Anti-Press

One federal agency has refused to provide names of candidates up for consideration to the press for public scrutiny despite continued record of failure at the agency.

The selection of the Department of Veterans Affairs under secretary for benefits is well underway but the agency asserts providing names of candidates, or the names of those on the review board, to the public, will result in unwarranted interference in the process.

Specifically, a VA agency spokesman said public dissemination of the names would cause an unwarranted “interference” with the “process.”

Why is VA taking such an anti-press, anti-public scrutiny stance of its selection of one of the most broken divisions within VA?

For some background, I received reports concerning the selection of a new under secretary this weekend, and stakeholders expressed concern over the names being circulated.

Anti-Press, Anti-Public Scrutiny Stance?

I asked for the names of individuals intimately involved or up for evaluation, but VA refused to verify the reports or to provide any names. In response to my press inquiry, a VA spokesman replied:

The process on this must work without interference, so we do not impede it in any way. 

Please find attached the News Release and Statute regarding the Under Secretary of Benefits Commission. 

As stated in our vacancy announcement here is the evaluation process.

Step 1:  [Application reviewed to determine if applicant meets] Minimum qualifications.

Step 2:  Screening by Executive Board to determine group of candidates to be considered by the Commission.

Step 3:  The Commission interviews the most qualified candidates.

Step 4:  The Commission recommends the final candidates for consideration by the Secretary and the President.

Applicants will be evaluated based upon resume, application or curriculum vitae, and an interview if invited to appear before the Commission.

Why the need for secrecy? Is this the NSA or the VA?

VA clearly believes the former. And should we be surprised given that VA won the Golden Padlock Award in 2016 for being the most secretive federal agency?

VA even beat out DoD.

But should VA be entitled to such secrecy given the chronic fraud, waste, and abuse that has occurred over the past 80 years?

Can the agency be trusted to select competent leaders after decades of failures that ensured further waste and erosion of the public trust?

RELATED: Will New VA Exec Continue Pay For Play Scheme

Names Of Those Selected For Review By Executive Board

Over the weekend, I was given the names of individuals involved in the process involving a review board convened to select the new VA under secretary of benefits.

Reports surfaced that Thomas Murphy, Curtis Coy and Al Poteet were being considered for recommendation to the Under Secretary of Benefits Commission.

The board is formally called the Executive Board.

Former under secretary Allison Hickey is reportedly on the Committee at the request of Secretary David Shulkin, MD. By regulation, the secretary is the only official who could invite Hickey to participate in the selection process.

Commission On Under Secretary For Benefits Selection

On March 15, 2017, VA announced it established the Commission to recommend an under secretary for benefits for confirmation before the Senate:

Search commission candidates will be selected based on criteria governed by law, along with appropriate skills, knowledge and attributes as leaders, managers and educators. The commission is a prerequisite to the president’s appointment of a successful candidate, subject to Senate confirmation.

By law, the appointment is made without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of demonstrated ability, both in fiscal management and in the administration of programs of VBA or of similar content and scope.

Criteria For Commission Members

According to 38 USC § 306, there are certain criteria the Commission is supposed to follow when selecting the nominee. There are also certain individuals required to be on the committee:

  • Three persons representing education and training, real estate, mortgage finance, and related industries, and survivor benefits activities affected by the Veterans Benefits Administration.
  • Two persons representing veterans served by the Veterans Benefits Administration.
  • Two persons who have experience in the management of veterans benefits programs or programs of similar content and scope.
  • The Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
  • The chairman of the Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education formed under section 3692 of this title.
  • One person who has held the position of Under Secretary for Benefits (including service as Chief Benefits Director of the Veterans’ Administration), if the Secretary determines that it is desirable for such person to be a member of the commission.

Without regard to political affiliation or activity, the Commission must select the nominee “solely on the basis of demonstrated ability in”:

  1. fiscal management; and
  2. the administration of programs within the Veterans Benefits Administration or programs of similar content and scope.

Let’s Help The Under Secretary For Benefits Commission

I would like you, my researchers and readers, to take a little time to evaluate each of the candidates and report back what you find on each.

While there is not a lot of information about Al Poteet online, there is loads of data on Thomas Murphy.

We know the claims disability backlog started under his watch signifying policy changes he was responsible for led to a substantial increase and failure to timely adjudicate claims.

We know the appeals backlog at the Board of Veterans Appeals also started under his watch meaning his employees kicked the can down the road with bad decisions.

We know his staffers are teaching veteran service officers to pressure veterans into filing to reopen claims rather than appealing claims with a notice of disagreement. This scheme rips veterans off of earlier effective dates and makes the appeals backlog look artificially small.

What else can you all find out?

Reports are circulating that Thomas Murphy is the most likely choice for the position despite his checkered history.

Or, maybe his checkered past is that makes him the likely choice?

137 COMMENTS

    • Yeah, LOLLOLLLOLOLLLL.

      Things would be so much better if the VA stayed the way it was under Obama. LOL.

      Amirite?

      I mean, what’s the suicide rate staying the same as long as party hacks are in power.

      Note to others, this is sarcasm in case that wasn’t clear.

      • @Windguy: Fist I apologize if my spelling is horrid. the color sceeme on this computer is a black background and a very light greay font, and I can’t figure out how to change it. Windguy, from your post, you have me re-thinking some stuff. For myself, I am sorry if anything I have said has added to any shit your going through. Please do not give in to these assholes. Remember, you are a warrior, warriors do not give up. Does anything po9sitive come from discussing this stuff? I think so, it sheds light on issues, and for some readers, they have felt that they were all alone in this battle. Now they knwo they are not. I do however take your words seriously, and I myself will tone back on the thetoric, you have made me realize I may be doing more harm then good, for that, I thank you. This blog is also a place where frustrated veterans can vent their frustration, although it does nothing tho change anyghhing, it sure helps with the anger, and frustration veterans hold inside. I do understand this as well. Also glad they feel okay to say what they wish. I never take anyghing another veteran says personally, and if you look back, I always side with the veteran being attacked, no matter who they are. I hope you don’t decide to give up, or stop comming to this blog,. I enjoy your comments, and often learn from them. So in the end will it change anyghing? Most likely not, corruption is diffacult at best to weed out, and almost impossible once taken root. That being said, I feel a connection to everyone here, I would hate to see anyone throw in the towel or to start feeling hopeless, or to stop posting. I think everyone here adds to each others lives in a small way. I hope you understand what I am saying. Sionce I can’t see what I am typing, I am losing my train of thought. Sorry.

  1. “[…But should VA be entitled to such secrecy given the chronic fraud, waste, and abuse that has occurred over the past 80 years?

    Can the agency be trusted to select competent leaders after decades of failures that ensured further waste and erosion of the public trust?

    Reports are circulating that Thomas Murphy is the most likely choice for the position despite his checkered history.

    Or, maybe his checkered past is that makes him the likely choice?…]”

    No.

    No.

    And of course, a resounding YES on Murphy’s checkered past making him PERFECT for the swamp called the VA. Why? Because shit naturally always attracts more shit, especially when rolling downhill, but the VA needs no momentum for this massive shit ball to continue attracting more shitheads…at this point the ONLY WAY we are going to see REAL REFORM for Veterans and the VA is a total reset of the agency. The shitheads are packed tightly in the bowels of the V.A. Titanic and most secret agency of the USA.

