VA Privatization

Both Democrats and Republicans are fighting over whether VA should be outsourced all the while ignoring that VA is already largely outsourced to the private sector.

One of the major arguments raised by Democrats against President Donald Trump in the recent election was whether VA should be outsourced. The fly in the ointment is the reality VA has been largely outsourced for over two decades.

PoliFact evaluated the allegation against Donald Trump raised by opponent Hillary Clinton and found the allegation to be largely false. While Trump did support allowing veterans choice in selecting who provides them with healthcare, he did not actually support fully outsourcing VA as alleged.

PoliFact called the allegation mostly false. No one on the left paid attention and no one on the right asked the question about whether VA was already largely privatized to begin with.

That reality did not stop Senator Bernie Sanders from demanding answers about Trump’s supposed outsourcing (aka privatization) plan during the recent confirmation hearing of the future Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin.

RELATED: BAE, NH See Big Returns On Federal Contracts

Real Deal On VA Privatization

An accurate assessment of privatization in the federal sector since the 90’s indicates most federal agencies worked hard to privatize certain portions of their respective workloads.

The Department of Veterans Affairs was no different.

Case in point were repeated questions from right and left wing Senators last week during the confirmation hearing.

They repeatedly asked Shulkin to promise to keep his agreements related to government contracts in their respective states, and Shulkin reaffirmed his commitment to this form of outsourcing, while promising he would not privatize VA.

Why Claim VA Is Not Privatized?

So how can VA not be “privatized” while many of its essential core business requirements continue to be “outsourced”?

The answer is, VA has largely been privatized already and likely employs more government contractors than union employees to complete its business requirements.

A recent article about VA’s infrastructure is an example. VA does not even own its own infrastructure, according to an article on point.

The Union Leader On Being Outsourced

Just last week, the Union Leader published an article about government contractors in New Hampshire. BAE Systems earned $1.6 billion for its government contractor business in just that state last year.

Another company mentioned was Red River Computer Co., Inc., the second largest receiving of federal contracts in New Hampshire.

As an IT solutions company, Red River provides on-site date storage for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

According to Dan McGee, company president, “We own the infrastructure for the VA, and we charge them back for their utilization of the capacity they use.”

That is right.

Not only does VA not own its “own” IT infrastructure, but it has to pay a private company whenever it utilizes its own data. Meaning, VA likely pays Red River to access our own data when prividing us with services.

How do you like that?

This is just one of many examples of companies charging VA for services it used to provide itself when conducting usual business practices.

QTC Management conducts disability compensation examinations that VA used to provide. Affiliated Computer Services and Kodak have performed a great number of scanning services related to digitizing VA disability files.

Companies like Sterling manage numerous VA CBOC facilities that provide healthcare services in rural parts of the United States. State universities provide many of the doctors and residents who treat veterans with or without their knowledge as contractors.

So what is it again that VA does not outsource already? I would like to see a comparison of outsourced services versus in-house services.

Many of the services VA provides in-house, now, it cannot provide without help from the private sector.

It’s time we call a spade a spade.

VA was outsourced decades ago under Clinton. That outsourcing forced VA to become dependent on contractors. Now, contractors provide tens of billions in taxpayer billed services for things VA no longer provides.

When politicians toss the notion of VA outsourcing around like a political football in future elections, it is import to highlight that VA is already largely outsourced as it is. And, it was the Democrats who did it.

RELATED: Clinton Claim On Privatization ‘Mostly False’

The PoliFact Oversight

While PolitFact called the Clinton allegation mostly false, it did so without considering the fact that the Clinton’s were largely responsible for the outsourcing to private business that has already taken place.

There is a bigger question than, “Does Donald Trump intend to privatize VA?”

That question is, “What parts of VA have not already been privatized?”

Some readers probably think VA should be totally privatized, but there are some very real issues to consider. My concern deals with access to business records.

Private companies do not owe the higher level of transparency owed by federal agencies, and that is required of federal companies. That is a big reason many CIA intelligence firms were created under private business frameworks despite using federal money.

The records are hard if not impossible to acquire, and government oversight is completely in the dark when that happens.

Source: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20170205/NEWS02/170209606/0/mobile?template=mobileart

136 COMMENTS

  1. And too many of the contracts are not enforced. Payment for substandard productivity.

    Case in point. I just received a copy (hard copy) of my “Virtual VA Documents” and “e-folder”. Requested was a copy of my hard copy medical file from the Medical Division archived by a private contractor. The Virtual Documents are from a half a dozen systems.

    To get my medical file I’ll have to call the OIG Hotline, write my congressman and a letter to the editor of my local paper. All that will cost the government more in outsourced contract payments to resolve and it will likely, if the past decade is any pattern, take at least 3 runs through before some one reads my FOIA letter instead of sweat shop responses to a quick guess as to what is in the letter and printing a hard copy when a thumb drive would have been quicker and cheaper delivery.

    From the deliver letter:
    “If you consider this response to be a denial of any part of your request, you have the right to administratively appeal this decision, in writing, to the Office of General Counsel (024), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20420. If you choose to file an appeal, your appeal must be postmarked no later than sixty (60) calendar days from the date of this letter. An appeal must include your VA file number and state clearly why you disagree with the etermination of this office. If you wish to request additional records or clarification, please write directly to this office.”

    From my FOIA request:

    “This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, and the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, for copies of all records prior to January of 2013 about me in possession of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Division located at one or all of the following VA Medical Facilities:”

    Notice “MEDICAL DIVISION” not Benefits Division. Request was to enable replacing critical documents removed from the Comp and Pen File. And what I got was another updated copy of what I all ready was given on the previous 2 FOIA requests, once in hard copy and once by CD.

    • @Lem: What you have so eloquently laid out in detail, is correct. One thing that has always bothered me about this entire process, is how they expect people with PTSD, TBI, SEVERE DEPRESSION, MEMORY LOSS, etc, to be able to coherently respond in writing. You have MANY veterans on meds that render their comprehension to be just about non existent. I think they count on this to confuse and trip up many veterans. I can’t tell you the amount of veterans I know, that just stop trying because of all this. I fall between the two extremes, for me, I can’t put down in writing, the points I want to make. So instead of a relatively short, and to the point writing, I end up with what you see here. Too many words in unformed sentences and paragraphs, with improper punctuation. Then they get to claim, they have no idea what you want, and then send you a set of records that have nothing to do, with what you asked the for. I don’t think many of us here that are on the meds we are on, can legally enter into a binding contract, on top of that, they insist on us getting to the VAMC for appointments. In my state, if I were to get into an auto accident, in witch anyone was injured, even slightly injured, including myself. It is mandatory for a blood test to be taken, when opiates show up in your blood, you have now just become a felon, and lose your rights to vote, and bear arms……………once again, isn’t that special? Forgive the rambling on, I am incapable of stopping this.

      • As I said in a post on another article. It is not about the money. It is about who gets the money. And obviously the more the better to the right contractor. So don’t expect expedient service because the contracts are fee based. The more letters you write, the more copies they put out, the more the contractors get paid on their unsupervised contracts. Where is the GAO? (General Accounting Office)

      • Lem, it appears to me the GAO went to sleep about the same time as agency IGs did…roughly Jan. 21, 2009.

        The GAO might not perk up anytime soon since they often operate at the request of some congressman or senator…just depends on any of them having the guts to air dirty laundry, and whether they can avoid getting any stink on themselves.

        If all the right contractors are being paid, the GAO might be like the Maytag repairman. Lonely and looking for someone to talk to.

