Secretary Bob McDonald

Yesterday, the VA’s Secretary Bob McDonald publicly admitted to the scope of the enormous TBI scandal and a fix that may get affected veterans some justice.

VA acknowledged that over 24,000 veterans were impacted by the scandal where veterans who reported traumatic brain injury (TBI) were examined by unqualified doctors. According to an agency announcement, the scandal started in 2007.

For some background, I exposed it in 2015 after one of my clients was examined by two separate doctors who are unqualified. NBC reporter AJ Lagoe won the leading investigative journalist award from IRE for his coverage of the scandal, and now almost 25,000 veterans suffering from TBI will get some form of justice.

VIEW IT: PowerPoint For VSOs About TBI Scandal

VIEW IT: VA Equitable Relief Fact Sheet

VIEW IT: VA Equitable Relief Press Release

(Take a look at the last pages of the PowerPoint for VSOs. It is interesting that VA only lined through the paragraph that highlights any potential negative effect of a new TBI evaluation.)

Otherwise, the VA TBI press release went as follows:

VA SECRETARY BOB MCDONALD TBI PRESS RELEASE

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald has granted equitable relief to more than 24,000 Veterans following a national review of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) medical examinations conducted in connection with disability compensation claims processed between 2007 and 2015.

This action by the Secretary allows the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to offer new TBI examinations to Veterans whose initial examination for TBI was not conducted by one of four designated medical specialists and provides them with the opportunity to have their claims reprocessed. Equitable relief is a unique legal remedy that allows the Secretary to correct an injustice to a claimant where VA is not otherwise authorized to do so within the scope of the law.

“Traumatic Brain Injury is a signature injury in Veterans returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and VA is proud to be an organization that sets the bar high for supporting these, and all, Veterans,” said Secretary McDonald. “Providing support for Veterans suffering from a TBI is a priority and a privilege, and we must make certain they receive a just and fair rating for their disabilities.”

To ensure that TBI is properly evaluated for disability compensation purposes, VA developed a policy in 2007 requiring that one of four specialists – a psychiatrist, physiatrist, neurosurgeon or neurologist – complete TBI exams when VA does not have a prior diagnosis.

Since 2007, medicine around TBI has been a rapidly evolving science. VA designated particular specialists to conduct initial TBI exams because they have the most experience with the symptoms and effects of TBI. As more research became available, VA issued a number of guidance documents that may have created confusion regarding the policy. VA has confirmed that its TBI policy guidance is now clear and being followed.

“We let these Veterans down,” Secretary McDonald said. “That is why we are taking every step necessary to grant equitable relief to those affected to ensure they receive the full benefits to which they are entitled.”

VA understands the importance of an accurate exam to support Veterans’ disability claims. The Secretary’s decision to grant relief will enable VA to take action on any new examinations without requiring Veterans to submit new claims. If additional benefits are due, VA will award an effective date as early as the date of the initial TBI claim.

VA will contact Veterans identified as part of this national TBI review to offer them an opportunity to receive a new examination and have their claims reprocessed. More than 13,000 of these affected Veterans are already receiving service-connected compensation benefits for TBI at a 10-percent disability evaluation or higher, which means that the diagnosis has already been established.

Last year, I never would have dreamed the scandal was as large as it is; but thank God the media is still covering veterans scandals.

I am also thankful Secretary Bob McDonald had the guts to do the right thing for so many veterans. Say what you like, I never would have dreamed a VA Secretary at any point would acknowledge such a large failure.

Source: http://www.militarytimes.com/story/veterans/2016/06/01/va-review-24000-brain-injury-diagnoses/85269570/

54 COMMENTS

  1. Great now maybe they can also look at TBI evaluations where the TBI was a result of a service connected disability. Or TBI evaluations from 1995 even though I had head trauma that led to my disability, i was never evaluated for a TBI till over 20 years after release from active duty.

    • In 1995 it was called “residuals of brain injury” and according to Bob’s acting assistant undersecretary they didn’t have to have anyone in particular examine the vet. His letter is above.

      I should be lucky my husband was at the time…1991. Funny he admits that because the DRO hearing and the C&P doctor they sent us to clearly says TBI exam on the paperwork. It seems Bob is saying if you ARE SC for TBI any doc can examine you after and reduce the award or deny aid and attendance based on the TBI.

