VA Secretary John Wells

Retired Navy Commander turned attorney John Wells has decided to throw his hat into the right for the top spot as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

I have given some degree of print time to some of the DC insiders who’ve been considered for the top slot, and now I think it’s time to turn our focus to non-insiders who can do as good a job if not better than those inside the beltway.

If we have learned anything over the past decade, being politically connected has mattered about as little as being a West Point alumni when it comes to fixing the beleaguered VA with its legion of civilian, lifer employees.

Maybe it is time to break with the practice of the past decade to bring in some new ideas from outside the homogenous education of our nation’s military academies. After all, leading troops into battle is one thing, but taming an army of union employees has proven too tough a task for even the most skilled West Point generals.

If you agree, you would be in good company. Over 1,800 Facebook users have backed Wells to Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans Rights Attorney John Wells

One of the best-known veterans rights attorneys in the nation, John Wells believes he has what it takes to push through the reforms needed to turn VA around for the sake of veterans.

As a DC outsider, Wells would likely not bring with him the baggage of other present stakeholders interested in the top slot. I have heard Wells also possesses the rare and valuable ability to recognize, know and admit to what he does not know.

In this modern era of corporate and bureaucratic politics, this is a valuable trait and something that could be an asset when compared to the previous four nominees that led the agency into and out of scandal after scandal:

  • Jim Nicholson, VA Secretary 2005-07 (West Point class of 1961)
  • James Peake, VA Secretary 2007-09 (West Point class of 1966)
  • Eric Shinseki, VA Secretary 2009-14 (West Point class of 1965)
  • Bob McDonald, VA Secretary 2014-17 (West Point class of 1975)

Desire Something Different

Notice anything similar about our past 4 leaders? Notice anything different about the mentality of VA’s Kafkaesque treatment of veterans? Who exactly are the veterans who depend on VA day in and day out?

Drilling this point home, since 2001, every VA Secretary nominated and confirmed for the head spot was an alumni of one of the military academies.

Most veterans who receive services from the agency are former enlisted soldiers. And many of those are veterans in poverty or who lack alternative health care options. And still many more of those are disabled veterans desperate for change.

How many of VA secretaries of the past decade were disabled or using VA health care? How many veterans are disillusioned with the lip service we receive in the press from these fearless leaders while our brothers and sisters go without the services they were promised?

These are factors I hope President-elect Donald Trump considers when selecting the next Secretary. Maybe pick someone with familiarity with veterans instead of those well-connected businessmen or Pentagon insiders?

None of those four names listed above had deep familiarity with veterans before being selected, and I believe that is something weighing heavily in favor of Wells compared against these picks in the past.

The man has not only served veterans for more than twenty years as a lawyer, but he has also been a veteran himself for about as long.

Wells’ Military Career, Briefly

Wells served in the Navy from 1973 to 1994, retiring as Commander of the Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Readiness Center in Pittsburgh PA. Since that time, he has served tirelessly to improve the rights of veterans fighting for benefits. Wells presently serves as Executive Director of the nonprofit Military-Veterans Advocacy, Inc.

READ: John Wells Bio

Of the individuals seeking to lead VA out of its present scandal-plagued status, Wells has the most detailed reforms plan of them all, which is no doubt informed by his extensive experience serving these men and women.

Check these out and let me know if it resonates.

VA Reform Plan By John Wells

Vision

  • A nation that upholds President Lincoln’s promise “To care for him [and her] who have the borne the battle and for his [her] widow[er] and orphan.”
  • A nation where the rights of all veterans of the armed forces are protected.
  • A nation where veterans receive their earned benefits without delay.

Mission

  • Restructure the culture at the Department of Veterans Affairs to make it “veteran friendly” with an emphasis on service rather than bureaucracy.
  • Emphasize outreach to veterans to ensure they are aware of their rights and benefits.
  • Working in concert with the National Academy of Sciences become proactive in the identification of diseases and disabilities unique to or connected with military service.
  • Work with Congress to ensure that funding is available to compensate and treat veterans who suffer disease or disability due to military service.