    • @Lem – CD’s and flash drives costs have dropped substantially. Like you said, they’d be better off sending info on these.

  2. I’ve noticed something during the “confirmation hearings” of possible appointees. Some questions arise concerning “stock or share holdings” by the appointees.
    I wonder, how many of our elected and appointed officials have stock, bonds and/or share holdings in these companies? The answers might surprise us all.

  3. Even the toilet paper and other paper products are all subcontracted with the VA…only thing missing is a contractor willing to wipe their butthurt snowflake asses for them (sorry, no Veteran’s asses are included in the operation wipe clean subcontract but part time Veterans *may* be required to wipe the candy asses of VA subcontractors) 🙂

      • The VA wants to go paperless. IBM’s Watson and The RAND Corp. agree that digital asswipe would save the VA considerable money. No handshaking now unless the contractor is hired to wash your hands. Until then, RAND recommends no handshaking or use of medical devices in non-human test subjects called Veterans. VAOIG agree with super-secret handshake.

    • @Namnibor, @Crazy elf, @Lem, @Don Avant, @Warhorse, @OLDMARINE, @cj, @Ex va, @91Veteran – I just formed an new identity, “Anal Wipers for Butthurters.” And guess what, it is 100% Veteran owned. Looking for VA contracts to make millions w/o any oversights, so to make more millions, and never having to ask questions from any one, in order to keep the millions rolling in. Employment Experience Required; using hands to operate the Anal Butt Wiper Pro and Anal Butt Wiper Pro Plus, both electric and cordless models.

      • shootz, hangover of long night thoughts from last night. Should be “never having to answer questions from anyone, . . .”

  4. I commented earlier about waiting for my PCP appointment. For some reason it didn’t post. I’m amazed at how fast the VA can move to fix their screw up after Trump was elected.
    After an email about 5 days ago and several phone calls Friday about the VA completely dropping my care, I am waiting for a PCP appointment on Monday.

    As for Ben’s post. Its so nice to see Congress more concerned about contractors in their district staying on the gravy train than veterans health care.

    Regardless of what anyone wants to do with the VA, congress will demand equal amounts of money coming in to their district, or they won’t support any plan.

    I’ve also commented before about privatization under Clinton. It was Al Gores baby called Reinventing Government. Let government employees retire on Friday, come back to work Monday as a contractor and call it a reduction of government.

    • @91 Veteran: I have been going to the VAMC for about 43 years now. About 5 years ago, I received in the mail a letter saying I was no longer eligible for V.A. benefits. I took the letter in and was told “that is right, you are no longer eligible. You should leave the facility, and never come back” I got my congressman (congressman Randy Hultgren) involved. The V.A. told him to piss off, and that is exactly what his office did. This piece of shit congressman could care less about veterans. A call to his office before the elections explaining why many veterans, including myself, were NOT going to vote for him, didn’t mean squat to them. Perfect example of a we don’t give a shit about veterans, attitude from a politician. I now get seen, due to not giving up, and not letting the bastards illegally stop my medical care for service connected injuries.

      • You were found guilty of a felony? Like felony DUI? Lot of veterans don’t realize to keep your benefits you have to keep your nose clean. Any Jail time almost always results in loss of benefits. Takes a correction of the record which is difficult but not impossible to get them back. Your team should be able to help. Use PTSD as a reason.

      • @Lem: No sir, not been in any accidents. I was just stating what the end result would be if your were to get into an accident on the way to your appointment and someone was injured.

      • Cj, they were leaning that direction with me until I made it clear to more than one there that I wanted them to put it in writing that they were refusing care for my service connected conditions.

        The appointment was longer than usual this morning and more thorough which is good on both points. Better than being rushed in, talked to like a stranger off the street and shuffled out the door.

        What was interesting was I saw the PA who was my first primary care provider for like 2 appointments 3 years ago. I was told he had retired.

        He looked at me a couple times like he expected me to come out of the room and rip his head off. Not sure why. I only saw him a couple times back then. Certainly not long enough for him to know any of my medical history.

        I also got the new ID card. I still have the old purple V card, and when I got here, I could never get the new card. For 2 years they told me their machine was broke.

        I then went to audiology since I was told I no longer need to wait to see my PCP for a referral. I have an appointment Friday to get my hearing aids fixed.

        Things are certainly looking better here. I think a change in directors both at the hospital and at the White House helped.

      • @91 Veteran: Same exact shit, to this day they claim that the id machine is broken. First id same purple v. Next id normal id no mention of service connected priority, when asked about this they said “oh that isn’t on the new id’s” then I see online the same damn id with the service connected designation. Fucking liars everyone of them. I am glad neither of us take any bs from them. I can’t imagine how screwed over all the young vets get. Most are still in the yes sir mode, and don’t know the system yet. Or the fact that they are getting screwed over.

      • That’s one of the main reasons why I still go to the VA…to try fix problems as I encounter them for other vets.

        Its like trying to push a wet noodle uphill though.

        I can’t imagine the number of vets that encounter crap at their first VA appointment and decide to never go back.

        I got a little PO’d at my PCP this morning when she said I should just go outside the VA. I told her of the responsibility the government has in providing care for service connected conditions, and I would think with the billions spent on behalf of the taxpayers that the VA could actually start doing that.

        I was trying very hard to not rip her a new ass, which I think she realized, and she calmed down considerably and was likely more thorough because of her flippant remark.

        I doubt she makes that kind of comment again.

      • They never cited any law when they told me last week they might not be able to continue seeing me.

        They tried to claim it would be some bullshit, conflict of interest for my PCP if I was seeing a PCP on the outside, then came to the VA for care. They talked a little about medication interactions from a drug the VA prescribes and one a mythical, outside PCP might provide.

        As if the VA has always been concerned about medication interactions.

        I asked them again, if they decide I could not be seen for my service connected conditions, then put it in writing.

      • Judging from my local VA it appears the VA is trying to badger us into coming back. I received a call today from the “mobile clinic” trying to set up an appointment or I wouldn’t be able to get the “mobile clinic” physician to sign off on my prescriptions.

        I’ll drop in to the Administrative offices on the 14th and let someone know why I don’t trust that particular “mobile clinic” tele video physician to suggest decisions about my health care and be responsible for my medications. She doesn’t write accurate histories and instead writes ass covering notes in her progress notes.

        I think I’ll also draft a letter to the editor on why veterans need to always get a copy of the physician’s progress notes from every visit. An error in them like a reporting that I had a 5 day no sleep instead of a 5 day sleep deprivation study resulted in a contraindicated medication.

      • @Lem – Your receiving Clinical Video Tele Health [CVT] services from a mobile clinic? I was informed that the VA doesn’t have the capabilities to do so. What mobile facility is offering this service to you? Man, these people run Veterans into all sorts of well designed cul de sacs [circles].

      • Severely rural area VAs. There are two VAs in Wyoming. One in the south east corner and one in the northwest corner. A couple of Clinics run by one physician with a nurse and intake person. Occasional visit by a VSO rep.

        The VA buys the trucks with Xray and lab equipment and a video connection to a physician mom stay at home. It is driven by a male nurse. Cheyenne has 2 trucks and purchasing another. One stays 2 days 2 days in Wheatland and 2 days in Torrington then one day in Sidney NE. A job for an independent duty medic/corpsman. But without the ability to write prescriptions at the level of duty in the military.

        Who benefits? The stay at home mom, the truck company and the veterans never see the physician face to face so they get shitty care by someone writing progress notes to cover their ass in case something goes wrong.