      In other words…he is already trying to slip out of his promise.

      And, until you hit 20 years SC when they can only reduce it due to fraud they can keep playing games assuming you grew a new brain and are cured.

      I am thinking this is Bob’s brain on drugs. Or, he donated it early as he promised at the VA Brain Trust. Yes, they really called it that. Bob donated his fake TBI addled brain to science. I think he got that fake TBI in his fake Special Forces days.

  2. Dr. Van Boven who had been hired as the Director of the Traumatic Brain Injury lab in Waco Texas in ?2007exposed the enormous malfeasance where large sums of money were spent on a contractor where it should have been spent on TBI research. He exposed this at great peril and suffered hugely for this, while the perps got away scot free. He tried to get the attention of the leadership of the VA with little success. Where was the IG in all of this?

    • Ive contacted i.g. and was asked as i was complaining this so called blackman in charged attitude asked me does this have anything to do with. Claims,i said yes…. then he hung up the phone on me, i was pist off,im sick of the levels of abuses

  3. Great reporting, Benjamin.
    Sec. McDonald must have had much pressure to make this announcement. However, now we have to wait and see if the VA actually FOLLOWS this “Equitable Relief Measure” and *properly* conducts TBI Exams and DOES NOT LOWBALL Veterans!!!

    I say this because granting a 10% rating for TBI and then letting the 1000’s of Claims sit and live, collect much dust, in the VA Appeals Cesspool is NOT a tidy nor desired outcome of this and can see the VA only complying JUST ENOUGH to keep Vets tied-up in VA red tape for a long time. Hope I am wrong but we ARE dealing with a petulant child; the VA.

    Too bad Sec. McDonald could not come out balls to the wall against VA’s adversarial nature towards Veterans. Trust is not an automatic given and will take MUCH time on we Veteran’s part. A MASS FIRING would certainly help things along like a good bonfire does for a pig roast.

    There is so much VA Scandal going on that I cannot fathom the VA Spin Machine being able to bleach it all. Tomah VAMC may just be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    • I think veterans that do obtain their disability for TBI. Will automatically be given 10% rating across the board.

      No matter how severe. ! That way they can start the process of telling the veterans If you disagree. You can file an appeal and must present new evidence.

      That we have not already used.?

      Second. Start the process to take it away. Your better !

      We have seen this way too much and that’s their MO !

  4. @Ben Krause
    Great report and reporting!!!!

    I’m sorry, I have to agree with ‘namnibor’ over this. I believe “…McDonald has been pressured…” to do something. Because of “…all the different scandals…” coming into the light.
    I do not believe McDonald has had a change of heart. His “track record” shows this.
    For a long time now, we on here have said, something ‘horrendous’ has to happen. To “wake up” the American Public over this outrage!
    namnibor and others, including myself, believe this ‘horrendous act’ could be the Tomah Scandal!

    ____________________________

    Regarding the “meeting” at the American Legion this week with the union, might be of interest to many.

    If at all possible. And you live there. I would suggest a ‘member’ attend. And if it’s legal, “secretly record” said meeting!
    Then, not only send a copy to Ben, send a copy to the news medias!
    “Stir the pot”, as an old vet buddy of mine used to say!
    I have a feeling this meeting is going to be HOW the union is going to “protect” the VA employees of Tomah.
    At the same time. When people get together, other aspects of what might occur will come to light. Maybe some negative aspects, ie; underhanded illegal things, of what the union will attempt against VA upper management! Wouldn’t that be an interesting turn of events!

    • I talked to someone that was very close to the firing of Bobby at P&G. He hasn’t quite agreed to come out publicly yet but I am working on it.

      Know how Hillary was fired from the Nixon impeachment committee because she was too dishonest for the job? Bobby Baghdad makes her look like an amateur.

      Bob doesn’t care one iota about veterans. He cares about Bob. If the public wanted him to kill us all he would oblige smiling. I was told he is probably very confused at the moment as he lives in a bubble of sycophants that tell him he is just wonderful. Sloan Gibson was a fellow ring knocker classmate and 40 year friend. His multi-million dollar spin machine isn’t working…major, multiple slips recently and Bob is probably not dealing well with it.