    The huge problem is the poop deck is so impacted with VA shitheads, nobody is looking-out for icebergs….we Veterans are those icebergs. What I am trying to say is, the VA has entirely lost it’s way and original mission , to serve and assist Veterans.

    The deck is stacked against all we Veterans and that deck is packed with ugly ‘Old Maid’ cards. (Graves/Rubens, aka: The Fish Sandwich)

  2. Humana Veterans Healthcare Services Names New Chief Executive Officer

    Apr 03, 2007, 01:00 ET from Humana Military Healthcare Services

    • ” LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 3 /PRNewswire/ — Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM)
      announced the appointment of Alonzo Poteet, as Humana Veterans Healthcare
      Services’ (HVHS) new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Poteet will anchor the
      company’s growing veterans’ healthcare initiatives and seek to create
      strategic partnerships with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in
      order to improve the efficiency and quality of care for the entire VA
      healthcare delivery system.
      “We are very pleased to welcome Al to our team,” said David J. Baker,
      HMHS president and CEO. “Al has a thorough understanding of the VA system.
      His extensive experience and his personal dedication will play a
      significant role in improving access to high quality cost-effective health
      care for our country’s deserving veterans.”
      “Humana Veterans is an exciting opportunity and natural fit for me,”
      said Al Poteet, HVHS CEO. “Humana is a true leader in the military
      healthcare arena. I am pleased to be part of the team and look forward to
      the opportunities created by the new company, and even more the impact HVHS
      can have on the lives of our nation’s veterans.”
      Poteet has over 30 years of experience ranging from a registered
      lobbyist on Capitol Hill and Political Action Committee Treasurer and
      Director, to an array of leadership positions as a senior executive in both
      the private and public sectors. During the Reagan and Bush Administrations,
      he served as Associate Deputy Administrator for Congressional and
      Intergovernmental Affairs, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the
      Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C. As Associate Deputy
      Administrator, Poteet was responsible for successfully shepherding the
      Veterans Affairs Cabinet legislation through the U.S. Congress, culminating
      with President Reagan signing the “Department of Veterans Affairs Act” on
      October 25, 1988. He has also been a successful Director of both federal
      regional offices and medical facilities. In 2001, he was appointed
      Executive Director of President Bush’s Task Force to Improve Health Care
      Delivery to Our Nation’s Veterans.
      About HVHS
      HVHS, headquartered in Louisville, KY, is a subsidiary created by
      Humana Inc. The company was formed in 2007 to develop solutions to
      veterans’ healthcare issues. It provides an organizational structure that
      is flexible, agile, and responsive to the emerging requirements of the
      Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the veterans who rely on VA
      services.
      About Humana
      Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the
      nation’s largest publicly traded health benefits companies, with
      approximately 11.3 million medical members. Humana offers a diversified
      portfolio of health insurance products and related services – through
      traditional and consumer- choice plans – to employer groups,
      government-sponsored plans, and individuals.
      Over its 46-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities
      to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer
      engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better
      health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio.
      More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the
      Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at humana dot com,
      including copies of:
      — Annual reports to stockholders;
      — Securities and Exchange Commission filings;
      — Most recent investor conference presentations;
      — Quarterly earnings news releases;
      — Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls;
      — Calendar of events (includes upcoming earnings conference call dates
      and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and
      institutional investors);
      — Corporate Governance Information.

      SOURCE Humana Military Healthcare Services]”

  3. Rant:

    Too bad Veteran Suicides do not make the mainstream news with the veracity of sports players like former NFL Aaron Hernandez hung himself in his prison cell last night…and this will be all over the news for coming week or more…so watch-out, the VA Public Affairs might take advantage of this smokescreen to let loose a whammy of a corruption scandal tidbit this week’s end….wait for it…

  4. Now I understand why the money changers are on top. The commission is loaded on the “loan” side. So we actually get less service in getting mortgage and education loans with the bankers getting the top cut.

    Meanwhile our direct benefits are cut. Compensation (previous article), direct education and rehab checks, etc.

    The money changers at the Temple get their choice.

  5. LOL, we are about to get fucked over again. This is news? I have an “OLD” idea, before they chose anyone, let’s drain the swamp “FIRST”!!!! Not gonna happen, business as usuall. Nothing to see here folks, move along, move along.
    ╭┳━┳┳━━━━━╭┫╰╮┈┈┈…┏━╮╭━┓┈.╭━━━━╮
    ┃┃╭╯╰╮┈VA┈┃▎▃╰╮.┈┈┃┏┗┛┓┃╭┫AFGE┃
    ╯┣╯┈╭╯CASH╰╭╯╭▌┈┈╰┓▋▋┏╯╯╰━━━━╯
    ╱┃┈┈╰╮COW╮┈╰┳┻╯┈╭━┻╮╲┗━━━━╮╭╮┈
    ╱┃┏┳┳┻┻━┓┣┳┳╯╱╱.┈┃▎▎┃╲╲╲╲╲╲┣━╯┈
    ╱┃┃┃┃╱╱╱┃┃┃┃╱╱..┈.╰━┳┻▅╯╲╲╲╲┃┈┈┈
    ╱┗┛┗┛╱╱╱┗┛┗┛╱╱ ..┈┈┈╰━┳┓┏┳┓┏╯┈┈┈
    …………………….. ┈┈┈┈┈┗┻┛┗┻┛┈┈┈┈

  6. Just heard that Trump signed the extension of Veterans Choice, where locally, Tri West was paid to not place us in outside services, even though we’d far exceeded wait times. Yet another giant Beltway Schwanzstucke being ungracefully rammed into the collective and now-leathered bung-hole of veterans.

  7. I have carefully evaluated the three most relevent facts involving these candidates for VA office;

    1) The federal government is involved.
    2) The federal government is involved.
    3) The federal government is involved.

    I have concluded, therefor, that the federal government is involved in these decisions. It must be my genius level intellect working hard again?

    Drawing from my pool of enormous cognitive potential, I have determined that there are of course two possible conclusions. One conclusion is based on a future involving federal faiery dust, sunshine, and happiness, and the other is based on a past of reckless disregard for human suffering, corruption to the tune of BILLIONS, and genuine malice directed towards United States Veterans at the hands of the federal government.

    It may take some time to decide which conclusion to pick in regards to federal selection of folks to work at VA… Do I take the red pill, or the blue one?

    Neo, I believe…

  8. Why the secrecy? Likely because the VA wants to do what it wants and ignore the law in favor of a pre-selected hack with a history of illegally denying earned benefits to veterans.
    Their actions scream of an attempt to keep a lid on a problem, possibly with the support of Isakson.
    One would think the VA would want to be transparent in this process after the Hickey fiasco, with Pummell steering contracts and Murphy arbitrarily over-riding years of medical research and knowledge on AO exposures.

    That may be what they want to keep a lid on….being flooded with claims.

    Speaking of Hickey, if this is such a secret process where they have to protect the integrity of their Kangaroo Kommission, why have an outsider like Hickey on it? Particularly with her baggage?

    Hell if corrupt actions are not a problem, why not have Rubens and Graves on it? Or Gigliotti? Or that perv in Kansas? Or bring back that former Skin Flute playing IG and just give the other Kommission members rain coats.

    Finally, I don’t care how secretive the VA wants to be in this process. I would like to know the names and affliations of the 2 tokens being selected that are supposed to be representing veterans. Who are those that will be speaking for me and all other vets?

  9. [email protected]

    I think Trump is finding out who has control over what goes on in the Admin.

