personnel and medical records from active duty through FOIA. About three weeks later, I received an envelope about a quarter of an inch thick. When I left active duty, my medical records were about five and a half inches thick, and my personnel file was about four inches thick. How does that happen!? Everything I received was heavily redacted and exempted, with apparently no need for an explanation! 44 years this year since my discharge, and I STILL have NO idea what the army and DOD thought of the character of my service! I also saw notations of injuries and pneumonia that the V.A. had denied for decades, and had used as a basis for denying my service connected disability claims for DECADES! In those records, I found sensitive information for several other veterans, including socials! To make matters worse, every time I go to a V.A. hospital clinic, lists of my meds follow me, and EVERYONE is allowed to know what medical conditions I am being treated for! We have ZERO privacy!

  11. Trash the present VA and rebuild from the ground up,the disgusting heinous things being done there is the kicker I’ve been waiting 5 years for VA to send documents from my own records it’s an institution whose wheels have fell off rouge leadership who left the reservation decades ago

    • If you have Facebook, go on to the VA is Lying Facebook page and look at the pinned post. There are two VA employees email addresses listed there. I emailed them mid-December requesting a complete copy of my medical records and C file. They responded quickly and said it would be 6-10 weeks because of the holidays and multiple VAs. I got the CD with my records 2 days ago.

  12. I JUST CAME BACK FROM MY MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDER I ASKED WHY IN VETERANS RECORDS I HAVE PTSD ITS JUST WRITTEN NOT TELLING ME HOW THE MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDER CAME TO THAT DECISION………IF SOME VETERAN READS THIIS HOW I CAN GAIN THAT INFORMATION PLEASE REPLY BACK TO ME…….THANKS. ……SEMPER FI

  13. I have already let it be known that if the VA violates my HIPPA privacy for ANY reason, including the illgal and unconstitutional orders from Obama, that I would ruin them. I would spend my last dime making sure they were in a court before a US District Judge and then they could explain to the federal judge why they violated federal law.

  14. I just returned from my private cognitive therapist appointment that I go to once a month and I was talking to her about how at the main university hospital, where I obtain all my medical as well as Psych Dr. every so many months for RX’ing meds, how yet another Psych Dr. (attending) had left and told me she was going to the VA to work.
    My cognitive therapist works part time at that Psych Dept. with totally different role nor do I even see my cognitive therapist through them but she has an unique perspective of what’s going on and this is what she told me about why so many Psych Dr.’s jump ship to the VA like rats off a sinking ship: she was blunt about what she has heard these faculty state and they include really no surprises to anyone that’s been a reader on this or other VA related forums over past couple of years.
    She said that: 1) The VA immediately pays-off ALL the Psych Dr.’s College Loans off, 2) There’s no real ACCOUNTABILITY (yes, these Dr.’s LOVE this little tidbit), 3) No real need for malpractice insurance, 4) next to impossible to be sued and potentially ruining their future career, 5) They get to do Big Pharma Research, and wait for it….6) LARGER Performance Bonuses than the private medical hospitals.

    She emphasized that *NOT ONCE* has she heard any of these people leaving mention ANYTHING along the lines of “I want to help Veterans, et al”. Also, almost every one of these Psych Dr.’s that have been jumping ship for better pay and benefits are Pakistani or Middle Eastern with English really as their second or even third/fourth language, certainly NOT English as a primary language.

    So as you can see, the VA makes it very appealing for M.D.’s to apply to work for the VA by dangling the carrots of $$$$$ and NO ACCOUNTABILITY.
    How the HELL is this the VA attracting the best of the best when it’s all greed-based and lack of oversight based? No way these folks are going to respect our privacy concerns!!!
    Feeling a bit out of it today folks. Serious gut issues but wanted to report what I already knew or suspected that was confirmed today that it was not just smoke and mirrors. The smoke and mirrors are in all those large buildings with VAMC letters on them, making the VAMC’s the largest institutional “Hall Of Mirrors” and “House Of Horrors, Whores, Deviants, and Thugs”!!!!!!

    Rant out. Laying down.