      See the Obama meltdown last night? The thought of Trump undoing all his greatness is making him crazy. Look for the same with Bob McDonald. He can’t get in front of the snowball coming down hill now. My saying that Bob doesn’t understand that vets are not Tide Pods comes from that man. .

      • I sent McDonald a rather scathing email before Memorial Day on his offices lack of action or response to several emails I have sent since March.
        I finally got a condescending, smart ass response from him where he was saying he was going to be paying respects to those that paid the ultimate sacrifice that weekend, but he would look into it.

        I responded with enough details letting him know I fully understood what sacrifice meant and the name and age of the young soldier who made it.

        He doesn’t have the first damn clue.

    • Oh to be a fly on the wall at that meeting. Competing with all the flies attracted by some members.

      If I were a AFGE member I would be asking what was being done to protect members from retaliation, what was being done to insure the IG took complaints seriously, and what was being done to insure federal laws were followed.

      As it is now, AFGE seems to be nothing regarding the hostile work environment throughout the VA.

  5. Bob never emailed me back from his taking the happy gas 5AM answer right after the Disney remark. I emailed him right after the first story broke to point out that it was not 8,000 as they were trying to limit to but that the BVA brief filed May 9, 2016 showed my husband was one from Indiana. A state they were trying to say had none.

    Still crickets from Bob. Still no call to Rep Lee Zeldin saying he will sign the equitable relief for my husband. Long before this was admitted to. He is 100% SC for TBI. Well, he was under the old name “residuals of head injury’ but the non-certified TBI doctor a George Turek/VES guy tried to lower it to 70%. Only they ran up against the 20 year rule and couldn’t.

    My understanding is not just any doctor with those degrees can do the TBI C&P exam. Like Ben had to get approved to do vet claims so does the doctor.

    Ben, McDonald is lying thru his teeth on this. It is going to be much more than 24,000 and he knows it. And, it will involve already SC that were negatively impacted on purpose to save the VA a buck. TBI veterans. How many of the 22 a day are going to be in this group?

    • Those are very good points and a key question at the end.

      Why should this be limited? If an employee at one VA hospital can get confused over policy, what prevents other VAs from getting confused?

      • You can see the answer back from Bob’s guy above. Just as I thought. It literally is ok that my husband saw a doctor that wasn’t on the certified list because he was already 100% for TBI and it is ok for ANY doctor to examine him afterwards. Even to try to reduce the SC for TBI or deny SMC T…aid and attendance for TBI!.

        Bob is lower than snail slime on a sidewalk.

  6. It really hurts to see what VA is doing with reducing educational requirements for providers, I have a Bachelors, a MD degree and 3 years of residency. I have experience and I am a disabled veteran. VA has not hired me to work as a physician after applying for the past 6 years. Yet they want to hire Nurse Practitioners to do MD work level care. I also see McDonald using residents in Ed. institutions to care for Vats as well. Nurses and students reduce the cost but does not necessarily improve healthcare outcomes. The actions of Bob McDonald seems to be budget and stock price oriented and we are human beings.

    • Keep your chin up brother and keep trying. Things tend to go in cycles, and I suspect after the next election you will see things going more in your favor.

      Don’t give up!

      PS. One way you might help veterans is if there may be a way for you to consult on claims or other issues for a fee. Would help put food on the table while waiting on the VA to get their act together.

    • Airman Diaz,

      Impressive accomplishments Airman. I know that they don’t just let anyone into Medical Schools to become a Doctor. Many who apply are weeded out before being accepted and many more are weeded out while in school. So I know that you are not only an ethical person but also of a higher moral standard.

      The current push to allow nurse practitioners has been an ongoing fight at the Veterans Administration for more than a decade and started long before McDonald. Although McDonald, with his big pharma background, is clearly promoting the push to remove Doctors from VA Healthcare, with the exception of doctors connected to research organizations.

      The true sponsors of this push to degrade the care received by Veterans can be seen by visiting the pages of the associations such as the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. All of their meetings and workshops where members can earn up to 30 credits towards their certifications in a mere 5-day time span are all sponsored by their corporate partners.

      The corporate partners of these associations are the Pharmaceutical industry, Medical Device Manufacturers, and Research organizations who use the Veterans enrolled in the Veterans Administration Health Care system (VHC), as human subjects in their research.