Specific Focus

  • Exempt service connected benefits from the offset provisions of the Pay As You Go Act of 2010.
  • Ensure sufficient operators are available for suicide hotlines 24/7.
  • Support passage of the Farness for Veterans Act to smooth process for upgrading discharges for PTS/TBI veterans.
  • In concert with the Veterans Service Organizations conduct a baseline review of Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations to streamline the benefits program.
  • Establish a Merit Systems Protection Board unit consisting of attorneys with MSPB litigation experience at the General Counsel’s Office to manage employment termination decisions.
  • Promulgate a disciplinary policy with consistent and specific guidelines for punishment.
  • Establish a center of excellence to research effects of toxic exposure on vets and descendants. Investigate all issues concerning toxic exposure and contract as necessary for expert assistance. Retain on a permanent basis the Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides and expand its mandate to include all toxic exposures including but not limited to Gulf War disease and Burn Pit exposure.
  • De-emphasize the use of standard forms within the VA and emphasize personal contact between the VA staff and the veterans they serve.
  • Assign Ombudsmen, who are veterans, to each Regional Office.
  • Revise job descriptions for VA raters to require military medical experience.
  • Require that the VA maintain a centralized database at an existing facility to identify health trends among veterans and their descendants and refer them as appropriate to the National Academy of Sciences for further study.
  • Immediately extend the presumption of Agent Orange exposure to veterans of the Blue Water Navy, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Guam, Johnston Island, Panama and Korea during the time Agent Orange was present.
  • Appoint a Chairperson of the Board of Veterans Appeals acceptable to the Veterans Service Organizations, the VA and the Congress. The BVA has been without a Chairperson for 5 years.
  • Decertify Veterans Law Judges with an excessive controllable remand rate.
  • Require all Veterans Law Judges to be Administrative Law Judges.
  • Incorporate pre-hearing conferences and scheduling orders in consonance with the practice in the federal administrative adjudication system.
  • On an interim basis, contract with retired Military Judges, after training in VA law, to hold regional hearings on veterans appeals until the 450,000 person backlog is eliminated.
  • Reconstitute and expand the VA Inspector General program.
  • Adopt the Industry Standard “Epic” medical records program for both VA and DOD.
  • Digitalize all records and phase out the centralized mailing system in favor of a digitalized intake system which can be accessed by VSOs and veterans law practitioners.

Learn More: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JohnWellsSecVA/

Ex va
Didn’t hear anything about reopening mental health beds inpatient for Veterans in crisis and not stable on medications. What about managers and administrators who sabotage programs and Veterans care with the created waitlists across the va systems. No accountability in the va system for criminal acts against Veterans. What about the clinical performance of a doctor or provider even with their poor clinical performance they receive performance bonuses. What about whistleblowers who do the right things why do they get… Read more »
namnibor
All good ambitions but still, to be frank; none of which realistically obtainable as long as the AFGE is entrenched within the VA and unless I am missing it, am not seeing anywhere it states an ambition to renegotiate the terms of contract with the VA AFGE Union. As long as they continue to have the employee’s by the balls, nothing will change. I realize the next POTUS and Congress would likely have to do that but the next VA… Read more »
namnibor

I should add that when one has focal points and ambitions that mention the VSO’s you may as well be talking about continuing the same meat and gravy train and symbiotic relationship the VSO’s and VA currently employ and the AFGE is like the cement keeping that broken system in place on the VA side.

91Veteran

I agree on that. Having the VSOs involved in anything just means whatever comes out the other end is watered down.

The next SecVA needs to recognize that, and be damn clear that the VSOs have not been speaking for many veterans for a long time.

Slicjoc1
I completely concur with your comments. Every VA Secretary since the AFGE took hold has been constrained by the same issues that are currently exposed. A corrupt AFGE union sponsored by the democrats and if that’s not enough to screw things up throw in the completely anti performance/accountability rules of the civil service review board who reinstate terminated employees even when the union contract process has been followed. I’ve personally seen employees sitting reading newspapers blatantly flaunting their refusal to… Read more »
VETSFORJUSTICE INC

VA AFGE UNION RATS OWN @ RUN VA DC HQ VETS YO ARE SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SCREWED BY AFGE UNION CONTRACTS FROM HELL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