    • ronald i hear what you have but i said sometime ago all ttne remarks i have ssen my belief their must be away for us Veterans who been on here to share our thoughts to The Senate of Veterans Affairs to improve Veterans Healthcare if you go on Facebook i am only one name is Arnold Cabral so go on their to contact me and Spread the word to everyone you actually chat with or you know remember in this case our Veterans pens is stronger than a sword…..SEMPER FI this is very Concerned Veteran Healthcare Nut.

  15. This is the tip of the iceberg. In my claims work, I always have my clients execute VA Form 21-22a, which appoints a specific service officer, not an organization. The law requires the VA to recognize that person and only that person. I always make that clear in the cover letter I send with every new claim I file. The VA, with the exception of Portland (Oregon), ignores this and ends up sending things related to my cases to VVA people who have no right to it. Every time they do this, they violate the Privacy Act and HIPAA. Violating HIPAA can also result in criminal charges. I am preparing an IG complaint and if that doesn’t get results, then a class action in federal court.

  16. From: Ray Goff [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Friday, December 25, 2015 9:21 AM
    To: ‘[email protected]’; ‘[email protected]
    Cc: ‘[email protected]’; ‘[email protected]’; ‘[email protected]’; Curtis Byrd ([email protected]); ‘RORY’; ‘[email protected]’; Jeff [email protected]; ‘[email protected]
    Subject: VARO Philadelphia ltr310/PMC?NJWXSSXXXXXXXXXGoff, W.D>
    Importance: High

    Debi – Please Pass To Rachael Malone in Philadelphia – I do not have her telephone number or office code.

    Hi Rachael, Please distribute this to the following personnel.

    RO Director, VA Regional Office
    Gary T. Hodge
    J.M.Paul

    Curtis Byrd – Please pass to Rep Randy Forbes

    For Rachael Malone: When we spoke the other day, you made reference to my receiving a letter in a few days and a check in about 10 days. I do not think you were referring to a letter of this nature. For other addressees, I will highlight the glaring errors that are contained in the letter.

    1. The letter was dated Dec 17, 2015 and I received on Dec 23 ,2015. You and I were under the impression the letter had not been written yet. It is to be noted, that VA RO Philadelphia received my initial claim on September 10, 2014.

    2. Addressed to “Dear Mr. Golf” My last name is “GOFF”.

    3. First sentence, “ We are sorry to learn of your Father’ Death”. This file is for my Brother, Wayne Denver Goff.

    4. In What We Decided – :”We can’t pay burial benefits because at the time of death, your “Father” – None of the 6 bullets apply to my Father.

    5. Next paragraph, beginning with, “We have received”…..line 2 and 3 —-“There is no evidence of record that “Raymond Lyle Goff” was referred to”,should have read, “Wayne Denver Goff”.

    6. “Last paragraph – Page 3” “We have no record of you appointing a service organization or a representative to assist you in your claim. That is in error, for I have a representative, Virginia Pauley who is employed with the Virginia Department for Veterans Services.

    It is significant to note that this fiasco comes on the heels of the hearings with Rep Jeff Miller and senior VA Management personnel on the subject of “Accountability”. I feel quite sure that the VA RO Personnel involved in this, will be asking each other, “Who really wrote this letter and more importantly, “Who reviewed it before signature”? I find no evidence that “ACCOUNTABILITY” is alive and well at the VA RO Philadelphia. Rep Jeff Miller would have a ball with VA RO Philadelphia personnel on the subject of “ACCOUNTABILITY”. I intend to share this with him and my Congressman, Randy Forbes, as well as the numerous Veterans Face Book Pages, as well as Robert McDonald, VA Secretary .

    I feel embarrassed for one, of the RO Director’s position, that his name is associated with a letter like this. But I am also concerned who has the capability to rubber stamp his position in lieu of signature.

    I expect a letter of apology and an expedited mailing of the check in the amount that Rachael Malone discussed with me.

    For Robert McDonald. This is the second incident that I have experienced in dealing with VA matters. The situation with your organization being delinquent by 190 days in responding to a Freedom of Information request, that is not completely re-solved.

    Sincerely,

    Raymond L. Goff
    1212 Club Point Road
    Chesapeake, VA 23322
    757-819-6968

    .