      By using Veterans enrolled in VHC the corporate sponsors of these associations are shielded from legal actions, bad publicity and are able to control the information about bad results found during their research that might prevent their product or procedure from being approved.

      Their shielding comes from the limited legal process Veterans are allowed to use when injured. For these Corporate sponsors even if a veteran is able to prove a claim of injury by the research they are not held financially accountable instead the American Tax payer is held accountable through the dysfunctional claim system.

      This limited legal process that protects these corporate sponsors is the 1151 claim system part of the VA claim system. Where medical records are scrubbed and documentation is shredded that show any connection to a Veterans injury between the healthcare they received connected to the VA or any injury during service. Since no one at the VA is held accountable when these medical records are scrubbed and documents are shredded these corporate sponsors are very well shielded.

      This use of Veterans in Human subject research is contributing to the three tiered medical care system used in the United States today.

      ____________________________

      Tier One Medical Care – for patients that can afford the best of care which includes doctor who only prescribe pharmaceuticals, medical devices and medical procedures that have been proven on the market for more than six years and research supporting their use is published in JAMA without the advertisement rating.

      ____________________________

      Tier Two Medical Care – for patients that can afford enrollment in Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or patients that use Medicare or Medicaid. Also where doctors waive the six years on the market and prescribe pharmaceuticals, medical devices and medical procedures that have been published in association trade journals. Most of which would be marked as advertisement in JAMA.

      _____________________________

      Tier Three Medical Care – for patients that rely on the Veterans Administration for health care. Where there are no “real” standards for pharmaceuticals, medical devices or medical procedures to meet before a doctor will prescribe them.

      ______________________________

      Using the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists current push with the VA to remove doctors from the VA the following link shows their associations relationship with their corporate sponsors who not only fund the association but also is funding its current push with the VA.

      American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

      “http://www.aana.com/corporateopportunities/Pages/AANA-Corporate-Partners.aspx”

      Also a current article about the push by the VA and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists push and the fact that Doctors are stating this will cause serious harm to Veterans.

      Medscape Medical News

      “VA Plan for Independent Advanced Practice RNs Riles Physicians” by Robert Lowes, May 25, 2016

      “http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/863848”

  7. Wait…what’s missing here and ultimately forthcoming, will be Sec. McDonald sending Gibson with open hands to Congress for $$$$$$$ for the “fix” to “FIX” the ‘fix’ of the idiots at VA simply not following Directives and Regulations.

    Call me a cynic, but the VA is very creative in providing ‘fixes’ that eventually needs more $$$ to ‘fix’. As example it could go lie this: The VA needs to hire X # of Neuro Specialists or some kind of research crapola….wait for it…or it could mean yet an additional “Tech Fix’, which always requires $$$$ sacrificed to the VA Black Hole. 🙂

    Peace and Rant Out.

    • @namnibor
      Or McDuck could “secretly” give a “Hail Mary” to all those “Nurse Practitioner’s” he’s hired. Then say they are “qualified to perform tbi exams!”
      Then he could,
      a.) get them to deny, then put ALL the claims in the “backlog abyss”! Or,
      b.) lowball all claimants. Or,
      c.) “lower all claimants compensations” and take back monies given out!

      I do not trust that “ASSWIPE!”

      • You and I, Brother, think way too much alike 🙂 The Nurse Practitioner thing with VA to replace/substitute ‘real M.D.’s’ was right at tip of brain after more caffeine. Ditto.

  8. @namnibor, Seymore Klearly, Robin Mitchell and everyone else who reads these blogs.

    The “Wisconsin Watchdog” just came out with a scathing article this morning, (2 June, 2016), concerning Tomah VAMC!
    They spoke to Ryan after the meeting.
    I would seriously request y’all google and read it. Also, read the “comments section”!

    This “single payer” healthcare system, like Obamacare, is a complete dismal failure!
    Until vets get to “shop around” and get the best price for healthcare, as Ryan Honl has stated, “Nothing will change!”

    Robin, I hope you can talk that person into coming out against “old Bagdaddy Bobbie McDonald!”
    He, McDuck, needs to be “outted” for the punk assed asswipe he truely is!!!

    • P.S. Robin Mitchell,
      I bet ALL 50 states, and territorys which have VAMC’s, had mistakes on this “TBI SCANDAL!” Not just the ones McDuck is claiming.
      We all know how much of a “LYING SACK OF DUNG” he is!