  10. Off topic – sort of. Reading Ben’s work every day, and reading the ensuing – often angry exchanges seems both addictive and depressing. The anger is understandable and shared, and sometimes lightened with dark humor. I’m in the throes of the recurrence of dreams, and trying to treat depression and dealing with physical stuff I know was caused in-service, but will never, ever be able to prove. Freud the fraud said “familiarity breeds contempt.” I have to wonder if familiarity with the VA, its deceit, its incompetence, its bureaucracies, its corruption, a cynical national leadership, and a clueless public, contributes to the potential for veteran suicides. I have over six months to make an appeal. My current thinking is to let it lapse and just say fuck it. Tough it out until I get to Medicare, optimize what I can get out of VA Healthcare to lessen the pain of Medicare. And ignore the VA, ignore the VVA, fuck a bunch of group and meds and therapy, and stay away from this and other social networking that mentions the clusterfuck that is the detritus of our military commitment.

    I burned up my VA education benefits in 79 and never looked back – never had anything to do with the VA until five years ago when the dreams n’shit came back. That led to depression, that led to my business cratering, and led me to VA Healthcare. I feel like I’ve been sucked into a maelstrom of shit that only spirals downward.

    Does anything positive come from discussing this stuff? Anything?

    • @Windguy: I see my reply to you ended up way out of location. One more thing about your post. You commented, ” I’m in the throes of the recurrence of dreams, and trying to treat depression and dealing with physical stuff I know was caused in-service, but will never, ever be able to prove.” As long as “they” can’t disprove it, you win. Please don’t give up.

    • Windguy, in my opinion discussing this stuff helps relieve stress more than it contributes to it, and helps inform other vets who may or may not be familiar with the corrupt beast they are dealing with.

      I too wonder if its worth it. I went to the VA for about 20 years before moving and other life issues caused a break in going to them until about 2012.

      It was amazing the difference in stress levels.

      I could likely walk away from the VA again and deal with any health issues on the outside, but I can’t for several reasons.

      Uncle needs to hold up his end of the promise of providing care for service connected injuries.

      I cannot abandon other vets who don’t have any other option. I would rather put the screws to lazy bureaucrats.

      I felt guilty thinking I had abandoned other vets when I took that break from the VA.

      As a taxpayer, it pisses me off to pay so much in taxes, only to see the VA waste so damn much of their budget, and veterans who do not have any option still getting screwed hard.

      I was recently contacted by another vet in my unit during the Gulf War. It was a shock sitting in the chow tent one night when he came in. He was in another unit attached to mine, and he went to school with my brother.

      I found out how bad he is recently after being injured while on Active Duty. He’s trying to live life as best he can with his family, which is tough for him given his condition and how hard the VA had been screwing him.

      I can’t walk away from that.

      But I also understand those that need to for their own peace of mind.

  11. So, Murphy. I won’t comment on the lunacy of thinking an AO denier is competent or honest enough for this job.

    Coy. Given he has been serving as the Deputy Undersecretary for Economic Opportunity at the VA since 2011, and given the state of the economy for a veteran, homelessness, jobless, the disaster known as VocRehab, the mish-mash of the GI Bill, home loans, etc., one can only ask why anyone believes such a person is qualified for a promotion.

    Seriously? If he was competent, would all those programs show an improvement over his 6 year tenure?

    I guess it must be the highlight on his LinkedIn page showing he is sought after for giving commencement addresses. WOW!

    His history shows he enlisted in the Air Force, then was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1975.

    It looks like he started out as an assistant weapons officer, then was an anti-sub officer before becoming a supply officer.

    Was that because he couldn’t handle the other jobs so he got sent to supply?

    He finished his career after serving as the assistant whatever for years, ending up as a Deputy Assistant in contracting.

    He’s bounced around to various assistant or Deputy jobs at federal agencies like HHS or FDA since 2000, and touts on his LinkedIn site his work on Obamacare and getting the Healthcare dot gov site up, although I don’t know that I would brag about that.

    Coy, like Hickey and Murphy was around when a great deal of corruption was going on, including BS contracts being let.

    Like a swamp rat zombie feeding.

    But hey! We have a couple of unknown people looking out for our interests right?

    Poteet is next.

    • Sounds like a TBI while in the anti-sub officer not severe enough to board him out. Damaged goods. Would like to see his military health record.

  12. Poteet. What an interesting history.

    According to that YUNUS vs DVA before the MPSB, Yunus was appealing his firing from the VA in 1998, and he lost the appeal.

    Poteet was involved in that as the Daytona Clinic Coordinator.

    Interesting to see he rose to become a VA Deputy Assistant Secretary fast enough to be a former Deputy less than 10 years later when he was hired by Humana in Feb 2007 to grease the skids for Project HERO, which appears to be the precursor to privatization of the VA, or the current Choice program.

    A bit of Information can be found about Yunus vs VA, and information on Poteet and Humana, but one of the best descriptions of politics, the VA, Humana and Poteet is in an April 2009 article in the Nation titled Casualties of Care about Humana, the VA, privatization, politics and the VA, and how lobbying influences politicians more than veterans.

    The article says Poteet was an Army gunship pilot in Vietnam.

    Perhaps Poteet has the best chance out of the 3 if the idea is to move towards shutting down or privatizing VA.

    Notwithstanding the political slant of the Nation magazine and the scare tactics used against veterans getting outside care, it’s a good history and shows we are still in the same mess 10 years later.

    There is the little matter of a 1980 complaint by the Federal Election Commission over a violation of the VFW giving a $25000 loan to the VFW PAC which Poteet served as the Treasurer. Seems there was an issue of co-mingling funds.

    Back to Project HERO. That was started as a pilot project in 2007. Humana still has a web page describing it that shows it was still ongoing in Feb 2013.

    The web address is “Humana-veterans dot com”.

    The description looks much like a description for Choice.

    Looks like Pelosis friend George Miller, HealthNet and others beat out Humana for Choice.

  13. Off topic but important:

    “Trump signs bill allowing veterans to seek care outside broken VA system”, by Sarah Westwood | Apr 19, 2017, 11:53 AM

    “http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-signs-bill-allowing-veterans-to-seek-care-outside-broken-va-system/article/2620659”

  14. In a recent article published in USA Today the author states that VA Secretary David Shulkin said “bring it on” is his new message about public scrutiny. Yet Shulkin is still hiding the truth about who is being considered for selection of the Department of Veterans Affairs undersecretary for benefits. We all know that the big six VSOs have had their chance to enter their two cents on the pick at monthly backroom meetings.

    Clearly VA Secretary David Shulkin is hiding the names of the swamp creatures he and the VSOs are looking to put into that position. Hiding the names from the public to avoid scrutiny totally the opposite of what was claimed in the USA Today article. That makes Shulkin a Fricken liar regarding public scrutiny at the VA.

    Hey Shulkin, what’s it going to be?

    Shulkin while we are on the topic of public scrutiny, another couple of questions regarding why the VA is hiding the number of C-difficile cases at VA hospitals and nursing homes.

    Is it because people at the VA are making money by allowing European Union Pharmaceutical companies to infect Veterans with C-diff to test new theories and pharmaceuticals? How many Veterans were murdered so far?

    See: “Oral Administration of Non-Aggressive Strain of C difficile Reduces Risk of Recurrence of C difficile Infection”, Gerding, Dale N. M.D., Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, Il and Loyola University Chicago.