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  17. Dear Mr.Krause:

    I see the mistreatment and suffering now heaped upon disabled veterans by the VA. as more horrific and sadistic, at the hands of their own countrymen who are their own relatives, husbands, brothers, sons, even worse then what our young and brave servicemen and women; have endured in concentration camps at the hands of strangers, in all the wars we have engaged throughout the history of our Nation, and worse yet with the apparent blessing of our own GOVERNMENT who so hypocritically condemns what foreign governments do to their own and others under their thumb.

    I see this worse then the so-called infamy perpetrated upon us on the day when PEARL HARBOR was initiated, but as the LORD and our CREATOR once said, before you look for the speck in your neighbors eye take the plank out of your own eye; (paraphrased).

    This I judge it to be the second infamy, what is being done to these poor young people by their iwn GOVERNMENT who should dispense all help they need.

    Yours for GOD and Country
    Frank P. Calderon
    :

    • As I read this site and see all the wrongs done to disabled veterans, it increases my suicidal thoughts and wishes. I went to the VA for that reason. To get help with my thoughts as well as complex PTSD, anxiety disorder and panic attacks. Once I learned of record flags and the exposure of myersonal medical issue being high risk, I have not been back to the VA. That would be 4 months. I made my reaction to the flag very well known to everyone to include the direct and ethics committee. Nothing to he me. I am in worse shape than I was. What did the VA do to help me return to care? They extended the flag for another 90 days. I can’t so it.

      I came here thinking someone had answers. The VA has been exposed for who they are. Every one is now aware of their wrong doings and mistreatment.

      When can someone do something about it? Congress knows. The American people know. The veterans know. Ben knows and he is a lawyer and has contacts. Yet we are still trying to get the care we need. I have gone to every one. I am alone. Each one of us is alone with our issues with the VA. It is big and no one seems to be able to bring them down or make them do their job. HIPPA laws do. Ot exist. Malpractice all over the lace. Veterans dying. This is serious stuff yet no one can put a dent in it. Go on line and read VA policies and regulations.. They write really good. It is all there. The issue no one can make them enforce it. Outside the VA care is available and no one should have to fight for it. We are disabled veterans that can not hardly make it through a day let alone try and fight the VA.

      I am angry and feel alone in my fight just as some of you do.

  18. Dear Mr. Krause:

    A message to my fellow VETERANS do not give up maintain a strong Faith in GOD you as I did not give up in our military life keep that strong Faith and Hope I guarantee it will see us through it has done so in life then and now, GOD never fails if we sincerely ask for help, show the spirit we did while in the military, we did and see how it pulled us through?

    Yours for GOD and Country
    Frank P. Calderon

    • As for me Frank Calderon i have for pray for will God’s will my Veteran Mental health care provider find out how it got in Veteran Medical Records how i got PTSD he knows its my Veterans Reords but he doesn’t know what made it be my Veteran Medical Records oh well i just have God’s will fimd out and if i do have it will won’t come to the i need Mental health treatment for PTSD……SEMPER FI ALL YOU VETERANS ON HERE.

  19. 01/10/2016

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    After seeing the reports come in on the FBI Director’s [Comey] decision to shut down the investigation on 12/30/2015, there is not much one can say about the Treason.

    This is the year of the “The Pretender.”

    Jackson Browne said it well:

    I’m gonna be a happy idiot
    And struggle for the legal tender
    Where the ads take aim and lay their claim
    To the heart and the soul of the spender
    And believe in whatever may lie
    In those things that money can buy
    Thought true love could have been a contender
    Are you there
    Say a prayer for the Pretender
    Who started out so young and strong
    Only to surrender
    Say a prayer for the pretender
    Are you there for the pretender
    Say a prayer for the pretender
    Are you there for the pretender
    Are you prepared for the pretender

    Lockheed’s old counsel [Comey] does not get any scrutiny for letting Principi and Peake slide by over QTCM and now CACI has a $6 Billion dollar contract—-they must be doing exactly what they are told to do.

    The President, all the Senators, and all the Congressmen are all in full knowledge.

    The Phoenix Police Chief of Police calls it a “Federal Matter”…about the “murders”/”Homicides.”

    So when does it STOP?

    Back in 1989, the Senators slammed shut the Whistleblowing Act on the Aerospace Whistleblowers and in 1998 the Cox Report came out, 900 pages of Treason.

    Do we have to wait 10 years?

    Do we have to see 195,000 more veterans die because we think the Senators and Congressmen know what they are doing?