      • The home grown terrorist work at the v.a.’s, am also sick and tired of the blacks that work at these places that say under thier breath…. we getting even on whites. For slavery,,, and then when i go off,i get labeled a problem vetearn,ive had security. Tell me to leave a few times as i crossed the states to find a v.a. that was up to taking proper care all the way around from health,housing,claims, i could go on and on but what comes from it,two things jack and shit, and yes ive seen a few good v.a. people,one lady therapist that i had just had a few sessions,she was crying the last time i saw her as she was packing up her office and she just got there,she was awesome ,thats the problem. They get rid of those kind. My fallow vetearns. This stuff is done by design,v.a. needs to close all there doors………..its simple thugsgangsters with a somewhat authorised for operating killing fields behind brick and motor,how many more good people will die at the hands of this beast created and maintained by our so called leadership. Fuckin sick ass bitches!

      • cliff- Nobody takes issues whether any given VA employee or Veteran is Black, White, or Polka-Dotted, or Plaid…it’s the corruption and fraud, which has no “ethic identity and we Veterans are MUCH taller than to bring ‘race’ into the picture.
        Peace, Always.

    • elf,

      I have mixed feelings about that. I have been made to follow spy tradecraft to communicate with some of my contacts. Others like the ex-drug interdiction guys that found the 115 year old Robert Reynolds running around Maryland doing business I told to just keep looking but don’t contact me for now. I am sure they are and they are very, very, very good at what they do.

      This is McDonald’s guys answer to “TBI equitable relief”. It is ok for a non-certified doctor to try and take it away or deny aid and attendance based on TBI once TBI is service connected:

      McLenachen, David, VBAVACO Jun 2 at 11:11 AM
      To
      Robin Mitchell
      Message body
      Mrs. Mitchell:
      Thank you for contacting me about the Secretary’s equitable relief and your husband’s benefits. The decision to grant equitable relief in these TBI cases is limited to Veterans who did not receive an initial examination by a specialist, and it applies to any affected Veteran regardless of location. It does not apply to your husband because VA has rated his disability at 100% since 1991, and although it was not our policy at the time, he had a specialist examination before we granted service connection for his disability. Regarding any subsequent review examination for TBI (TBI already diagnosed), such as for your husband’s claim for special monthly compensation, VA does not require a specialist. I hope this helps clarify our policy and answers your questions about the Secretary’s equitable relief for these Veterans. Please let me know if you have follow-up questions.

      Dave

  9. Isn’t it sad the “National Football League” takes TBI’s more serious than the VA! Their physicians are working harder than any VA healthcare employee to try to protect their players.

    On that note:
    “Isn’t it sad a man with a helmet and ball, has better healthcare coverage, than a man with a helmet and rifle protecting our Nations FREEDOMS!”

    ____________________________

    Sure hope some asswipe TROLLS come on today. Hope they read the scathing articles, from the past few weeks, about the VA crap veterans have to deal with on a daily basis!
    Plus, I hope they read the “comments sections”. This will let them know just what we think about them AND all the VA employees who are incompetent individuals!
    Don’t get me wrong. There are some good employees. Trouble is, they are few and far in between the bad ones!

      • @namnibor
        Yep, I left that one alone also.

        Yet, after I read it a few more times. There was a resounding “screw the VA tone” about it, big time!
        The commenter wasn’t implying something “racist”, it was what was “over-heard” at one of the VA’s by someone “of color” that was racist in nature!
        That, in itself, is not “baiting us” as a “troll” would do, but letting us know there are those in the VA who ARE racist against certain other ‘races’ (of veterans)!

        I myself have been on the receiving end of “racism” by a lab technician. And didn’t even know it until later. It was from one who’s job was to “draw blood”! The “lab company”, subcontracted to do this, received so many complaints about this woman, they fired her! She was over-heard saying how she “…loved torturing the white and asian patients when drawing blood!”
        I know it might seem hard to believe. But all one has to do is look what’s going on out in the U.S. as I type this.

        My wife says to me sometimes this,
        “You are racist, you hate every asshole equally, no matter what color they are!”
        So, I guess I’m racist toward assholes!