    “http://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/oral-administration-of-non-aggressive-strain-of-c-difficile-reduces-risk-of-recurrence-of-c-difficile-infection/”

    Don’t let the title of the research fool anyone. There is no Non-Aggressive strain although it is less aggressive it still kills. In the study after a Veteran has survived C-diff for a period of time of between 4 to six weeks they then re-infect them with a less aggressive strain. The European Ethics committees that approved this research, using US Veterans, are based in Germany and Belgium.

    The company sponsoring the research is Shire Pharma out of Ireland.

    • If anyone is interested, in the name of Public Scrutiny, I will put together a list of the VAMCs involved and the Dr. Names at those facilities who are involved with this murdering of Veterans.

      • [email protected]

        how would a vet know if he or she has become a test subject.

      • For the record.

        “Conflict of Interest Disclosures: All authors have
        completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for
        Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. Dr
        Gerding reports holding patents for the prevention
        of CDI licensed to ViroPharma/Shire; consultancy
        for ViroPharma/Shire, MedImmune, Sanofi Pasteur,
        Cubist, Optimer, DaVolterra, and Pfizer; and
        membership in the advisory boards of Merck,
        Rebiotix, Summit, and Actelion. Dr Lee reports
        participation in clinical trials for ViroPharma,
        Actelion, Cubist, and Merck and membership in the
        advisory boards for Rebiotix, Cubist, and Merck. Dr
        Cohen reports membership in the advisory boards
        of Merck and ViroPharma/Shire and clinical trial
        participation with ViroPharma/Shire, Cubist,
        Actelion, and Merck. Dr Poirier reports clinical
        trial participation with GlaxoSmithKline, Merck,
        Cubist, Bayer, Actelion, and ViroPharma.
        Dr Van Schooneveld reports research support from
        ViroPharma and Cubist and speaker fees from
        Thermo-Fischer. Dr Pardi reports consultancy for
        Seres Health and having served on advisory boards
        for Cubist and Optimer. Dr Barron reports
        membership in advisory boards for Astellas Pharma
        US and current clinical trial participation with
        Astellas Pharma US, ViroPharma/Shire,
        GlaxoSmithKline, Actelion T2 Biosystems, and
        Merck. Dr Chen reports Shire stock/options. Drs
        Chen and Villano were full-time employees of
        ViroPharma/Shire during the conduct of this study.
        No other disclosures were reported.
        Funding/Support: This study was sponsored by
        ViroPharma Incorporated, which is now part of the
        Shire group of companies.
        Role of the Funder/Sponsor: Viropharma/Shire
        employees were involved in the study design and
        management, analysis, and interpretation of the
        data. Viropharma/Shire employees or former
        employees are authors of this article and were
        involved in the drafting of the manuscript and
        approval to submit the manuscript for publication.”

        “http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2281703”

        Additional info provided in the PDF version accessible from the link above

      • If I didn’t know any better, I would say these doctors have holdings in a foreign medical entity so they can also obtain patents and shield any earnings for any medicines created after testing on US veterans.

      • 91Veteran,

        You are right, also check who is also collecting a paycheck at Hines VAMC and he also owns the patent rights for the new drug at Viropharma/Shire. Dr. Dale Gerding at:

        “https://www.va.gov/providerinfo/includes/detail_iframe.asp?sitenameOD=HINES&providerid=513”

        It is exactly like Dr. Raymond Schinazi and his company Pharmasset and the Hep-C drug. Gerding owns Shire and Viropharma. Both are privately owned and the ownership is hidden.

        One very disturbing issue I have with their reported research was that on the same day that the research ended they changed the enrollment numbers from 240 enrolled to 173 enrolled. It seems these murdering crooks removed 67 patients from the enrollment so they could change the results of the study by 27%. The about the amount they claimed there treatment helped.

        “https://clinicaltrials.gov/archive/NCT01259726/2013_08_13/changes”

      • Seymore, another exhibit of the stellar ethics by VA medical quacks.

        So even though this is well known, I bet he claims he only worked 5% of his time on this and spent no government money when he cashes in.

      • @Seymore Klearly – Some Veterans, at the present time, have no choice but to use the services of the VA Healthcare system. As per myself, I try to keep abreast of types of treatments that I should be more aware and why. Remember when I mentioned that I was on Tramadol in the past? Seymore, I don’t consider myself to be a lab rat, only if I subject myself to a medical service from the VA in which I know that is dangerous.

        I understand that you’re informing @[email protected] that he is a lab rat. But some of us don’t really need any extra stress directed towards us because others are able to get medical services outside the VA. We don’t need anyone to try and belittle us anymore than what we’re already experiencing from a Federal Agency, who responsibility is to take care of us all [Veterans].

        Seymore, no ill feelings towards you, but some of us are trying our best to get out of the dam swamp ASAP. Thanks.

        Have you noticed how much Press Coverage that Fernandez has received already? More coverage than all the VA issues put together.

        *MSM outlets are not Veterans best friends. They are our enemy.

        *Veterans- A forgotten portion of American society.

        *A Stroke of the Pen- An Executive Order to Implement Changes in the VA.

      • ANutterVet,

        I don’t mean to upset anyone, but the plain truth is anyone receiving health care through the VA is a research subject. Whether you give your consent or not they use all patients at the VA in research. Some of it terminal.

      • Back when I still utilized the VA for my medical the VA infected me with a very bad case of C-DIFF *and* MRSA. I spent a good part of a year and half in and out of private/state hospital using my at the time State Medicaid and Medicare, as I was dually qualified in those years waiting on my VA Compensation and SSDI.

        The VA could have cared less and was even told by some nursing hack that “…all medical environments have C-DIFF and MRSA…”, and the VA saw no big deal, even though I live with a seriously compromised immune system…they simply did not care and were as indifferent as an amusement park employee being asked by a little kid to fetch their lost balloon from the lagoon….only difference is, it was the VA SWAMP, not any lagoon.

        If I did not have Medicare, I fear that I would die an early death by the VA. However, that does not make me indifferent to the plight of all Veterans and the VA because I will be honest in that there’s some self-serving motivation to my wanting the VA SWAMP drained/cleaned-up and it’s simple: I really would like to feel safe enough to use my damned earned VA benefits.
        As it still stands, even with a brand new VAMC in Columbus, they STILL do not have an Infectious Disease Clinic and will not give CHOICE because they FORCE all Vets to either drive all the way to Dayton VAMC or the Columbus VAMC will have their funny hat-wearing VSO’s drive their van to Dayton…and the last thing I want is to be put on the DBC for getting motion sick and puking in their van…which would happen.
        I agree, Seymore Klearly; using the VA is a dire risk to one’s health.

  15. DEFINITELY NO NO NO TO THOMAS MURPHY AND THE OTHER TWO. TOM MURPHY IS A LIAR. MOST NOTABLY HIS LETTER TO ME DENYING THAT I HANDLED, MIXED AND POWER SPRAYED AGENT ORANGE HERBICIDES ON GUAM WHERE I SPRAYED IT FROM 1968 TO 1978 FOR THE US AIR FORCE. MR MURPHY AND MRS MURPHY ARE LIARS. TOTALLY. I EXPOSED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF VETERANS AND MILITARY DEPENDENTS AND CIVILIANS,TO VAST AMOUNTS OF AO TCDD DIOXIN WITH HUNDREDS OF EYE WITNESSES INCLUDING VA SENIOR EMPLOYEES WHO WERE EXPOSED TO AO BECAUSE OF ME THAT ARE TERMINAL AND WON THEIR APPEALS FOR DIRECT AO EXPOSURE ON GUAM.