      • @Lem – Thanks for letting me know. I’ve asked my PCP and Behavioral Health many times about Clinical Video Telehealth [CVT] many times. Especially after they offered the services to me, then they reneged on their offer. Now they keep saying, that the VA doesn’t have these capabilities. Dam, these people will lie their asses off. It again confirms, don’t trust these lying M – – – – r f – – – – – s. Only adding to the Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress [IIED].

      • I made several calls this AM to VA phone numbers. Not a single wait time on calls.

        The lady (Patricia I think) at the Office of Communication in the Central Office was very helpful. And surprisingly, I had no wait time on calls to 800 827 1000 or the OIG 800 488 8244. (transferred from OIG)

        I will now look through all documents with references to other documents and make sure I have the referenced document in my file. Didn’t think to do that as a means of writing FOIA letters for specific documents.

        She said it will take 30 days to get the specific documents I ask for, a far cry from the 2019 date on eBenefits FOIA claim date that was closed when they sent me an update but not the specific documents I was seeking.

        That is a very quick change. Plus, the operators were very responsive even though I started a little up tight over having my FOIA closed without completion. They were great in handling me and kept me from getting angrier. Very different than a year ago, while McDonald still had the helm. And to think, I was OK with him still hanging on because of the progress made here locally. But this is a certain change of focus that has flowed down hill from the Central Office after the naming of Shulkin. Still not ready to run up the victory flag but much more hopeful.

      • @NagInfPO6: No law or regulation was cited. Even when I showed them a letter from 82′ showing service connection, and the current us code stating their responsibility to treat. Also gave the congressman’s office a copy of the same letter with the us code on it. None of this made a difference. It took 2 years for me to shove their bs up their asses. Then when I tried to make an appointment with my pcp, they tried to say, you lost your va benefits because you haven’t used them in 2 years. I replied, “no you illegally refused treatment for 2 years” and then notified them to call administration, and get back to me. I haven’t had any trouble since.

        P.S. I will not be able to see any replies. I need to swap out hard drives, and will be busy the rest of the day.

      • @91 Veteran: I know we are different ends of the state, but it sure sounds like we have the same damn doctor except mine is a he and not a she. First time I saw this new one he also brought up my meds. He says your taking Morphine and Clonazepam together? Then he says no reputable doctor would ever script those together. I says really? well it was the f ing va the did the scripting!!!! I don’t think the right hand knows that the left hand is doing at the va, and they are trying to play a damn piano……not gonna happen unless you coordinate those damn hands. Still sorting out computer problems here, will be back later tonight if all goes well.

      • @cj, @91Veteran – If Clonazepam is helping you to reduce your anxiety or for seizures, don’t admit that your pain medication makes you drowsy or sleepy. If you do, this will be another Red Flag to the VA physician besides combining benzo’s with opiates. Tell them that Clonazepam gives you the best relieve. I’m in the same situation. Will inform if anything else comes up. I have appt. in about 10 days. As you know, they [VA] loves to make you suffer. Stupid A-holes.

        @cj – Good luck with changing out your hard drive. We’re rooting for you. Don’t morph out when handling sensitive components. Expresso sounds good.

      • For a long time, I’ve told the VA I never take anything stronger than Tylenol because I can’t tolerate NSAIDS, and it’s true with the exception of pain medicine they have me after surgery, and that Gabapentin.

        For a long time the VA tried to label Gulf War vets as having some kind of mental health disorder in seeking health care. I didn’t want them claiming I was a pill seeker too.

        It really doesn’t matter though since the VA doesn’t need much of an excuse to treat veterans like shit.

        I have been rated on some conditions since 1992, others since 1996. All have been rated as static. I just found out they want to re-evaluate them.

        Clearly nothing more than retaliation.

      • @91Veteran – Make sure you tell you PCP that your conditions aren’t static but symptoms occur at all times. I’m sure you’ve probably expressed this, and most likely they could care less by not listening to a word you said. Be consistent. By labeling your conditions as static, this means that they aren’t consistently happening to you. Oh the games they play.

      • Cj, good luck with the PC.

        As for medications…my PCP said my prescription for Gabapentin was still valid, and she asked whether I was still taking it. We had talked about my service connected shoulder problem and if I felt any tingling. I explained what was happening.
        She seemed like she was going to suggest ordering that prescription to continue.
        I chuckled a little and figured her VA education should continue since shes still fairly new.

        I told her I got the prescription for Gabapentin after telling my VA a doctor (I believe my Ortho doc) last year about my shoulder being so bad I could hardly move my arm, and I have tingling down both arms.
        I said I was given Gabapentin by some nurse calling me and telling me I should stop in and pick it up. It seemed weird that they would give me a huge bottle with 270 pills in it.

        I told her I took them for about 4 days and was having such bad nightmares, I stopped taking them.

        She reacted as if it were a common side effect.

        I don’t know how many times I could have refilled it.

        The VA didn’t care about that, but was worried enough about me possibly getting a prescription from some outside doctor, they had meetings whether they would stop my care.

      • Good eveninggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg Bens Post!!!!!!! It’s 9:19 and allllllllllllllllllllllllllllls wellllllllllllllllll…..

      • @ANutterVet, @91Veteran: Yes sir, up and running, Morphing real good. 91, I don’t know what is wrong with these damn doctors. It is none of their damn business if you see outside doctors……….we all do,or we all should. As far as them trying to place any lable on your concering mental health, do not let them do so. It could cost you your firearms. Fuck that noise. They always ask about depression right? I tell them, no troubles at all, on cloud 9. fine and dandy. Then I ask them about themselves. I mean, they must be sooooooo stressed out dealing with the likes of us all day. I would cript them some good cocktails but alass…………….I have no liscence just like them…………pity………Oh loook, I got a liscence, out of a gumball machine, just like they did hahahahahaha………………dirty bastards. Can ya tell, I have lost it for the night? I have no idea what I am talking about right now………..

  5. I know this is off topic, but I think it is in the interest of many veterans. I remember reading that their is a group that will put together a nexus for your c+p. They can connect the dots for you so you can easily win your case. They are based out of the Tulsa Oklahoma VAMC. I could be wrong about that. If anyone here knows what I am talking about, please provide a link. I, and I’ll bet many others, could use this service. I can’t seem to find them, but I KNOW they are out there. The fee was small and reasonable for what they do.

    • @cj – Know your type of claim; Direct VA Service Connection, Aggravated Pre-existing Condition, Presumptive Service Connection, or Secondary Service Connection. There may be others. I’ve just started to do some research on Claims & Pension [C & P]. Be prepared to be a little overwhelmed with all of the information that is available online. And, the types of connections may have changed or been revised.

      Take a breather when you feel your getting frustrated. The process plays on this factor as well.

      • @ANutterVet: You are correct in the many variables. This group has access to all of your records, since they work out of the VAMC. This is the kind of service a V.A. should be providing veterans. They are well versed in the law, the process, and the b.s., they have a proven track record, and their success rate was out of this world. I am at a loss of how to find them again………………remember what I told you before? “sometimes shit for brains is all I have”

      • @cj – I forgot to tell you. You don’t have shit for brains, you just have shit. Only razzing Brother. LOL You’re doing fine although I can only see by way of letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs. I ignore all the grammar, pronunciations. I know when you’re going through your morphing phases. And, since I and others understand, no worries about this. Need to Rant Out for a bit. I sometimes get wrapped up in post topics. Very soon, I need to work my time management plan in order to get things moving to better my home front situation. Its hard because there are not a lot of Veteran services available that are not entangled by the tentacles of the VA. Be back in a bit.