91Veteran
In response to your comment nam, and ExVA above yours, I disagree. Wells point about reconstituting the VAIG would likely take care of many of the points made by ExVA, and forming a group experienced with the MSPB process would streamline the firing of employees that are AFGE. Management does not have protection using MSPB, so he would have to form a separate group for them. His plan citing the MSPB tells me he wants to streamline that process, which… Read more »
namnibor
Thank you for providing more clarity on these things as I clearly did not consider that snowball effect of his proposed plan. I still worry about the all too cozy VSO relationships. They need the VA teats removed or completely refocus their agenda to at least put their mission statements into real action for Vets and not the VA and VSO interests. Thanks again for further clarity. Most of us have no working knowledge of how things work with the… Read more »
91Veteran

I hear you nam and maybe I am overly gullible, but his plan would create a great deal of change for the good for veterans if fully implemented.
As for the VSOs, they can either become allies and start fulfilling their congressionally chartered purpose, or they can get the hell off the gravy train. That depends on whether their leadership is smart enough to recognize which way the wind is blowing.

Ex va
@91Veteran you are correct and i hope that would be the idea in streamlining the termination process. I just cannot see this option because of how protected these so called doctors and administrators are without the AFGE. When they go before boards, reviews, etc. They use their peers, colleagues and politics for protection. When they are escorted off the grounds by security they come back a few years later. That is sadly the truth. The directors are sent to another… Read more »
91Veteran

I hear you. His proposal is very much pie in the sky, and greatly dependent on WH support. Any reform of the VA by any SecVA will be dependent on that.
I just found out my own weasel director is the new director at Hines, VA. He was here less than 2 years coming from St Louis.
Rearranging the deck chairs.

Lem

The salaried physicians are protected more by low pay and benefits than any union. Who wants their job? Poor pay and benefits compared to the corporate alternatives and an ungrateful clientele because of the union protected lower staff. The good physicians leave quickly these days because the VA hasn’t kept pace with the civil sector except for staff that is able to thumb their noses at the clientele.

Ex va

The afge didn’t help me when i needed help. I really do not what they do. Drink alot of coffee.

Dennis
The AFGE does what most labor unions do – they collect dues. They make sure that contracts made outside of their realm (VA) go to affiliate brotherhoods (AFL/CIO). They make sure that the status quo is maintained. They use the union dues you pay to provide what I would call over priced whores for Congressmen and Senators to enjoy an evening meal with at a “five star” restaraunt. They make sure that nobody is embarassed by allowing a fellow union… Read more »
VETSFORJUSTICE INC
AFGE UNION LEGAL CONTRACTS RUN VA DEATHCARE FROM HELL VETS YO ARE SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SCREWED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CorpsmanUp!

Here is a link to Senator Carpers editoral in the Wilmington News Journal about the Director there. Talk about lipservice and surrogacy. Fucking douchebag….. http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2016/11/09/tom-carper-thank-you-your-service/93551314/

Dennis
Restructure the culture…. In a famous psychiatric experiment, a doctor decided to try to find out why prisons were still so violent despite massive reforms. He set up a prison in the university basement and hired kids to be divided into two groups – prisoners and guards. Himself the warden. Make it through the experiment and the kids would get paid. Within 36 hours the first prisoner left, desribing that he was “burning up inside”. Within 72 hours the guards… Read more »
namnibor
@Dennis- 🙂 🙂 Thank You! To the point, myself originally a good old Indiana farmboy, the huge pig and cattle farms also called it “THE HONEY WAGON”. I am pretty sure I would prefer the velocity and trajectory of your Pacific-Northwest Oregonian Poop Canons. Brilliant. But remember to take into consideration that the VA AFGE Union may infiltrate pearls to be poop cannoned onto the AFGE Swine and I still quite prefer your suggestion of high-yield tactical logistics 5k from… Read more »
namnibor

Still maniacally laughing. 🙂

namnibor

The Midwest Honey Wagon is equiv. to USAF A-10 jets, whereas your Pacific-Northwest Oregonian Poop Canons are clearly ICBM’s. (Incontinence Covering Bowel Movements)

Crazy elf
@Dennis, You basically described, “The Lord of the Flies”! Two groups wanting control of each other. Only, one group was docile, the other violent or considered barbarians. I also don’t see where he wants to bring the AFGE ‘to heal’! Until that happens, the VA will continue to be that train wreck. Unless the contract with the union is renegotiated, well, we all know the answer to that!!!! Lastly, I’ve learned recently, “polls” don’t really reflect what the total of… Read more »
Ex va

@ Dennis you are an artist. Great story.