    For me—-Like I stated clearly in Book One [Now Book 22 or 22000 pages later] —Treason.

    And for the readers—-Do you want a new country?—Keep sitting on your hands.

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

    PS: Davos has a new way of presenting the News.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pro-journo/data-journalism-for-resea_b_8945288.html

    Maybe this is where the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism is getting all their bad habits.

  20. Don’t bother with Federal Court, the VA will just lie… They lie to Congress, what would make you think they would be compelled to tell the truth in Federal Court?

    I had several counts of invasion of privacy and retaliation in my Federal Law Suit, and spent years trying to work through the federal courts, but ended up not getting anywhere because of the VA withholding of evidence and lying in the information they did give.

  21. AS LONG AS RECORDS ARE ON DONE ELECTRONICALLY BY COMPUTERS, NO INFO/DATA IS SAFE. ANYONE WORKING IN ANY MEDICAL DEPT, WHETHER PRIVATE OR GOV’T INCLUDING THE MILITARY HAS EASY ACCESS. TO ANYONE because they are in charge of ALL IT.. THE MILITARY HAS ACCESS TO KAISER RECORDS SO THEY CAN IN TURN CHECK ON ANYONE WITH MEDICAL OR PERSONAL INFO ANYONE. Kiaser already was caught with ID theft from past & current employees/members & families but barely a small fine by the CA AG for unfair access to business marketing.& it is still violating the laws with access to records in human resources. Now with the SSA being given permission to access medical records for the mentally ill which was labeled by the employer & the SSA without credible medical evaluations, injured workers who’ve been screwed at every level will eventually have their gun rights taken away. I’d say the same for our vets. Nice job congress for the construction of taking our health, our jobs, our everything! So it’s the deliberately made poor, the broken, the sick who will suffer yet, once again. Faschism is officially here. AND the congressional nuts created it all for corporation MBA’s, CEO’s…etc.. profit.

    • Of course they want the guns out of the hands of veterans. A group of people who are trained and can defend themselves and others. How many shooting have been done by veterans? Veterans suffer from PTSD which is considered a mental illness. Should it be? Post traumatic stress would be a better term. People have suffered with depression forever. Will all the people with depression be unauthorized to have guns? How are they going to find all of these people? They do not have electronic records or organizations hired to do surveys using Veteran records. So can the country take away the rights of veterans with mental illness and not other American citizens that have the same illnesses?

      what is being related to veterans is to not own up to symptoms of PTSD or depression. Oh wait a minute………..VA and government save tons of money because veterans who deserve medical care for mental illness brought on by the stressors of combat and stressful jobs because they may not want to have their personal lives and rights violated.

      Having a mental illness does not make a veteran violent. PEOPLE that get pissed off and do not have coping skills to appropriately handle the disappointments in life or they are just selfish spoiled brats that are self centered and have no conscience for what they do. It is extreme emotions that make people snap. Not mental illness or being a veteran that may have experienced some bad memories. It seems the U.S. Government has decided to label veterans as a segment of society they can easily identify and control.

      What happens when these veterans get therapy and medical care and they are healed. Mental health can be restored. Then what? Are their rights returned???

      This is treating veterans like felons. Felons can’t have guns so we are going to put our wounded warriors in the same category as falons???? I better stop here. You all get the picture.

      • Bonnie casler are you put your thoughts in Local newspaper a pen is sharper than any sword and your Veterans Friends please puts yours thoughts how to improve Veterans Healthcare and believe or not i going to put in my Local Newspaper get rid of the Veterans Choice Card keep Fee base.

  22. Just found out today anyone working at the VA hospital, anyone, can access ALL of our medical information, personal or not! When you engage in a conversation with your doctor, or even a counselor, your conversation is thoroughly recorded. Anything you believe is private, or any imagined respect of privacy you believe you have DOES NOT EXIST! This is a clear warning to ALL US Veterans, you cannot trust anyone at the VA for any reason. You are placing your very freedom at risk as well!

    • Good luck complaining about privacy, ESPECIALLY if you are a MALE veteran! They will instantly and summarily label you mentally ill, and, because there is ZERO oversight, they will make it STICK! For the most part, the patient “advocates” are man hating females, and many of them are dykes!

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