  16. @SeymourKlearly, I was trying to follow up on the choice bill. What I come up with is there is a billion dollars in the bank, and program ends in August, this year. I go to Clinic tomorrow, and plan on trying to apply it.. Does someone know about the ACCOUNTABILITY bill that was stalled in the Senate?

  17. @Seymore Klearly – Subject; Veterans as Lab Rats – There are those Veterans that are going through additional stress, because they have no choice at the present time but to be treated at the VA, until their circumstances change. What I was talking about is being a little more sensitive. For me, as a Biologist, I surely know that the VA dramatically fails in treating Veterans properly. And, being on the edge of defending myself from what I know to be dirty science, I don’t want to be reminded about what I might or could be, but to know that my Brothers and Sisters have my back, because they know that I’m stuck in a fucking rat hole, and being monitored by Rat Bastards. Fuck them.

    Plus Seymore, we don’t really know how stable a Veterans mind is when they post on Ben’s blog. There are many days that I don’t want no one to touch me. I’m ready to explode. And, I have thoughts going through my mind in which I never had before. But yet, if the VA is informed, and they suspect that I want to commit the final exit, they can dispatch a party to pick me up, and I guarantee you all hell will break out.

    The loss of only one Veteran makes me fucking pissed off. No offense. I don’t like bullies [VA] and I’ll buck up against them every time.

    There are those that have enough stress let alone knowing this, being stuck in the mess, and being exposed to the VA’s medical providers and constantly arguing with them. Then, the VA knowing that you’re under additional stress [these people aren’t dumb fucks, they’ve be fucking us over for 80+ years], they only offer Veterans antidepressants for stress. The dam Behavioral Health doctors don’t even know how to start, continue, or even create probing questions directed at their patients [except for manipulation or using information against you].

    Trump needs to act fast because he is loosing his base. Time isn’t on Veterans side when they are dying from suicide, and improper and malpractice medical services from the VA. My wife has instructions to take me to the Private Hospital in my area if I need to be admitted. This is to protect all parties.

    • @ANutterVet- Amen!!

      (if I may be away in a few days, my father passed early this morning. Heading to be with my mother and funeral in another state for a quick departure from my own life. Life’s shit sandwiches keep getting served and sometimes, you just have to eat it and ask, “Sir, may I have another!”.

      Peace.

      • @Namnibor – I’m sorry to hear about your father. You don’t have my contact information, and vice versa. What to do? Brother, please find that place of contentment and happiness in which we spoke of in the past. I know how you must feel even though you stated that your father and you weren’t close. All to do now is, put all your love onto your mom. You know what I’m saying. Drive safe to and fro, and honestly and truthfully, may you mom, your family, and yourself be blessed. Brings back mind shaking and to the nerve, dramatic memories for me. God bless you Nam.

      • Namnibor,

        Sorry for your loss. Also look out for your mother. This is a time she will really need you.

      • The funeral will not be until Tuesday, so will be traveling there Sunday evening and then return back here to my home on Wed. Been helping mother where I can with things, she’s quite a machine and like me, I tend to refocus pent-up things into cleaning, hobbies or whatnot.

    • @Seymore Klearly – If I came across abruptly, I didn’t mean too. I get tired of the VA’s abusive, corruptive, and down right despicable acts of conduct that directly goes against Veterans, by lining the fucking VA’s leadership pockets with blood money from the lives of Veterans. These people keep pushing it, and pushing it. If there is an outbreak of some sort, there’re to blame.

      • ANutterVet,

        You didn’t come across abruptly or offensively. I appreciate your honesty and concern.

        I am just being honest in my assessment of the VA.

        A quick question not related to the VA if you don’t mind. As a Biologist and the current events with Korea. With both China and Russia shoring up their borders with North Korea to prevent a massive refuge crisis of infected refugees.

        Where do you think the North Korean sponsored biological events will strike first here in the U.S.? Washington D.C., New York City and South Florida around Mar-A-Largo are givens. But will they be in major population centers or more rural populations?

      • @cj, that is ok i am not that fast anyways. Lol! Did you have a good weekend? Pain today had fronts moving thru. How are you doing today?

      • @Ex va: I am better today then yesterday. Yesterday no drama, then around 5or6pm I strarted to have some kind of an attack, lung related, lasted till around 11pm, was horrible. Didn’t see you online lastnight, thought maybe you were mad at one of my comments lol, or your were in a lot of pain from the weather changes. Sorry your in a lot of pain tonight.

  18. @cj, no, i wasn’t mad. Lol! If i was i would have said something. If someone says something i find offensive i will say something, but i am getting older so i have to watch it someone could kick my ass easy. Lol. Saw family spent a lot of time with family. No i wasn’t online on the blog. My ipad had to charge and my laptop too. Didn’t do a lot of tech stuff over the weekend. Yes, this weather has been bothering me a lot i didn’t do much of anything today.
    What kinda problems with your lung?
    Was it a lot of pain? Do you take aspirin for prevention of blood clots? That is bad with the lung you have to be careful with that. I had a friend who got a blood clot in lung caused them a lot of pain. Had to get on blood thinners in hospital. They were in a car for a long trip.

    • @Ex va: Good to hear you will speak up, I like that. Not shure, this isn’t the first time this has happened, but it has been a while since the last attack. Not painful, just very uncomfortable, short of breath, feels like a tickling in the lungs, then skin starts to feel like burning. I have a pulmonary appointment comming due soon. No idea what it is, I do take a lowdose asprin, past heart attack.

      • @cj, good you take aspirin for heart. It helps with blood clots too. Good you have a pulmonary appointment. All the pollen is out this time of year. It can irritate lungs. Does it cause you to break out in a sweat??

        Good you see regular doctors. I have blooms all over the strawberry plants now. The weather has been warm then cold and then rain. I would like to start a little vegetable bed i don’t know if i will get to it this year.

      • @Ex va: No sweats. You should try a small vegetable garden, something simple and low maintenance, like green beans, snap peas, a single tomato plant.

      • @Ex va: Figure out what you like to eat and go from there. Tomato plant I would get a cherry tomato, or grape tomato. Veggies are to your liking.

      • @cj, i need to get serious about this planting time will be over before i know it. Like a lot of different tomatoes. I like homegrown veggies the best. The other night on this blog was hilarious. I was laughing about that till the next day. Didn’t know who was posting what. LOL!!!

      • @Ex va: Ex, it isn’t too late, we don’t plant here till mother’s day. Okay, really mean it this time…goodnight.

  19. @Ex va: LOL I don’t think I spelled like-ing the right way. Anyway Ex, I need to get some sleep, I have my Thursday appointment. Hope you sleep well. Will talk tomorrow evening. God Bless you and your family.

  20. @Seymour, Went to VA clinic this a.m. When Dr. Newland referred me back to Birmingham VA, of which I cannot get to. I tried to say I need a referral for local Cardiologist. He said he doesn’t work that way. I was told to shut up by him more than once. I knew to just to shut up. The only thing I said to him after was, “can you tell me where you graduated from. He immediately grabbed my arm and told me to leave. I reiterated asking him where he graduated. Now, everybody escorted me out. He didn’t reorder my meds, and the blood work, I asked for he wouldn’t allow them to do it. What now? I have no idea as to what to do now. Thanks for the space to hitch, and the time.