      • @ANutterVet: Remember the movie The Green Berets? The little boy, Ham Chuck? Quoting Ham Chuck”Ha ha you funnyyyy”

      • @cj – Real quick chime in. Then I gotta resume in da research. I just don’t want to be in the situation where Ham Chuck says, when the choppers are landing, “Peterson, Peterson, Peterson, . . . .” As he is running to each chopper as they land.

    • @Lem: This group of people I was referring to charges a flat fee for most nexus letters……..I think it was between 50 and 100 dollars. More if it was a complicated case. They were highly recommended by many veterans. I just can’t remember where I read this information, and my search terms must be off, because google isn’t bringing up any relevant pages.

  6. @cj, @Lem, @91Veteran, other Brothers – Need to take a short break. Got to order some controversial chemicals that VA is giving me a little bit of a hard time on. I’m pushing the envelope on a situation to help Veterans in a certain area. Details are sketchy, so I don’t want to get into any deeper. But, I can tell you, if I find the loophole(s) it can help a lot of Veterans. I’ve been a guinea pig for so long, I figure I’ll set myself up as a one as well. Its my turn on my terms. These bastards are hurting many Veterans as far as I’m concerned. And, I want this dam dirty science and manipulative shit to stop.

      • @cj – Mishaps are caused by the people that are supposed to be helping me to get better. I wonder who they are? I’m tired cj. Life is stagnant, other people trying to butt in and run your life when their life is fucked up, then the know-it-alls who have all the answers but will never say, “hey man, I’m concerned about you. I know you’re under a lot of stress. Listen, if you ever need me for when you’re having a really bad time coping with your situation, I want you to call me at any time. Your life means a lot to me.”

        I’ve never had anyone say this to me. Although, when the ones that I care about are going through something that is causing them a lot of stress, it is the first thing that I share with them. “Hey, if you need me, I want you to call me anytime.”

  7. Ben,

    Brilliant article. Nice work. You nailed it right on the head. You uncovered indirectly the true deception that take place and as usual the Devil hides in plain sight.

    What do I mean by that? What I mean is the very premise upon which VA was founded;

    Abraham Lincoln closed his second inaugural address with these words: “With malice toward none, with charity for all … let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.”

    There was no lie inside of that statement when spoken. The lie now are the words that are “implicite” in the phrase, “… to care for him who shall have borne the battle… (because there just isn’t any system in place that can do that now.)”

    The idea that a government agency can do ANYTHING as good as the same service offered in the private sector is only held by thise in power. History shows otheriwse. VA history, decade after decade has shown oheriwse. If the government took charge of baking bread, a loaf would cost seceral hundred dollars, would still be in the oven, and the agency would be 100 billion dollars over budget on the new incompleted bakery. Absurd? Look at VA history for real. The government bread would have to sicken and kill thousands upon thousands to keep up with VA.

    The real lie now is the notion that 1) VA can ever make economic sense, 2) the VA can every be free of corruption, 3) VA provides something not already available to everyone. “…to care for him (because private doctors just cannot get the job done???)” hmmmm. Can you imagine the economic stimulus of actually paying for health care in our communities vs. paying insane sums of money to go after health care providers in the community who help vets that the VA (cough, choke) deems charge too much?

    • If the gov’t took charge of baking bread, Northrup and Boeing would have a huge contract to construct orbiting solar-focusing lenses to focus that solar energy into some liberal attempt at baking bread efficiently…after several communities and cities are completely vaporized by the unexpected bonus of the effectiveness of the array…which by then the bread baking is completely forgotten about in order to build the larger array that ends up being the end of civilization because they end-up inventing the Deathstar, and IBM Watson becomes jealous end ends it all. In the end, no bread was baked, but mankind sure did! 🙂

  8. I must say as well that I call into question our new POTUS regards to his “incomplete” Executive Order. In that order he is forcing a new policy that requires government to get rid of gwo regulations affecting business for every one new regulation that is imposed. Simple, to the point, effective – but not far enough…

    I propose extending the order. For every one new VA supervisor hired, we fire two. Simple, to the point, effective. For every one VA promotion, we demote two. For every one additional dollar the VA asks for, we subtract two.

    Cmon POTUS, carry the idea through to the logical end. Simple, to the point, effective. No poop cannon required (yet…)

    • For every poop canon required activated, at least two must be on standby. Rules are rules. Kind of like “Thunderdome” rules.

  9. The same thing that makes the VA decrepit institution is the same that makes Medicare, Transportation, Military procurement, Energy Dept, etc, etc, etc – Beltway Access. All of the companies that swung deals with the VA or any company that swings a deal with the Government is due to lobbying. Our economy and productivity is choking to death on “sweetheart” deals. Company X smells an opportunity, goes to Congressman’ Y’s staffers, they contrive a “special need”, write a bill or statute to wire themselves in exclusively, and get Congressman Y to attach it to somebody else’s larger procurement bill. Happens all the time. Here we sit, arguing about immigration, and Hillary the Reptilian Shape Shifter or Carrot Top Pushkin, and all the while our pockets are being picked by the same rat bastards on the Hill.

    We’re supposed to get a brand spanking new CBOC building – this month – (too bad we don’t have any doctors yet). The VA/Feds don’t own the land, nor will they own the building. I dare you to find out who does, and who the deal is with. I’ve asked. But you can bet it is someone “connected”, and you can bet the annual lease fees are far above the normal $$/square foot costs of similar buildings. We used to scoff at corrupt “banana republics”. Nobody does corruption and deceit better than Amerika. I’d get all flag-wavy ‘n shit, but I’m still trying to extract that flagpole the gubmint shoved up my ass.

    • VA Banana Boat Aong
      Copyright, Dennis, 2017

      Dayo! Singing Dayyyyyyohhhhh.
      Daylight cum an’ I wanna go hohohommmmme….
      Dayyyyyohhhh! Singing Dayyyyohhhhh,
      VA cum an’ I wanna go home.

      Cum Mr. Talisman, tallies all the corpses,
      Daylight cum an’ I wanna go home…
      Cum Mr. Talisman, tallies all the corpses,
      Daylight cum an’ I wanna go home!

      Dayo! Singing Dayo! VA cum an I wanna go home.

      (feel free to song along)

      • @Dennis – I couldn’t sing the song because of a condition called, cluttering. Now that the lyrics are copyrighted, you may want to think about submitting the song to the VA to be included in their Get Well Pamphlets. In this way, those Veterans who are in a VA Medical Center, can have their love ones sing it to them to scare the hell out of our Brothers and Sisters, so they will get well, and get to a safer place: their home.

        Never surrender to the VA’s Pooper Splatting Bull Shit ‘in Asinine Buttfarting Baboonic Circles of Confusion. Thank you for your post Brother Dennis.

      • My mind always matches that song with one of my favorite movies; ‘Beetle Juice’, while knowing that song goes far back and that it has uses for the VA Witch Dr.’s to stack corpses…again Dennis, priceless! (Goth child here)

  10. I can see why parts of the VA Medical system were outsourced. Personally, the VA lost a third of my medical records in a fire in Saint Louis. No backups, no recovery, no accountability on their part. Just another case of their total incompetence.