        Maybe that’s true, maybe not. Hell, I always try to be honest and truthful. Even if it hurts someone’s feelings!
        Isn’t that what we, or most of us, were taught at a young age? Or, when we joined the military?

      • Hey Namnibor,

        I know what you mean about that scent. Its pretty strong and urinal smelling. Not a very bright one.

        That rank urine smell I am pretty sure its that one that claimed to be an attorney before. Guess he came back for some more day light disinfectant. Hopefully if no-one feeds it then it will go away.

      • @crazyelf and Seymore Klearly– I may very-well had come to rash judgment on the ‘troll call’ but like Seymore Klearly stated, I got the exact same feeling when reading/rereading for syntax and content of that Troll claiming to be a VA attorney that has repeatedly posted to attempt to agitate.

        I too, am an equal opportunity “asshole racist”, but I quite literally took that post as Troll Baiting, as if you recall, we have had in past year some BLM types that posted on here saying we are racists…the light of day made potential troll go away, so who knows.

        I just would not put it past VA Employees to try to take this website down through such undermined and dirty methods…all part of “Ethical Hacking”, which know for a fact the VA Employees due to having an ex-Veteran friend in Indy that was being sent to such courses and paid for by the VA. No longer a friend/buddy because it became clear to me I could no longer trust this person not long after they started….working for the VA part time. No trust, no friend.

  10. I stopped going to v.a. so i may survive what they have done to me, where are all these so called lawyers for the vets,ive been turned away alot by those who advertise they help vets, just how big is the scam???? Ive got t.b.i. on top of alot of other things im beyond. Disquest……

    • I’ve stopped going too. After being deemed “red flag-difficult” for just speaking (not yelling) out for myself, all 90 pounds of me now requires a police escort to my appointments. So now I’m selling stuff to be able to pay for REAL doctors to treat my disabilities-not medicate them!

      • The disruptive committee is illegal and the VA Is punishing veterans at will and are not required to provide any proof. !

        Veterans are not given any way to defend themselves against false allegations !

        They are acting in a judiciary manner and they have no business or training to be accuser. Prosicuter. Judge Jury and executioner. !

        All veterans civil and constitutional rights are being taken away. !

        I too was accused and the VA lied over and over and even admit they had no evidence. Even going so far as to tell senators Bennett’s office. They never punished me.

        I am now being seen by a private doctor. Under Choise. If You live over 40 miles from a VA hospital ? Not clinic. You can be seen on the outside. !

        This B.S. by the disruptive committee and disgruntled employees must be stopped !

        How many veterans have killed themselves because of this illegal Nazi committee.

    • It’s only the fraud and corruption that’s keeping the VA sticking together at this point. Kind of like a really old apartment where it has so many coats of paint it becomes earthquake proof.
      The AFGE Union is working diligently to keep all the pieces together again…with fresh sticky corruption, secret meetings away from public, but VSO’s to “save the VA from we Veterans”….LMAO! These clowns need to just do it and go to circus school. 🙂

  11. Not to be overly cynical, but history and experience shows its a valid viewpoint….yes, McDonald doing this should be lauded, but I don’t think he had any choice.
    That it is happening as fast as it is should be lauded because history shows the VA will fight like hell in the face of clear evidence.

    What irritates me about his statement is the BS about confusion over policy, which he says is now all cleared up. There were policies against wait times for years and they are still manipulated. What is he doing to insure this clarified policy is followed? It snacks of micromanagement from higher up, but history shows that too is needed.

    Finally, why is it whenever policy is confusing or there is some other mistake made, it is NEVER in favor of the veteran?

    This wasn’t a policy mistake or confusion. It was VA business as usual trying to cut corners and do things for veterans on the cheap rather than doing it right.

    Huge kudos to you Ben for getting a change affecting so many veterans. I don’t have TBI, but I know changes like this often affect care in other areas…so thank you.

    Ps. I sent an email to you on donating, but I haven’t seen a response. How can I donate to keep your site running?

    • @91veteran- There’s on place on right side of this page in red box. Just click and it will give you payment options. It’s how I have been doing it. You do not need a paypal account. Hope that helps while Ben may be pretty busy. If you use paypal, there’s a place to type/insert a message with your’s or anyone’s contribution to help Ben fight the good fight.
      (I should note that I view this website on my laptop, not a mobile device, so placement of that CONTRIBUTE icon may be different depending)

      • Thanks nam, I thought it had been posted before, but I couldn’t find the right button to push. I will look around again.