    • Jo3n, I would write up in detail what you were there for, what the doctor said to you when telling you to shut up, that you were grabbed on the arm by him which is assault, that you were escorted out, that you were refused a referral locally, that your meds have not been renewed.

      In your letter, ask to meet the Chief of Staff.

      Address the letter to the Director. Take a copy to the Patient Advocate, explain what it is, ask them to write a Report of Contact and provide you a copy of that Report of Contact.

      Tell the Patient Advocate you are taking a copy of the letter to the Directors office and requesting a meeting with the Chief of Staff, then do it.

      It doesn’t matter whether you talk to the Director, just deliver the letter to his office.

      Include names of witnesses in your letter if you know, or just state Nurse X on such and such a date and time.

      It’s up to you if you go to the VA police and file a Report of being assaulted.

      Its up to you if you want to submit a complaint against his license.

      Unless veterans start fighting back hard against this crap, it will only continue.

      Document it. Follow up. Demand to know what the Chief of Staff will do about this.

      Ask to be reassigned to another provider.

      There is no excuse for such poor behavior or treatment of veterans.

      • When something like that happens you don’t need to wait. Walk directly to the Administrative offices and ask to see either the Director or the Chief of Staff. Have done it several times, even in large VAs like West LA Regional Medical Center and have never left without seeing someone. Or you can ask the PT Rep to take you there. Don’t give the PT rep details. Just say you need to see the Director or the Chief of Staff. It is the PT rep’s job to try to settle a dispute at the lower level which means nothing ever happens and the shit keeps happening.

        What you want is the Director or the Chief of Staff to call the perp up to his office and get his side. Tell Director or Chief of Staff to take care of it or you will write a letter to the local paper and copy your Congressman. Usually you will not see that physician again and the next one you see will be polite and explain clearly your situation. That doesn’t mean the one that abused you will get let go. It just means he’ll have a mark against him and he/she’ll have to consider their actions in the future.

        Strike while the iron is hot, you remember the details and witnesses will also remember and be available.

      • Lem, not only will witnesses remember, but shift logs will also be available to show who was on duty at the time.

        The Chief of Staff can ask for who witnessed the event and who has a sudden case of amnesia.

        Jo3n, if you truly do not want to see this doctor again, after you deliver the letter to the director, go to the VA police and file a Report of assault.

        Have a witness with you if possible.

        A report of assault should force the VA to act.

        You know damn well the VA would not hesitate to charge you with assault of you grabbed the quacks arm.

        Document it in writing.

    • Jo3n,

      I am looking into Rolando to see what info I can find on him. Here is a link to the National Practitioners Index Database listing for him. “https://npiregistry.cms.hhs.gov/registry/provider-view/1467810929”

      Note first that he has only had a listing since January of 2016. Also, that he lists his license to practice medicine is from Puerto Rico and unfortunately anyone can buy a license there for $500. Also, they have no online search for license verification. They claim a person can call for verification but their phones lines for verification are reportedly unanswered. There are services which can be hired to verify a medical license from Puerto Rico but the cost start at $179 per verification.

      Further digging for information on Rolando finds that in fact he is not a doctor and does not hold a medical license to practice medicine as a physician. Dr. Rolando Newland, MD is only hired as a nurse practitioner. See Healthgrades at: “https://www.healthgrades.com/physician/dr-rolando-newland-xymngty”

      He certainly is some one who you don’t want working as your primary care Nurse.
      More latter on Rolando.

      • Good work Seymore. What happened and is happening to Jo3n is disgusting.

        But it is something Jo3n can fix if he chooses to do so.

      • 91Veteran,

        Clearly there is a high level of fraud associated with Rolando and the VA.

        Also it is clear that Jo3n hit a nerve with Rolando when asking about what Med School Rolando graduated from. The way I see it Jo3n was physically assaulted when the fool grabbed Jo3n’s arm.

      • I agree Newland is sketchy.

        I also agree Jo3n was assaulted.

        I know Jo3n said he submitted a complaint to Birmingham, but he doesn’t provide detail on whether they took it seriously, whether the complaint mentioned he was assaulted, or if a Report of Contact was submitted.

        Jo3n, regardless of whether the police do anything, it would be worth it to have it documented by asking them to file a Report of assault.

      • Interesting. Looks like Rolando gets his bedside manner from acting as a prison doctor for several years.

        It’s likely why he got so defensive when asked where he went to school.

        If you search on casetext dot com, you can find a number of cases where Newland was sued by prisoners as late as 2015.

        A review on Healthgrades shows he won’t listen, changed a patients medicine to something that makes him sick and refuses to change it.

        Another site such suggests he was interested in karate in Panama.

        I would want to change doctors just based on what’s found on him online.

      • 91Veteran,

        Some great info from your post what you found at Casetext dot com. Rolando’s career at the Federal Bureau of Prisons is truly an example of mans inhumanity to man.

        I cannot put into words the horrors some of these prisoners suffered under the care of Dr. Rolando Newland, MD.

        Here are links to some of the court cases against the former Director of Clinical services at numerous BOP prison facilities. He still has case pending against him and was the Director of Clinical services at MCC New York as recently as July 2016.

        It is highly unlikely that this piece of trash ever completed any Medical School and that is the reason he is now hiding behind a bogus Puerto Rico Medical license. Fuck you Shulkin for ever hiring this piece of garbage. He should be sitting in a prison cell not acting as a primary care nurse at the VA.

        “https://casetext.com/case/roudabush-v-bitener-2”

        “https://casetext.com/case/carter-v-newland”

        “https://casetext.com/case/dunn-v-samuels”

        “https://casetext.com/case/almanzar-v-newland-2”

        “https://casetext.com/case/mcdowall-v-metropolitan-correctional-center”

        “https://casetext.com/case/adams-v-beaudouin”

        “https://casetext.com/case/michel-v-fed-bureau-of-prisons-fci”

      • Good on you for reading the details Seymore. I read enough to verify some details, but not much more.

        I will have to catch up reading later.

      • @Seymore Klearly- Great sleuthing! That Rolando is the example of the VA hiring only the very best as long as they studied all the notes of the Nazi madman Dr. Mengele.

        Sickening, just sickening!

    • Jo3n,

      I fell for you on what happened at this appointment and am looking into options. Your statement “He didn’t reorder my meds, and the blood work, I asked for he wouldn’t allow them to do it.” has me concerned. The meds that you are on if you are low on them and need them then I highly recommend you go to an private care emergency room and see a physician there.

      In the mean time I will be looking into other options for you. Also will be trying to find out more about nurse ( Dr. Rolando Newland, MD ).

  21. I trust that the Secretary and the President will make changes that will only help. Getting rid of people who take advantage of positions for personnel gain is the key to hiring and firing. I like the fact they are keeping some privacy, then there will not be all the special interest groups trying to get their puppets in line to scam us more. President did well on the Choice program, despite much criticism from many groups prior, he came through so I don’t mind a little wait and see. In fact I have mentioned to President and many others about making our information much more private, we all know how they have taken Veterans information and got it stolen probably on more than one occasion, I am sure someone has sold it a time or two, and the world is getting to be a much more dangerous place, So I feel more privacy in many area’s is called for. Computers could do much of the work that VA has dingbats doing now, since we are getting more sophisticated of a society daily it seems we need to step up and put some walls between us and our many enemies in the World. The VA can no longer be a Circus show for the World they will and must start acting like professionals in everyway, and the President and others realize it is something that is long overdue, they must change before they put us all at great risk. Now they are about as organized as a boy scout troop, no I don’t want to give them that much credit. Off the subject and good news for us and are fellow Citizens and Taxpayers, Yesterday in Lafayette Indiana in front of my home, I watched an ICE bust while sitting in my Lawn chair enjoying some Sun Tea. From start to finish the ICE team pulled in front of the car, another pulled behind it, and they took two illegals into custody, so President Trump is not playing games. Man means business.