    As for outsourcing medical exams, let me put it this way: (Short version) I was seen by no fewer than five VA doctors, including an ortho surgeon, at three different VA clinics, and put through a year and a half of VA physical therapy, all without results, and only because we had lost our health insurance in 2009 or 10 and I had nowhere else to turn when my leg gave out. When we were able to finally get insurance, I was able to go back to the medical facility where I previously received my healthcare (Mayo Clinic). Six hours after walking back into that great facility, I was correctly diagnosed and in a treatment regiment for the real ailment, two blood clots in my leg. VA doctors missed them completely for a year and half. Could have been fatal; something even a first-year intern should have picked-up on. Completely misdiagnosed time after time after time at the VA facilities. (Not to mention the first facility, Minneapolis, was filthy.)

    So, though I’m not in favor of outsourcing medical exams (given those outside doctors still would be beholden to the VA – no guarantee of impartiality), I am in favor of closing all VA Medical facilities and letting us Veterans get our healthcare from the doctors and clinics of our choice. VA to issue us account cards the treating medical facility could bill. Rates to be set just like for Medicare. Pharma contracts to honor VA rates. If they need to scale the levels of treatment, possible. Say, those of us combat wounded get 100%. A CIB and PH should count.

    The bottom line in my opinion is that government employees are useless. They allow themselves to be part of these worthless agencies. They certainly are not the creme of the crop in their professions.

    • And by the way, though Trump included in his campaign rhetoric that he was in favor of “Veteran’s Choice”; he has already begun to back down from those promises.

      • The VA certainly could not ‘mustard’ the skillset needed to ‘ketchup’ with the *real* medical world at the Mayo Clinic. To think there’s a VA witch dr. looking for the ‘clinical mayo’ is priceless.

  11. I’m turning 66 in April,,, have a record since I left Viet Naum of PTSD ,,, somehow threw three mariages and children I don’t know and grandchildren,,, and have come to a life without no VA anylonger,,, though I’m 100 % disabled,,, and got it buy over 15 years of fighting and going into debt by over 350,000 and saying goodbuy to all I owned free and clear,,, and given into bankruptcy over 5 years ago,,, and no matter how or what I do the credit score stairs at me at 625 no matter what I do,,,, I live only by my determination today of reading the Bible,,, and crying and shouting,, and living with a understanding wife of today who also has lost her health,,, I have no other way but just depend on God will provide,,, I am inside a gifted talented person ,,, but can’t no longer make those gifts turn into an Ability, I don’t see this VA system ever ever going to improve,,, but become nothing more then an dumping ground for mass amounts of government money doing nothing for VETS,,,, I have last year gone through all available anti antidepresentents that the VA has,,, though there are others but not with the VA,,, I find and beg for extra money,,, for any health issues that come up,,, All is left that something will change,,, to help with the remaining life I have left,,,, My Dad who served the Korean WAR,,, shot in the head and became disabled all my life,,,, Praised this country,,, I can’t,,,, though I still water up on the song ,, and still stand attention,,, and hand over heart and a salute,,,, for why,,, can’t answer,,, Life has been a real bitch after Naum,,, but I’m still alive,,, days and nights seem to just run into one another today,,, no separation,,,, and to keep an intrest of anything today takes all I can mustard inside,,, Funny I do have all the paper work for proof,,, before they destroyed all records as they say they did,,, Yet here we are bring in more and more people who have no intrest in this country,,, except for continue on there countrys life,,, and idots claiming that my great great grandfather and all the others came here the same way,,,, WHAT A LIE,,, no one no one had giving all the money shelter clothing schooling jobs,,, and money for them but today,,, well I have to not look,,, History real Truth has been totally twisted,,,, well wrote enough,,,

    • @steven g larson: Buddy, I am telling you the truth when I say, I have read your words with heavy heart. Your non-treatment by the V.A. is criminal at it’s core. This country needs to start taking care of it’s own FIRST, before a single red cent is spent on illegals, refuges, or anyone else. Hiring schemes, to hire ellegals, and refugeies, before Americans. We have homeless veterans walking the streets, while those not of this country live in great wealth. My country tis of thee, only because YOU, the veteran, and active duty personell, have stood to ensure that it is. You being uncared for; PISSES ME THE FUCK OFF. What the helll is wrong with this country? steven……..you need to take your paperwork in and DEMAND you be given whait is rightfully yours. YOU have EARNED it. God Bless you, and I hope you are able to live the rest of your life in peace and happiness. Done ranting, but not done being angry.

      • @steven g Larsen, @cj – Brother you need a Veteran buddy. I’m not telling you what to do, but suggesting that you locate your nearest Vet Center, find out when they have meetings, and pop in and say; hey, I’m a Veteran, can someone help me? Instead of dealing with VA employees, you may find a seasoned Veteran that can and would be willing to help you with open arms. It’s good to trust in God, but some times God sends you messengers that may lead you to help, or as a stepping stone.

        Don’t let these VA buttfarting baboons get the best of you. You most likely have more survival skills than they do. Please, find a Vet Center. Almost everyone that posts on this blog has a battle with the VA. Your not a lone, so don’t give up on hope. God bless you Brother.

      • Sorry been there,,, to many times,,, many years ago no support or help back then,,, besides that to far to drive,,,,, I’m okay just living it out here,,,, I have seen so many different changes in 45 years,,, that it see if it sticks to the wall,,,, I had something that really wasn’t great but worked,,, but do to the scare of the hydrocodone ,,, everbody is an addict,,, believe me I understand this PTSD better then the doctors,,, or what ever is out there today,,, but instead of listening they have a new treatment tomorrow,,, which is BS,,, I have a life better then what they have to offer,,,, I have seen the very good ones get fired and the others stay,,,, The real carring and quality ones are retired,, left,, or just plain left,,, I have seen and watched it all happen,,,, What I got left is as said safer then any other so called help remember you got a very short time to recover if it will happen,,, but years and years decades of being beatean ,, ashamed,,,taken away,,,, repeat after repeat,,, or just say inforcement of PTSD if you understand is no different then a pup who has been abused,,, and abused,,,and somehow the braindoes’nt let go,,,, the repetivness of injurey is not no longer curiable except to learn to live with in the realm of it ,,, sorry about spelling to tired to correct it,,, probally will not rest again,,, tonight

      • @steven g larson: I hear what your saying steven. It is just a shame none the less. I have never been in combat, so I couldn’t possibly know what you have been through. Your dealing with it in your own way. I just think it is shit, the way the v.a. has become, for the vary reasons you stated. We don’t care about spelling here, all that matters is we can understand what your trying to say. No spelling police here……….or some of us would never get paroled hahaha. It still really pisses me off, even if your okay with it all. I just hate when men like you, and woman as well, that have given more than you should, and in return you get screwed over. To me this will never be an ok thing. I respect your outlook. If you ever wanted to try and get back in it though. Just ask here, people here can help. Hell even if you just want to shoot the shit, just give a shout out. Okay steven, I hope you have a great night, and God Bless you.

  12. VA should start doing cost assessments of these contracts. Many of the IT contracts are based on concepts that are so out of date its not funny. A billion dollars will provide them with specialists that can write thier own programs, interface more secure, and handle the volume required to get the job done ten fold nationwide.

    I would suggest the reason the whole thing cost so many billions can be answered by inquiring in which members of the elite own stock in which company that provided service to the government at such a ridiculous price. Thinking about the pay for play gig that Clinton ran as SoS, I have very little doubt that this is the main leak in the dam.

    • You mention IT security.

      I found it interesting while sitting and waiting to get my VA ID card this morning, watching the guy log in to a computer, open Internet Explorer, see MSN dot com come up, then he clicked a couple links to get to some system so he could enter data and create my ID.