  12. Ben, I would like to know your opinion about the relationships within the DOD and the VA construction contractors mentioned in the budget. There are a lot of new projects amounting to millions and millions of dollars that are unrelated to direct care for veterans. Thank you.

  13. Google the following;

    “Tomah Hospital VA Whistleblower, ‘It Will Not Work'”

    From “Wisconsin Watchdog”
    2 June 2016

    • well Ryan Honl isn’t saying anything veterans, past & current, haven’t said or written for decades, “it will not change”. isn’t that the truth!

      by actions, we see we have a WH & Congress(past & current) that don’t truly want it to change either, or they would have fixed it a long time ago. they control the purse and make the laws. they could have forced fixes at the drop of a hat if they had wanted to. and this VA issue has nothing to do with republicans or democrats at this point in time. this VA issue is way deeper than that or lets see, as simple as “control & $$$$”. duh!

      a changing of the guard in DC may help, but really, i can’t hold my breath, but i do hold a bit of hope. looking forward to Mr Trump getting in the ring and taking his best shot. this country elected a young non-experienced radical to the job and things in DC seem worse. political evolution i guess? i hope Mr Trump’s admin staff can get the VA compass to swing around a bit. the status quo sure seems uneasy about a Trump WH…good.

      now why it is that a majority of American citizens, who have felt the frustrations of a federal single-payer healthcare like this obamacare, don’t rally behind veterans with this VA fiasco is beyond me. every week negative news concerning VA practices and their union makes it onto the world news outlets. and still, we see little true momentum for this particular veteran health cause. dare i say, more [people] care about an [ape] put down than a human child in harms way or veterans & the VA health issue.

      i will say this, obamacare did [one] thing that has helped many i know in my supports groups. the pre-existing conditions that can’t be based on denial of med insurance. of course past and current Congress could have engineered a bill to help citizens out with that issue, but they chose not to…as usual.

      really folks, i do hope ol’ macdonald and crew will actually help the TBI veterans they screwed over and do it in a timely manner with little red tape. but gee, a quick glance at ol’ macdonald and crew’s past words of actions leaves me to believe their words are but empty. and we read more “advanced nurses” to act as doctors at VA? will that help the TBI veterans and their families? just asking…

      • With Attorney General Lynch overturning the VA’s decision to terminate Sharon Helman, casts a new light on justice in America. Bottom line – there is no justice for veterans. Even if Secy McDonald was inclined to change the culture of organization – he is hog tied and hamstrung. Why would anyone want be working for an outfit that would make a cabinet secretary look stupid.

      • Stupid is as stupid does. And Bob has done this to himself !

        Veterans needed someone with trumps mentality. Take no excuses. Take no prisoners !

        Hey you. Your fired. !

        I want trump to be president. ! He will make sure the draft is implemented and every American will be forced to serve. No exceptions.

        Send thousands to the middle east. Russia and north Korea and China and Africa.

        Any elected official who is of age and can pull a trigger. Be sent to the front line for 5 five year’s.

        IF they survive. Let them leave the VA. The way it is now and treat them the way we veterans ate being treated now.

        Maybe they would get the message !

  14. Don’t get excited yet David McLeanChen emailed me today reniged on equitable relief. VES doctor they admit has been doing TBI exams in Indiana since 2003. He could have done 1000 alone

  15. The way I see it a lot of people at the VA need to go to jail. They should be placed under arrest, jailed, and then placed on trial and sentenced to do hard time! That will never happen because of the amount of corruption that permeates that government agency from top to bottom. The entire government is corrupt.

  16. This just on Stars & Stripes, JUne 2, 2016: “Veteran (Jason Simcakoski) called congressman (Ron Kind, WI), others, before death at Wis. VA Center” (he made DOZENS of calls)

    Just remove the quotes before and after link:

    “”http://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/veteran-called-congressman-others-before-death-at-wis-va-center-1.412826?utm_source=Stars+and+Stripes+Emails&utm_campaign=Daily+Headlines&utm_medium=email””

  17. Ben. I have a question ! I read from 2007 to2015.

    I believe I tried before this date. So am I reading this right. Those who applied before 2007year’s will not get this benefit.