  22. Thanks, I am unsure if clinic has a director. There were no VA guards or police. Anyway, @91Vet, Are you saying I need to go to Birmingham to do what was suggested? Honestly, I appreciate all feedback. I’ve written down account while fresh. Why wouldn’t a Dr. say where he graduated? Oh, when shoved out the hall, the receptionist started telling me answers to questions I asked Dr. How she knew what Dr. and I talked about, I have no clue. There was no loud voices. But, she knew. Are we being recorded?

    • Jo3n, was this at a CBOC?

      If so, call them and find out who the director or manager is.

      If this is a CBOC, you might be better off calling the VA Regional Office and talking to the Directors office there.

      Do this today.

      If you need help finding contact information or other stuff, post it here and I will get that for you.

      If you talk to someone in the VARO directors office, explain you were assaulted during an appointment today, don’t mention where. If they ask who or where, tell them that will be in your written complaint. Ask them who you can contact to submit a report about this, and that you want to be reassigned to another doctor.

      Try to do it through email if you can do you have records of what is submitted.

      If you talk to the directors office…same thing…ask them to submit a Report of Contact explaining your phone call. A Report of Contact is an electronic report that is submitted to upper management including the director.

      Explain that the receptionist was answering questions you asked the doctor, even though the receptionist was not present in the appointment. It will establish the receptionist as a witness.

  23. @91Veteran, [email protected], I filled complaint with Birmingham VA, and sent situation to Birmingham VA Admin. There is no Director at Jasper Clinic. Guys, I live in Walker County Alabama. If I were to file a complaint with Police, nothing would come of it. I’ve made appointment with pcp, on my Medicare. Again, thanks so much. God Bless the Veterans.

  24. @Jo3n: Damn Jo3n, don’t let this go.
    91, and Seymour, gave you great info “ammo” and advice “battle plan”. Go get this piece of shits ass in a ringer, and proper. Keep us informed of the progress. Sounds like if this doesn’t get any attention? Maybe we march on the damn place.

  25. @Cj, I love your attitude. I am following through, I’ve texted, I don’t think that’s a word, my lawyer and waiting for reply. Bud, if you were to check out Walker County, Alabama, you would know that if I filed a complaint against the VA, I would be in jail.

  26. @ANutterVet – – – Contacted Ben about what we discussed privately a few minutes ago. Will await his response. Then contact you.

  27. @91Vet, that was the other Dr. The other Dr. suggested that I see him. A promise; I will go as far as I can. I may even get a bit pushy. I am not sure what meds I am supposed to switch to. Next week, I will be back on track.

    • Good for you Jo3n. There is no reason to put up with that.

      Think of your pushing this issue as possibly preventing the same thing or worse happening to another vet.

      If it’s true that Newland was/is a prison doctor, it suggests his attitude of his patients having no rights has carried over to how he treats vets.

      What Seymore found is interesting, and makes me wonder why he has worked as a prison doctor for so long.

      Questionable credentials maybe?

      • Just want to point out that his title has always been “Director of Clinical Operations” at each of the facilities he has worked at for the BOP. Also I would point out that in some cases at the BOP prisoners are assigned to jobs matching their education and training. In some case MDs who are prisoners are assigned as prison doctors.

        As far as assigning a prisoner to a Directors position it is possible.

        The fact that he has worked for more than 10 years with the BOP in the states of Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey without ever obtaining a medical license in any of those states is very questionable. Especially when he only holds an unverifiable Puerto Rican medical license.

        For that matter his Puerto Rican Medical license would be invalid due to his lack of certifications. See: “https://www.certificationmatters.org/is-your-doctor-board-certified/search-now/ln/newland/fn/rolando.aspx”

        A certification is a major requirement to receive a “legal” Puerto Rican Medical License.

      • I found it interesting how many lawsuits were against him for civil rights violations.

        Which really puts this issue into perspective.

        Jo3n, if he were a prisoner, would be able to easily file a civili rights lawsuit against Newland, likely have various groups help or represent him, but because he is a veteran, he cannot do that.

      • @91Veteran: 91, you are so spot on with your analysis of how a convicted civilian, still has rights, whiile veterans have been stripped of theirs. Astonishing!!

      • Federal Employee Profile — Rolando M. Newland
        Title: Medical Officer
        Agency: Bureau of Prisons/Federal Prison System
        Pay profiles from 2004 to 2015
        “https://www.federalpay.org/employees/bureau-of-prisons-federal-prison-system/newland-rolando-m”

        Also can add Florida to the list of states he has practiced medicine without a valid license. So now the list includes the states of Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Florida.

      • I saw the various states where is was acting as a doctor, and thought I saw Texas in one of them.

  28. One more thing…. I was told a minute ago, even though I am far enough away from Birmingham VA, the clinic isn’t. So the choice card doesn’t apply. If I were to drive the 14miles to the clinic, the VA in Birmingham would be that much farther. Is that right?

    • Jo3n,

      From my earlier post yesterday.

      “Trump signs bill allowing veterans to seek care outside broken VA system”, by Sarah Westwood | Apr 19, 2017, 11:53 AM

      “http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-signs-bill-allowing-veterans-to-seek-care-outside-broken-va-system/article/2620659”

      “The Veterans Choice Improvement Act removes barriers that Congress placed around the original “choice” initiative and eliminates an expiration date that would have shuttered the program in August.

      Lawmakers created the choice program in 2014 after a massive scandal involving wait time cover-ups at more than 100 VA facilities around the country. It was initially structured as a two-year pilot program that limited when and where veterans could choose to see private doctors. Patients could only use the choice program if they lived more than 40 miles from the nearest VA hospital or if they could not get an appointment from their local VA facility within 30 days.”

      It would seem the person who told you the restrictions still apply is likely wrong.

    • Also Jo3n,

      The doctors real name is “Rolando M Newland Clarke, MD”, Active Licenses – Puerto Rico, School attended – Universidad De Granada Spain, Year of graduation 1985

      Source: Doc Info Dot Org at “http://www.docinfo.org/#/search/details/49955A0D-75BF-4616-998C-53EF4C32B342/?docname=rolando%20newland”

      More to follow now that I know the correct name he has been hiding.

  29. @Seymore Klearly – – – “I don’t mean to upset anyone, but the plain truth is anyone receiving health care through the VA is a research subject. Whether you give your consent or not they use all patients at the VA in research. Some of it terminal.”

    I can see where it would upset some, but I agree with you. Better everyone knows the plain truth. I appreciate your tireless effort, and time researching to ensure that the community here is provided with accurate information.

    Some of the links you have posted – – – provide me with some “fun” at my few appointments with the VA. Love to watch the reaction – – – as I share that info with fellow vets. Many of them are glad to receive that information, and I suspect a few of them have begun to read Big Ben’s Blog. Even if they are not commenting.

    The VA is the most incompetent, corrupt organization in the United States. Possibly the world?