Crazy elf

Here’s additional articles from; “Military.com” this morning, 9 Dec. 2016. Google the titles:

#1.) “VA to Let Vets Pre-Select Cemetery Burials Before Death”

by: Amy Bushatz

#2.) “Sound Off: Should the US Privatize the VA?”

posted by: “Under the Radar”

#3.) “Sound Off: What Happened to Trump’s Veteran Hot Line?”

#2 has additional articles to examine.

Crazy elf
P.S. I forgot to add this one from “The Doctor of Common Sense”! It’s hilarious, even though it shows how Obama has ‘flip-flopped’ over what active duty members are allowed to do! Especially when it comes to disregarding the Chain of Command in the military. titled; “WTF? Obama Tells Troops They Have A Right to Protest Against Authority and Criticize The President!” Utube video dated 8 Dec. 2016 I would truly advise anyone on active duty to NOT try this!… Read more »
namnibor

I am appalled at this. This is Obama giving the green light to the BLM within the military whom have been acting-out. Butthurt Snowflakes. All of them.

I bet Obama would feel differently about his words if all the sudden the white hut is welcomed with the National Guard to clear house for President Elect Trump. GET OUT…NOW…and make sure to pack-up that mother-in-law that’s also cost the taxpayers a chunk of cash.
Fumigate and redecorate. Done.

91Veteran

Yeah, that was a truly stupid thing for him to say. As of he can just overturn the UCMJ.
I will be so glad when that nitwit is finally out of office.

John Cokos

Ben:: Just what the doctored (VA?) ordered, another lawyer in the mix. Thank you sir, may we have another ?

Dennis

To be completely accurate – “Ben:: the disabled American veteran who was trained as a lawyer at VA expense and through his own determination to succeed, and who is now using his skills to help undo VA injustice done to his fellow vets using computer equipment and skills paid for by the VA.” My God, it does not get ANY sweeter!

Yes Please! May we have another? (Just don’t get that VA lawyer that Bob McDonald proudly pinned a medal on…)

namnibor

Right-On!! If any further attorney were to be in the mix of this mess it better-well be none other than JD Benjamin Krause, Disabled Veteran and Superhero Extraordinaire in Blue (not tights, please not tights) 🙂

John Cokos

I’m concerned about about possible contamination by close contact with a suspected contaminant (VA).
Can’t be too careful these days, might need an NBC team deployed and conduct field tests….:-) put on your NBC gear, we’re going in.

namnibor

” JD Benjamin Krause, Disabled Veteran and Superhero Extraordinaire in Blue” would carry that VA Kryptonite called Accountability to weed the rats from the V.A. Titanic. A modern day pied piper of sorts. 🙂

Lem

Anybody who uses or has used the VA ever met a major or lieutenant commander or above who has used the VA for health care? What can anyone who has not used the VA bring to the VA?

Dennis
The same thing that they have always brought for decades; a new slogan, a new picture hanging in the VA lobby, a new promise of accountability, and a new generation of veterans being left behind. This is what any new VA Sec has ever brought and will ever bring to the VA. Sec. VA is simply a label on an expensive overstuffed office chair, in a marbled floor office, in a building that rivals the Taj Mahal. To expect anything… Read more »
Crazy elf
@Lem, I have not seen hardly any officers, as you describe, or high ranking enlisted, (E-8 or 9), personnel at all in the VHA or VBA. I’ve seen a few, very few, “Warrant Officers”! You can bet they have ‘special healthcare insurance’! And, you can bet they have some sort of civilian financial goals already set up prior to their retirement. As in “Lobbyists” positions! Or like McDuck, Shinseki and others have done. Seymore Klearly said Shinseki went back overseas… Read more »
VETSFORJUSTICE INC

AMEN BRO

Angela

True, True, and more true. Agree.

NiteWish

The officer who approved my disability suggested I use some of the back pay & obtain counseling outside the VA. Impossible, the order to never speak about it is embedded as deep as the PTSD it caused.

FLB

I heard a lot of love for Veterans Service Organizations. I”m done with that!