      Nothing like having a system to create veteran ID cards, and information needed for them, traversing a public internet connection.

  13. Very good article today… From what I take from the article, and the 40+years I’ve been forced to deal with the VA, and all of Ben’s blog and subsequent posts, the only possible, and humane thing to do, is to put the VA out of its misery. Give us Choice and shut the VA down. It’s too broken.

    • Sorry, Jo. I’m in Choice. Have a good PCP but they are few and far between. Choice physicians and clinics have to accept part b Medicare limits or you have to pay the difference. Which means you are in the realm of the DOJ’s suits that have recovered Billions in false billing. A cadilac health insurance policy is such because they don’t care. So expect unnecessary procedures.

      No matter where you go in the U S you are in U S health care where many physicians are trained by the VA. Where medications and procedures are studied on veterans for corporate benefit and under table payments.

      And you are 18 countries below the 19 industrial countries in health care delivery and number 37. I’ve experienced health care from 1990 to 2012 off and on in Japan which has been in the top 3 for the last 30 years. Believe me, there is a great difference. No one cheats. and when a cheater is caught they usually commit hari kiri. (suicide) So there are a lot fewer doing unnecessary procedures.

  14. Does it really matter if the va is outsourced or not? I say so what… What matters is that veterans get the treatment they need… enough with pointing fingers…. make recommendations to improve the system and stop whining!

    • @rick B – If you’d would read through many posts, you’d come across a plethora of suggestions. You wouldn’t write them down or jump on board with the majority of your Brothers and Sisters in the first place. A lone imposter.

      And, why don’t you share in detail, why it doesn’t matter if the VA is or isn’t privatized? In your response, don’t forget to add your full contact information, such as; full name, address, previous addresses, birth date, SS number, date married [if applicable], number and names of children. Shit throw your pet’s name in also.

      No worries @rick B, everything is safe and secure when you post your private information. Waiting for your reply.

      • @ANutterVet,
        In my opinion, he’s here to start discontent among real veterans!
        A fucking TROLL, and not a very good one at that!

      • @Crazy elf – I know, that’s why I sarcastically called his bluff by an absurd request to post his personal information. Stanky swamp supporter.

    • Maybe you are not reading clearly, rick. The out sourcing is making it worse. The change from medical scholarships to money changer student loans benefiting the outsourcing of training physicians deprives the VA of good physicians from the schools that are training and overseeing the students. All of the money going to the greedy is detrimental to the direct care of veterans. Short supply. Contracts that are not enforced, etc.

    • @Rick– Not okay. Outsourcing at the VA has made the systemic lackadaisical condescending swamp what it is today. The damn bureaucratic Vogons at the VA do less and less but always will create new ways to create life-sustaining paperwork *for* the Vogons.

      Get rid of the damn AFGE Union at the VA and now. Let’s send the AFGE Union over to the Conflicts/Wars in Middle East and let the enemy be infected with this stupidity…it would be just like a computer virus…of the lazy ass thieving type.

      Sniff….Sniff….? Cabbage?

    • @Rick – – – Ever consider that if the VA were taking care of Veterans in the manner they have EARNED and DESERVE, they would be a lot less finger-pointing?

      Solutions? Here is one: The VA should start listening to Veterans, rather than coming up with new “pie in the sky” projects and studies that are doomed to fail from the beginning – – – and take money and healthcare away from those whom they purport to serve.

      The AFGE should be completely disbanded. All VA workers should be put on a “Quasi-Military” Pay Scale. All employee bonuses should be cancelled. All doctors and nurses should be able to be sued for mis/malpractice in the state in which the victim veteran resides.

      VA facilities should be staffed 24/7. And the crisis line should be 100% American. Not outsourced to Mumbai. They may be great at making Vindaloo – – – not so great at talking veterans down . . .

      There are some solutions. Now quit your fucking whining about the finger-pointers on this site. They serve a highly-valuable function. They also know more of the “nuts and bolts” operation of the VA than the “Oversight Committees” that are appointed to monitor it.

  15. I’ve been hearing something from numerous websites today. It concerns a Senator from Los Angeles, CA.!
    His name is “DeLeon”-(D-Ca)!
    I won’t call him “Mr.”, because he doesn’t deserve the respect.
    Y’all are probably wondering why I say that.
    Here’s the story.
    First, he’s one of those asswipes who introduced a bill to make California a “Sanctuary State”.
    Secondly, “under oath” recently, he stated; quote: “half [his] family is here illegally!” And, quote; “…under President Trump’s executive order they would be deported!” His freaking words, not mine!
    But, that’s not the only thing he’s said under oath. Those family members have fake identities; ie: fake social security cards, fake drivers licenses, fake green cards. Who knows what else they have!?! What else are they receiving from the government?

    This is going all over the Internet. With a video of him saying these things.
    Now, what makes him special?
    What kind of bullshit is he trying to get away with?

    This is the kind of bullshit that makes me and lots of other people pissed. Because, these are the kinds of pussies we have running this country.

    Just think about this. What if a veteran were to ask for his help with VA. Does anyone actually believe he’d help? HELL NO! First, he wouldn’t be able to help. He, and his family, are in violation of numerous criminal offences.
    Damn, that asswipe and his family need to be deported asap!

  16. H-1B VISAs account for 13% of American technology employment here in U.S. Sad….These foreigners just taking over our country with the liberals and major companies supporting it. Veterans and everyday working Americans getting crapped on. The liberals and Democrats are really unhinged and have lost their minds. If some unity does not to start to come about in this country, we are going to collapse. Then, stand by for another Venezuela. If unity does not start to happen, many lives are going to be lost. Congress and VA worried about those private contractors with forgetting why we have the VA in the first place. The VA is to provide quality health care to veterans not line everybody’s pockets with taxpayer dollars who are not the veteran patients. This includes VA leadership, private companies, unions, VA employees etc. And everyone you all know what? The veterans are not even on the list. I am fed up. I was asked today by a private doctor about getting the VA to handle it. I said to him, “No, because it would take 10 years to get it done.” SAD!

    • @Crazy elf – That’s it! My dam K9 is upset. She wants to rip off a trolls scrotum, then pick up the testicles by the vas deferens [plural noun: the duct that conveys sperm from the testicle to the urethra], and drop them into the deep fryer to cook. Then munch on them for a treat when the nads kool off. Yum, yum. She’s a man eater. “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRYFKcMa_Ek”

      • I was voted as the dazed psycho-sicko biologist during my college days. I’d get on the lab rats nerves trying to get them to loosen up a bit. Always pulling pranks on them, then notify the rest of the class, and then we’d sit back and watch them freak out.

        Hey, don’t think I goofed off all the time. I’m better than that. In all core classes we were required to use graduate school textbooks instead of undergraduate books. The university that I graduated from was a resting spot, for those professors that took sabbaticals in an area that had a laid back atmosphere, and good, sweet, sticky, pine smelling buds. We had bar-b-ques with many of the professors all the time. And, homemade beer ahd wine. And yes, white lightning, from homemade stills that Veterans had in the lush rain forests, located in the low level elevations of the mountains.

        Not bragging, but I was able to break an organic chemistry lab record, that held for 20 years prior. Previous record was 18 hours to isolate 7 different compounds from one liquid solution. My partner completed the exam in 10 hours, while I finished the grueling exam in 9 hours.