  30. @Jo3n: Damn Jo3n, from reading everything 91, and Seymour has posted about your doc I have one question for you. How the hell, did you ever get so lucky, as to draw the short straw on this yahooo? Yikes is all I can say, on top of, your damn lucky to be alive it would seem. Excellent job exposing this quack. Earlier this week, I verified all my VA doc’s, are licensed in Illinois to practice medicine. They fuck up, and their ass is mine. Debating on wether to file a malpractice, against the quack responsible for my TBI claim being denied since she isn’t qualified to determine such a thing, and she has cause me damage, and it was intentional, and that makes it malicious.

      • @cj, what post was it? I thought the snow has melted except where Santa lives. Lol! I am doing ok we had storms go past us and it will be like this for the next few days. Did you get your taxes in this week?

      • @Ex va: Your right, only trouble with trolls, they never learn. They remind me of wind up toys, that get stuck running into the same corner, over and over again. Or one of those stupid dolls that the snowflake play with, that has the pull string. You pull the string and let it go, and it says “I wanna see Trumps taxes, I wanna see Trumps taxes. Or Impeach Trump, impeach Trump. Or The Russians did it, the Russians did it. till you finally take a ball peen hammer, to the back of the dolls head, so you can get some peace and quiet.

      • @Ex va: I don’t do taxes, the wife has an accountant do them. Started my final transplants today, will finish tomorrow sometime. Still haven’t found land to rent. I know a few people close by, that live on farms. Will check with them soon. Otherwise I be rippen up some more yard lol.

      • @cj, get to tilling. I wish i had a rototiller. I need to get some containers and plant or build a raised bed. Something cheap and easy. Sorry you haven’t found your land to rent yet. Rain, rain, good for the ground. I hope we have a decent year for crops. The farmers have done good the last few years around here. Hope you do well.

      • @Ex va: If you can do it, raised beds are really the way to go. They warm quicker, you can control the content of the bed more precisely. You don’t have to bend over so far. All good. No down side, except the initial cost of the lumber and dirt.

      • @Ex va: I did see one guy build the frames, lay them on the ground, and then dig all around the outside of the frame, and throw the dirt into the frame till it was full. That made a lowered walk way around all his raised beds. Alot of work, but the most cost effective way to do it.

      • @cj, i can get blocks, thinking about cement blocks not for sure about size don’t want to cut any blocks. I was also thinking about the lumber i don’t know how expensive it would be, have to figure this out. And the dirt too. LOL!

      • @Ex va: Good thing is, when your done, you don’t have that expence ever again. You will be constantly filling it with good compost, you make yourself.

      • @cj, that is a really good idea about building the frame and take the dirt from around it out and fill it up with the dirt. I could lay down flat blocks to walk around it and don’t have to mow right up next to it. That is really good and put compost in the fall. I could possibly do this. I would have to get neighbors tiller or have him do it for me he owes me a favor. Lol. You have given me some ideas to work with.

      • @cj, you are right, i can barely bend over without problems. My strawberries are on a tier with a sprinkler. Daughter does a lot of picking for me. I am trying to stay mobile by doing some walking and extra things. I don’t want to get down again and i really liked gardening when i was younger. Gives me something to think about and look forward to.

      • @Ex va: I hear ya. I can tell you this. Last year I was much more mobile then I am this year. I have no idea if I will be able to do much of anyhing come next year. I need to finish up all this crap with the VA. I hate the delay. I am not interested in any monies, I just want justice. I wouldn’t even be here, if these assholes didn’t unneccissarily add years to my case. Can’t even describe the hate I have, for these incompetant assholes.

      • @cj, you will get justice. You have overwhelming evidence and the judge isn’t going to decide against you. I know having something undecided and hanging there feels like shit. The process of waiting isn’t justice and i can understand where you are coming from.

        I get in those i don’t give a damn about anything at times. I tell myself it will get better and sometimes it does. Tired of being sick. I know some poor soul has it worse and i owe it to someone to do better and act better. Have had people who saved my life so i owe others. We have to fight the good fight and stand because others have tried and cannot no longer fight.

      • @Ex va: I have no doubt at all I will win this case. I hear what your saying, about fighting the good fight for others. Okay Ex va, Goodnight.

    • @cj. A lobotomy? LOL! Wish they made a spray or dust for it. LOL! Like sevin dust, kind like snowflakes. Do you use sevin dust on your tomatoes? I have the perfect sevin dust tool. You take a big coffee can, put nail holes in bottom of it small holes in it, tape it to an old broom handle, tap tool right next to your tomatoe plant and it will cover your plants with sevin dust. Keep too lids from coffee can ones for top and take one off the bottom when you want to apply dust. This is an old gardners trick. You probably already do this. Lol!

      • @Ex va: I have never heard of this. I use food grade diatemacious earth. Poor a pile on the ground, then hit it with a leaf blower. Watch a huge cloud of powder cover everything………………….even all your neighbors cars lol.

  31. Jo3n,

    The doctors real name is “Rolando M Newland Clarke, MD”, Active Licenses – Puerto Rico, School attended – Universidad De Granada Spain, Year of graduation 1985

    Source: Doc Info Dot Org at “http://www.docinfo.org/#/search/details/49955A0D-75BF-4616-998C-53EF4C32B342/?docname=rolando%20newland”

    More to follow now that I know the correct name he has been hiding.

    • @Seymore Klearly, you probably will be saving Veterans lives by exposing this quack. Cannot trust the va medical centers with credentialling and priveledging. They will do anything to certify bad doctors at the va.

  32. @cj, lol! I hope you use a mask. Is that ground glass? I have heard that kills all soft bodied insects. Maybe i should use that.

    • @Ex va: Not ground glass, but close, it is fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. It kills them all, including honey bee’s. That is the only downside to it. I have read it is good for humans and animals to eat it daily. I dunno how you would eat it, or if it really is good for your pets. It is suppose to get rid of tumors, etc.

      • @cj, i heard of it didn’t know it hurt bees too. I thought it was for pool cleaners and termites and problem bugs. Farmers would be mad at me for hurting any bees around here. Lol. I am in the middle of farm country. Is ANutterVet doing ok?

      • @Ex va: Nutter is fine, just gettng some much needed rest. Needs to re energize. yeppers it kills bees, unfortunately.

  33. @Ex va: I like it Seymour and 91, are digging into this asswipe, that put his damn hands on Jo3n. I am glad they are nailing this shitbag to the cross.

    • @cj, they should do the credentials for all the va doctors/providers and Veterans would be safe. They should get paid for it because the va can’t do it. I think they just hire some of these providers because they have a pulse.

  34. @Ex va: I have never had a good pcp doctor at the VA, and that is over 40 years of VA. I find it amazing they pay these people the kind of money they pay. An er doc 240,000.00? WTF? I bet not in a million years could these very same doctors make any where near that amount in private practice. Not a damn chance. They are not good enough, and nobody would go to them.

    • @cj, and these doctors think they are being underpaid at the va. No, i know they couldn’t make it in the private practice because they don’t want to treat patients. They would be sued for malpractice and negligence if they performed as the do in the va in the real world. They couldn’t hack it. They are lousy doctors in the va. The good ones they try to work to death. They eventually leave because of the harassment, etc.

  35. @Ex va: Ex, it has been a long day, I am starting to nod out. I should get offline and get some rest. Goodnight, and God Bless you and your family. Talk soon. Goodnight all.

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