Dennis

“In concert with the Veterans Service Organizations conduct a baseline review of Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations to streamline the benefits program.”

I have a novel idea. Let me change one of his sentences from the above to the below. He is close but it needs one minor change;

“In concert with the Department Of Justice and The Circuit Courts, conduct a baseline review of Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations to streamline the benefits program.”

namnibor

AMEN. DOJ….the *real* DOJ will have to wait until the clown acting POTUS is out of office so REAL justice can proceed.

Since Obama is over the VA and VA Secretary, we have not heard one *peep* of that thing called an apology for say, recent death of Veteran inflicted with maggots and sepsis. Not one peep. We have no real leader and have not for 8 years now.

Angela

Yep!

Seymore Klearly
I had not heard of John Wells prior to today so I did a little research on Mr. Wells. Only focusing on the link to Mr. Wells Bio provided by Ben in his article. From the information on his bio, website and blog articles I do not feel he could ever be a good choice to lead the VA. Basically, I found that Mr. Wells quotes to be well known out dated rhetoric as the problems within the VA. He… Read more »
91Veteran
Wow! I like everything about this guy’s reform plan. It clearly shows he has detailed knowledge of the problems that have been plaguing the VA for many years that no Secretary or Congress has been willing to fix. If nothing else, he certainly needs to be an Undersecretary or veterans advisor to get this plan enacted as much as possible. If you think of just a few of his issues being implemented, it would be a night and day difference… Read more »
John Cokos

The VA mafia will devour his flesh and leave the bones behind to bleach in the sun, as a reminder for the rest of us . You would need Tony Montana and his little friend for that job….

91Veteran

That may be the case no matter who is nominated if Trump and Congress don’t support him.

I recall years ago watching Jesse Brown testify about Gulf War issues. I recall Congress essentially saying he could have a blank check to fix the problems with Gulf War vets. He declined. I liked Jesse Brown because I believe he had empathy with disabled vets, but he declined because that is what the White House wanted him to do.

Disgruntled Veteran
Commander Wells has a sound plan to begin reforms at the VA – – – and is a tough, fair-minded man who (given appropriate political-fallout cover) will make substantive changes that will benefit all veterans. His introduction will go something like this: “Ladies and Gentleman, This (dis)Organization is fucked up. It does not remotely serve the needs of our veterans. You are going to unfuck it. If you do not unfuck it, I am going to fuck you.” End of… Read more »
Dennis

You are hereby nominated for the speach writing position within Sec. VA Office! Perfect.

It would really be more effective though if he also wore some snake skin cowboy boots and initiated boot therapy applied directly to the prostate via the most appropriate entry point. A free cancer check!

Words can scare, but a cowboy boot in the ass makes the point in a way that words cannot describe. Good post.

91Veteran

I’m picturing the boots wearing a poncho and a thin cheroot dangling in a Josey Wales style.

91Veteran

You sound like you have personal knowledge of Wells, and if so, it sounds encouraging.
I agree Ben would make a great SecVA since he knows what weasels so many can be.
Sessions is at DOJ, where he will likely end up helping reform the VA whether he wants to or not.

Disgruntled Veteran
@Dennis – – – First meeting needs to be the fishing expedition to ascertain who the “slow learners” will be. The Cowboy Boots happen in the second meeting. Just like you said. John will not waste good snake-skin though. Scuffed-up old bull riders boots is what he will be wearing. Justin’s, if memory serves. John knows how to root out snakes and weasels. And he well understands the word “Expedite”. No matter who fills the slot as SecVA – –… Read more »
91Veteran

Thanks for the insight.

Home Leveling

Can you tell us more about this? I’d care to
find out some additional information.

Ralph D Carmona Sr
I’ll tell you what Home Leveling. You read these posts from Ben every damned day and you read these comments from the people who are regulars. Shut up, learn, feel! While on this site I’ve laughed my ass off, I’ve learned, I’ve been surprised and not so surprised and I’ve also cried like a baby. 91, Nam, Elf, Dennis and others are a treasure trove of information and advice and they WANT you to use it. I doubt that they’re… Read more »
Ralph D Carmona Sr

Seymore, I forgot Seymore! Sorry bud

91Veteran

Thank you for the kind words Ralph. I hope the news gets better, or that you actually get proper care if the news does not improve.