        After the word spread, about the time that my partner and I completed the catechization process, Department Chairs from Bio-, Organic- and In-Organic-Chemistry, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Virology, and Microbiology wanted us to change our majors. I didn’t change my major, but what I did do, was to do directed research under these professors to broaden my knowledge. I truly miss those days.

        Oh, and my friend, he runs an International Essential Oil Extracting Company. We studied our butts off. We would hang formulas, and write out chemical reactions on paper from the ends of blank newspaper rolls. Cash was a little tight while attending college.

      • @ANutterVet,
        I got a better idea.
        It’s what the Apache would do to their enemies.

        First, Tie them to something spreading their legs apart on the ground.

        Second, Build a fire between their legs.

        Third, Cut their dick off and shove it in their mouth!

        Forth, Let them scream!

        Before it’s over, they will be calling out to die a merciful death. Let them suffer!

        Of course, this is just a suggestion. Not meant to be actually carried out in real time! Just saying!!!!!!!

      • @Crazy elf – I’ll do it in a documentary to show how the Apache’s did it. We just need a volunteer after we drug ’em up. Only we will use Brand Name meds on them. Just saying to demonstrate historical events. At least we’d be teaching our young ones the truth. No societal re-engineering. Dumb fucks.

      • Or…to save on rope, simply bury them neck-deep right beside a fire ant hill and pour honey on head and forget…if in a pinch and fire ants are not in region, bees will always do as well. 🙂 Bee Happy!

  17. @Crazy elf, @Namnibor, @91Veteran, @Angela, @Ex va, @Seymore Klearly – Anyone heard from Seymore? Haven’t seen him posting lately.

    Kevin Deleon’s social media accounts;

    “https://www.facebook.com/KevinDeLeonKDL”

    “https://twitter.com/kdeleon”

      • The time stamps on everyones posts are a bit confusing. I have never seen an open forum where it time stamps your post, with your local time. That is probably why the posts jump all over the page.

  18. All this instability has been here all the time, the Trump administration is just standing up to it and confronting it with law and order with trying to eliminate corruption. As for the VA, I can’t go the VA, I now only have one provider left in the agency until things change.
    Crazy elf what is up with the troll comment? Who are you directing that comment to? As for the illegal immigrants and if these liberals and Democrats love them so, why don’t they just moved them into their own personal homes and just take care of them. Give them a taste of their own medicine. The Democrats and liberals need to get away from the attitude of Do as I say and not as I do. This attitude needs to stop. Due to all the violence and destruction, I fear for all. Liberal judges do not have their facts straight in regards to President Trump’s executive order with the statistics They were just layed out on Fox Business. As for as outsourcing, what is even the point? The VA still objects to the diagnoses and does nothing. Waste of money. I guess just to try to leave a paper trail with no real results. They should not even outsource. Veterans should just be allowed to go to private providers themselves with having VBA just serving as like the veterans benefits insurance company. Eliminate VHA. As for Seymore, I do not know. This is my most recent post and I haven’t even really been back on this blog myself until now.

  19. @Rick, what would you suggest? I listened to the Senators who questioned Dr. Shulkin, and listened to his answers. He had all the questions given to him before the questions. When it was over, it appears choice would run with Medicare. Pay wise. I’m having to do that anyway. My last heart attack was nearly fatal. Even though I am service connected for my heart, not once has any VA acknowledged a problem with MY heart. I’m having another problem, with heart, and RICK what would you suggest? SHUT the damn thing down. I’ve got this feeling that I’ll be dead before the VA acknowledges and does their job. That’s saving Veterans lives, not ruining them.

      • @Crazy elf – Roger that. Just took meds. Major flare up neck & lower back. Wrecking my thoughts, concentration, ambitions, life. Really getting pissed at so-called PCP’s at VA. F – – king Dogs!

      • Remember people, there are no stupid questions, just a lot of inquisitive idiots. And from what I gather, they are all working at the va. Here is some food for thought, somewhere is the worlds worse doctor, and tomorrow someone has an appointment to go see them. I believe this worlds worse doctor talks in broken English and is now working at a va near you.

  20. I went back over quite a few articles over the weekend. I gave up counting the atrocities committed by or for the VA. Most still not settled. I haven’t heard that accountability and consequences are going into effect. If this is going to be the same, ……..I mean hell, my claim goes back to 1999, and I haven’t had the first appeal hearing. What does patience mean to the VA? @Seymour; do hope that you are ok.

  21. @ANutterVet: So last time I updated my system, I had some errors I never seen before. Looking the errors up. The solution was to update the system bios. In order to do that I had to put a spare drive in and install windows. Well, for whatever reason that didn’t work, someting was missing,and I don’t remember what it was at this time. I put my main drive back in and I couldn’t boot up. I have no clue what happened but I lost the efibootmgr, once I reinstalled that, everything is back to nomal. I need to buy a huge pendrive to back this drive up. So many things I just can’t lose, noway to replace most of it. I know I am rambling about bs. Hey will be back in a minute.

  22. I made several calls this AM to VA phone numbers. Not a single wait time on calls.

    The lady (Patricia I think) at the Office of Communication in the Central Office was very helpful. And surprisingly, I had no wait time on calls to 800 827 1000 or the OIG 800 488 8244. (transferred from OIG)

    I will now look through all documents with references to other documents and make sure I have the referenced document in my file. Didn’t think to do that as a means of writing FOIA letters for specific documents.

    She said it will take 30 days to get the specific documents I ask for, a far cry from the 2019 date on eBenefits FOIA claim date that was closed when they sent me an update but not the specific documents I was seeking.

    That is a very quick change. Plus, the operators were very responsive even though I started a little up tight over having my FOIA closed without completion. They were great in handling me and kept me from getting angrier. Very different than a year ago, while McDonald still had the helm. And to think, I was OK with him still hanging on because of the progress made here locally. But this is a certain change of focus that has flowed down hill from the Central Office after the naming of Shulkin. Still not ready to run up the victory flag but much more hopeful.

    • The biggest thing was a letter to the Eastern Regional VA Office from Denver VARO that gives me the date of the letter in 1995 that said Cheyenne VARO didn’t give me the hearing requested in lieu of a I9 Substantive Appeal. Big step carrying my claim for UE back to 1985 possibly but 1990 minimally.

      Given that, I still don’t have the tanuki skin I sold.

  23. For all u aholes that think your opinion is more important than mine,

    First off, I am a retired veteran of the US Army, and I have been dealing with the VA maze since 1986. I have been screwed over just as much as the next veteran… maybe more if you consider that I just got a TBI claim approved 31 years after I retired ( and on the first try) because I listened to some DAV jerk when I retired to list as my medical issues ” see medical record” for my first claim. But more to the point.. the VA screwed up the most simple of surgeries when they did my cataract surgery.. and caused me intermittent blindness because my pressures go up and down. The va almost killed me prescribing me medications that if they had look at my medical record was apparent it should never have been prescribed. I have one VA doctor telling me I have a heart problem secondary to my service connected Lung condition, and on c/p exam the doctor tells me there is no heart condition…. I have also used the choice program.. and it took 6 months to get a program of pulmonary rehabilitation and over a year to get a a sleep study. I also took the va 3 months before they would treat me for a knee condition and only after they sent me out of the system to get an MRI. Then after I get the treatment under choice.. who got the bills.. Medicare and Tricare.. then I had to clean up that mess. And let me be clear when you initiate congressional inquiries for assistance, most of the time the VA pays lip service, never addresses the issues, and makes the veteran look stupid. I am no different than any one of you . When I made my comment above.. Maybe I should have been more specific.. but the bottom line is .. VA screws up… private hospitals screw up… I don’t care where I get medical treatment as long as I get treatment that is beneficial to me. I am rated 100% for my lungs alone, so when I tell you I don’t care as long as the treatment is good… that does not make me a damn troll it just means I want good care… and most of the Time the VA gives good care,,, but like the private hospital not all the time…. Some of u need to grow… your not the only person that the VA has screw over we all have our own stories some a little more serious than others

    • @Rick b, @cj, @Disgruntled Veteran, @Crazy elf, @Namnibor, @91Veteran, @Ex va, @Lem – If you go back and reread your first post compared to what you’ve written in your current post, your all over the place in presenting your premises for your argument. I’m an Investigative Research Biologist, and I’ve never had this low standard of quality of health care in my whole life. For me, their is no beneficial patient-medical provider teamwork. And that is scary. Plus, the runaround the Veterans receive when filing a claim is unacceptable and down right dishonorable. Like you, many have been hurting not even knowing what is going on in their lives, and many are hung up in an unjustifiable manner with their claims.