    I was not able to receive my disability for fourty year’s and because the VA lied about my records being destroyed in the big ?.

    And I not having care since 1973 due to the lie and me not knowing I had been living with a TBI for forty year’s.

    Am I and veterans like me left out ?

    I have records from a VA neurologist confirming the TBI and the regional office denied my claim.

    They keep saying we need more proof and they keep saying I was hit in the head With a tear gas canister !

    No.I was shot point blank in the forehead. By a pistol. My c&p examination state’s. U was shot in the head.

    U don’t know what I should do or are older veterans Not worth the VA time. Expendables.?

    Isn’t 40 year’s long enough to suffer ! No one from VA has offered any treatment for TBI at all.

  18. Excellent article, Ben. I believe the Secretary will do the right thing whenever he can. He took the job that was the equivalent of stepping into a warm copies, and has been doing everything he can, from my perspective to wrangle in the outlier conditions that keep the VA mired in scandals.

    But the main thinking still is illogical. For example: a well performing office can get a staffing increase based on numbers. A low performing office, which might be low performing due to lack of staff cannot get the required FTEs until their performance increases. A true Catch 22!

    For Ch31, VR&E, there is no maximum caseload size and yet, the performance standards and salaries are the same. And the AFGE have yet to do anything about that. So the caseloads vary wildly across the country, from 80 cases to 250+!

    And management is told to ‘rate everyone as satisfactory’, basically so they never give out merit increases or have to deal with the paperwork of underperforming people.

    Now THAT is demoralizing to people who are trying to do a good job at the VA.

    Yes, the focus of care needs to be on services provided to veteran’s. But correct staffing will help accomplish that!

  19. WAKE UP PEOPLE- This is a form of Hegelian Dialectic. You are being manipulated.

    Problem-Reaction-Solution, is a variation on the classic Machiavellian fabricated external-enemy strategy for manipulation of public opinion and society, usually by the government. The general theory is based on the Hegelian Dialectic method;

    Definition:

    Problem-Reaction-Solution is defined as the strategy of creating a crisis (the problem), waiting for a call for action to resolve the crisis (the reaction), then taking action (the solution), supposedly in response, which actually furthers a hidden agenda, usually gaining some type of power over the people wanting help. This is often cited as:

    0. The government wants power the people will not freely give.
    1. The government creates or exploits a problem, blaming it on others.
    2. The people react by asking the government for help
    3. The government offers the solution that was planned long before the crisis.

    This is so common, its actually on Wikipedia:

    Go to: http://ethics.wikia.com/wiki/Problem_Reaction_Solution

    I CAN’T BELIEVE VETERANS ARE STILL FALLING FOR THIS ANCIENT AND ARCHIVED APPROACH.
    DO YOU NOT SEE THE VA CREATING THEIR OWN PROBLEMS TO GET MORE MONEY AND MORE POWER OVER THE VETERANS? ALL THE TIME, VETERANS ACTUALLY THINK THE PROBLEM IS BEING SOLVED WHEN IT IS NOT. IT WILL NEVER BE SOLVED BECAUSE ITS A GAME OF THRONES.

  20. Trying to continue stiffing prior war veterans. What is the difference between an IUD and a mortar round or artillery round in your immediate area? The injuries are the same. Just still denying they occurred during prior wars and that veterans lived a life time of misery being treated for behavioral problems when they had organic problems.

    • I wonder who us going to notify the veterans and how much. Not every veteran reads this blog.

      How is this going to work. I’ve been turned down. When once of their very own neurologist confirmed the TBI. From s ? shot.

      I’m worried about many who don’t read sites like this. Many don’t even watch ?.

      I’m a hundred percent service connected and it seems they will automatically make the disability at 10 % and no higher.

      If people like Graves and Rubins stiffing the American people Out of their tax ?. So they could live togather.

      What will one of them do to a veteran. When one of them wants a new ?. For their anniversary !

      Deny. Deny. Here you go honey. Don’t worry the veterans won’t even know the difference. I shreaded his records.

      And of you want anything elsewhere just ask. Their are a lot of veterans and if they should ask us.anything !

      All we have to do is plead the fifth and be on are merry way ! Our elected officials are such dummies. They fall for it each time.

LEAVE A REPLY