Angela

I will remember you in my prayers.

Angela

Ralph, sorry. Didn’t notice that I did not type name until I posted. I will remember you in my prayers.

John Cokos

Not for nothing, BUT MickyD , Ex CEO of Proctor & Gamble has a huge position in the pharmaceutical business, might need to check out their corporate overseas interests and just how much business they do with the VA.
The VA is a vast cash cow, multi-level marketing scheme. No one is going to give that up. I’m too lazy to really go into this in any detail, but you can check it out yourself…

Angela

It is about the almighty dollar. Many of pharmaceuticals are a waste of taxpayer dollars. Not saying that they are not necessary in many cases but need to be streamlined. And then maybe VA could invest in real quality health care for vets. Benjamin, you would be excellent. Why do we need an officer for a choice? W

Angela

Officer who has come up through enlisted ranks as a baseline for VA secretary. Ben, how about you?

Crazy elf

@everyone;

91Veteran and Seymore Klearly have opposing viewpoints over John Wells as Secretary of VA.
Could you two please expound on why you have these differences?
IE; Could you give more specifics?
The reason I ask is simple, I respect your viewpoints, always have, always will!

Seymore Klearly
Elf thank you for the respects! For me it is simple. I visited the mans website and read through his blog. At:”http://www.johnwellslaw.com/index-4.html” In articles he only recites dated rhetoric that was acceptable at the time the articles were written. Basically pandering to the VSOs and the Veterans administration. In his articles he even goes so far as to defend the VSOs and claim that more money is needed for training them and providing them with additional resources out of the… Read more »
Lem

You forgot the top 5 of the VSO’s salaries on top of their 100% VA disability compensation. Same for most of you VSO representatives. They have their 100% compensation plus a salary of $70,000 plus on top of it.

91Veteran
I could easily defer to Seymore if he points out why. I was previously against Wells because he was unknown to me, and I think we need a real ball breaking hardass as SecVA. I didn’t think from the little I saw of Wells that he was it. My comment above is simply based on the details of his reform plan that Ben posted. The following reasons are why I would support him. As a veterans attorney, he knows the… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
91Veteran, The Why for me is simply as I stated. As quoted from my earlier post. “For me it is simple. I visited the mans website and read through his blog. At:”http://www.johnwellslaw.com/index-4.html” In articles he only recites dated rhetoric that was acceptable at the time the articles were written. Basically pandering to the VSOs and the Veterans administration.” For me this man is calling for more changes to the code of federal regulations not enforcement of the existing Regs. An… Read more »
91Veteran
I hear you about the VSO’s. That does give me pause, but VSO’s are an entity that will have to be included up until Congress yanks their charter. I don’t see any way around that. A plus for Wells is that he doesn’t have a long list that I can find of VSO memberships suggesting he is an insider. The VSO can fight positive changes from him or other veterans, but it is up to Congress to actually change it.… Read more »
Crazy elf

Hey y’all, if you’re for “the Wall” check out this article from “The Political Insider” dated, Dec. 8, 2016.

“Congress Has Approved the Wall Trump Wants to Build in 2006 – Construction Could Begin NOW!”

That’s correct. Congress passed it, and the President signed it into law in 2006. There’s even a picture (drawing) of what it’s supposed to look like.

Dan

I’d like to see someone like General Stanley McChrystal

Jo3n
Ben, I am curious as to whether you would consider the post. Or, does VA Secretary kinda scare you? I am sure that the VA Sec would be like tackling a bull. How does one accept that position? The VA is all about them. We Veterans are in their way. “Lord of the Flies” a good example of what the VA is turned into. Ben, you are most likely the best option. I just wonder if…? At this point, I… Read more »
Stephen LeMaster
I’m still all about Jeff Miller. I’m open to other suggestions, but this guy’s background looks a little similar to Shinseki’s. McDonald’s no prize, but he was an upgrade. If we want a REAL outside, how’s this for some outside-the-box-thinking — how about Mark Cuban? He & Trump has their differences during the election, but Trump is reaching out to people who opposed him. I don’t know how tough he would be with the union, but I have a feeling… Read more »
Jo3n

I noticed that the VA is honoring the Veterans of Pearl harbor, with virtual reality. Is the VA doing that? I had appointment on Tuesday, never heard a word about it. I am not sure how I feel about that. Why does the VA honor the dead, and screw the living? Guess I am just a bit confused about this.