      I’m glad you got your 100% connection. How about cheering on your Brothers and Sisters who are still in the fight. May be it is your ass that should grow up, knowing what you already know. Just saying Brother.

      • Since you addressed me, Nutter, I’m with you on my experience on the Benefits side until today. And on the medical side I’ve experienced more than 10 VAs and I can assure you the difference in experience is a direct result of the director. Even Cheyenne has grossly changed with the new director. And I see the benefits side changing because of a change in director and his influence.

        So I assume your experience has been in the wrong VA centers and with the VARO benefits side.

        Because our experience differs year to year and place to place you have to expect us to be all over the place on a particular issue. But make no mistake. The to Director, President Obama and President Clinton were both abysmal. President Bush only gets a better mark because the TBI change came on his watch. You have to go back to President Carter to see an Administration with VA improvement instead of down turn. The first thing President Reagan did was with his “pen” reduce entitlements in the VA Regulations by EO reducing travel benefits (partially restored under President Bush II.

        Too bad we can’t all be at the best VAs. Like Sheridan, WY. Possibly Cheyenne now. Downtown LA in the early 1980s. But that is not the case and the swamp won’t be drained overnight. But try a 1 800 827 1000 call tomorrow. See if you get the response without a wait that I got today. Try the OIG at 1 800 488 8244 and see if you get the same. Prior to today I always got at least a 30 minute wait and often a leave your number and no call back. Sometimes a ring through, a pick up and a disconnect.

      • @Lem – Brother my first priority is my direct health care. My VA has had a bunch of turnarounds, busy signals when making calls, and even when I had in-home PT and OT my PCP wouldn’t even return the calls from my Nurses. Yeah, you’re right, its too bad that we all don’t have care like your experiencing in your area. You know, when I first entered the VA system, I was certain medications that gave me fantastic relief. When I entered the system, the VA wouldn’t prescribe the meds that was working, and my health got worse.

        Shootz, they didn’t even have the detective skills to ask a simple question before they made script changes, “how are the medications that you’re taking working for you.” No teamwork at my VA location, only directives. And for me to travel to another facility, would require me to take additional pain meds. This has been my objective in the first place. Original meds before going into the VA system reflected this.

        Brother Lem, might be a correlation that your district is around 70% Republican compared to my location. In the real world this shouldn’t matter. If there was a firm directive given out to ALL VA facilities to make necessary changes, then we should be seeing it Nationwide. I can’t be wrong with every question or suggestion that I’m concerned about and brought to their attention.

      • No correlation there. Remember, Cheyenne was one of the “crisis” facilities in the Phoenix/Cheyenne VA crisis. Probably, the current experience is related to being under the eye of the GOP not wanting another “crisis” on their watch. Though probably orchestrated to get Health Net and that other Choice contractor the billion dollar contracts under the ACA and the Choice Act.

        The Cheyenne VA now seems to be trying to force me out of Choice.

      • @Lem, runarounds with both major parties. Solving VA issue are highly influenced politically. Never mind about the best interest for Veterans. I should relocate to another country, get citizenship, then come back to the states.

      • There are lots of countries that would treat you better if you were a permanent resident than the U S treats even its citizens. I had better treatment as a permanent resident in Japan including poverty level benefits. My wife is ineligible here for any social service benefits other than her earned SS and Medicare for 20+ years of U S Employment.

    • Been reading a lot of situation,,,One thing is obvious there is no uniformity from one VA to the next,,, If you move and use a another VA,,, good luck on getting records from the other or just the past,,, All I have is this is a instituition set up for nothing more then government feel good political leaders,,, I DON”T FEEL GOOD,, There are those who would be the cure but are buried within these facilitys,,, but can’t or fearing the loss of there job,,, what they want to put , write,, on paper,,, is not what they actual put down on paper but what they can put on paper,,, If God would let me heal of PTSD,,, I would destroy this worthless VA system and replace it with the real care,, that once was created in America,,,Mad NA,, to soft of a word,,, maybe that’s what keeps me fighting this shit called Ptsd,,, MAYBE PURE ADRENALIN,,, pumping through my blood stream today,,,, For I have no medicine provided any longer by the VA,,, Is it tough,,, dang right,,, I crawl,,, and crawl,, until I can have a few moumets back on my feet,,,, This is a Fact the Private sector has saved my life after the Va gave me wrong meds, or treatment,,, lucky there was the period I could afford the Private Insurance period,,, but that soon got to costly,,, Oh there is so much crap from the VA I could spill since 1971 but would not do nothing,,,, When an organization is filled with corrupt leadership from one VA to the next,,, and with Lobyiest filling special intrest parties pockets with all they need in Money and expeirments that they could get anywere else but from US who are nothing more then guinnie pigs,,, Enough said,,, ONE MORE THING all of you out there after all said is done isn’t just wonderful that you get a income level of a DITCH DIGGER,,, for your care,,, The income level that my Dad and Mom made under same circumstances of disability is OF TODAY $1,500 higher of buying power then what any of you and I receive today,,, another words add the $1500 unto what you receive today and would be equal to what my parents got,,,, so health has crashed and so has the income level to live on has CRASHED also if anybody,,, cares,,,

    • @rick b – Brother, I’m not getting into a tit for tat. I’m sorry for your the way the VA treated you, but I’m not your enemy. Your post is out of pure frustration, and I understand. What are the shipping charges from your location?

  24. The Third Rail of the VA: It’s what’s known as “Vertical Integration”. This is a business model that got it’s start in the 70’s. It was all the rage to spin off various elements of a business to outside contractors, but keep the shell(VA) as a front to maintain the image.
    This was pioneered by Sear’s & Roebuck, and spread outward from there.The “company” is largely an optical illusion.
    VA ? A multi level marketing scheme, AMWAY for Veterans….

  25. ANutterVet : there was a study I saw some years back correlating the services that Vets received Republican vs Democrat districts, and the R’s lost on the dollars that flowed into their districts…..

    • @John Cokos – Could very well be, but over the years, there might very well be additional studies performed due to the ever changing findings in current research conclusions. And, variables could be influenced by each individual district compared to the average of all districts. Just saying.

  26. What is the fascination with Reagan ? He wanted to deny veterans UI benefits after they ETS’ed from Active Duty. His rationale? You had a good job but you quit, so that was on you. He was a piece of shit, he screwed over Veterans and the Middle Class. He was the Republican Legacy, and look where we are at today.

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