91Veteran
I just got off the phone with my VA calling to schedule my annual checkup with my PCP. I said I don’t care to do that. Dead silence. Then she asks if I found another provider, I said not really. She said, well, you are not eligible for Choice…I interrupted and said I am eligible for Choice, having gone to them once already. I then told her why I didn’t want the appointment…that for the last 2 years, the VA… Read more »
namnibor

@91Veteran- Perfect snapshot of VA Nightmarecare in motion…*dead silence* when confronted with the correct thing to do.

91Veteran

I could almost hear the hamster wheel spinning in her head as I waited for her to say something.
But then, perhaps she was making notes in her recommendation to the DBC for me.
I don’t care. I am following up with an email to the director, VISN director and Shulkin on why.

Ex va
@91 Veteran, good job today. I always wondered how they can bill private insurance for service connected disabilities. If the acknowledgement is that there is substandard care they are delivering how can they bill ones insurance? If it was medicare it would be considered fraud if they could not deliver health care to private sector standards. It brings up the whole credentialing and privileging issue if these providers do not have the licensing to deliver healthcare. Anyways i always wonder… Read more »
91Veteran
It gets better. When I first went to the ER and was told I needed surgery, I filled out a form. A couple months after the surgery, I found out they billed my insurance, and they claimed signing that form allowed them to do it. I FOIAd the form and they couldn’t produce it. I asked how they got my insurance information, and was told the VA gave my personal information to a 3rd party contractor to find. I had… Read more »
Rosebud

They bill your private insurance cause that’s the law Congress past even for service connected conditions. If your insurance does not pay the full amount, unlike treatment at a private hospital, you are not on the hook for what they did not pay.

91Veteran

You are wrong, the VACO web site even says so, and is why the VA is reimbursing my insurance company over $12,600.

Disgruntled Veteran

“Why does the VA honor the dead, and screw the living? ”

Good question. Often asked that myself to many folks at the Compensation and Benefits Office here in Honolulu. They, of course – – – have no answers. But they do thank me for my service prior to placing me on a disruptive list.

As a lot of folks in this forum have observed – – – the whole damn stinking VA system requires a cold-start reboot.

namnibor

“Cold-start reboot”= VA requires a massive enema then drain the swamp and power wash.

Disgruntled Veteran

@namnibor Precisely.

Dennis
They place a lot of people on that list. I have studied the law that authorizes that action. It will blow your mind what federal law says the criteria is. In short, Federal law says they may do that if you; make a credible threat against a specific person(s) or property that places the person(s) in immediate danger of physical harm, and this threat must have occured while on VA property. “Credible threat” means that you have the intent, the… Read more »
namnibor
President Elect Trump is now giving his first public news event from Louisiana and he is Veteran and Military STRONG…and cleaning up VA and more…restoring…restoring the military…….making law that does not allow these snowflakes to burn and stomp on U.S.A. FLAG…Trump was particularly vocal about that and reinforcing our POLICE and LAW AND ORDER….tons more…rats should be jumping very soon…still live but there you go, watch/listen to news tonight or youtube will have it as well. Been a while since… Read more »
stress leave

In fact no matter if someone doesn’t know then its
up to other viewers that they will assist, so here it
occurs.

namnibor

Bot attack?

namnibor

Link to President Elect Trump speech

“https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esYbcrssEGc”

Jo3n
Like Seymour said, John Wells does appear to be years behind. The VSO’S have become useless. They tell me the Veterans administration has tied their hands, and cannot do their job. The applications I submitted a few years ago didn’t get anywhere. They told me the representative I turned my paperwork in to, had a heart attack. How they knew he was the one I gave my paperwork to, they wouldn’t tell me. I didn’t know any of this for… Read more »
namnibor

“I don’t trust anyone who would volunteer for Sec of the VA”– That’s where I am with my trust level because I guess I just assume it would be not so unbiased with vested interest if someone is jumping up and down for the job, which people have NOT been doing, and still, the lack of mention of renegotiating the AFGE VA contract…makes me view Wells with trepidation at best.

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