Forever GI Bill, Veterans Choice Fix, Media Ignores Trump Signing Of Pro-Veteran Laws Amid Charlottesville Hysteria

177
Forever GI Bill
Photo from Vice News

If you Google “President Trump” this week, you may never notice two major pro-veteran laws signed by President Donald Trump that support veterans.

News gurus following primary media sources and politics are likely well aware of the Charlottesville riots and arguments back and forth about whether President Trump condemned the fighting quick enough or sternly enough.

But they are probably not aware that President Trump just signed major bills into law creating substantial improvements to the GI Bill and providing desperately needed funding for Veterans Choice for allowing access to needed veteran health care.

If you dig past the first three pages on Google News of “President Trump” articles, you will likely not come across these major pro-veteran moves. That’s not to say some reporters have not covered it, but recent laws signed by Presentd Trump that benefit veterans in a major way are not receiving the circulation they normally would by any president.

Unfortunately, there has been some fallout due to the hysteria that has even pulled in senior journalists fixated more on the negative, even when reporting on veterans issues.

As an example, yesterday, journalist Aaron Glantz, the award-winning journalist who exposed the opioid scandal at Tomah VA, published a slam article rhetorically asking whether the president is “letting veterans down” as president.

His article fixated on hiring decisions and appointments recommendations made by Obama holdover Secretary David Shulkin that have little to do with the reforms that have occurred to this point. Those same hiring decisions would actually be impossible to resolve in the past 8 months and have plagued VA for the past two years prior to President Trump becoming president, that indicates the article was more of a strawman.

In the strawman manner, the article only highlights the Accountability program as the only major improvement initiated by Trump while complaining of a lack of hiring in Shulkin’s VA seems starkly disingenuous.

In the past seven days alone, Trump signed into law two massive bills that support dramatic improvements to veterans’ access to education and health care.

Does merely mentioning the creation of the Office Of Accountability And Whistleblower Protection serve as a mischaracterization of Trump’s reforms and improvements on VA policy in the past 8 months?

By comparison, how many reforms or improvements did President Obama make concerning VA in his first 8 months? What about the reforms made to VA under President Clinton spearheaded by Hillary Clinton in 1993 that resulted in massive outsourcing of VA’s union jobs and creation of the bonus structure at the core of the wait time scandal exposed in 2014?

My Personal Take On Supporting Any President

Personally, I support President Trump like I supported President Obama. I want and hope President Trump can clean up the mess at VA. I also wanted an hoped President Obama would do the same, but the facts do not reflect that he did enough.

That aside, I am not sure how Trump could accomplish in 7 months what President Obama could not accomplish in his first 2 years by appointing key executives to VA or hiring the 34,000 employees needed to properly staff VA in the state President Obama left the agency.

Trump wasn’t even able to get his photo on the walls of VHA until April, so I am not sure how he could have hired an impossible 34,000 health care providers since coming into office six months ago, but that is a conversation for a different day.

(I plan to write an Op-Ed on Glantz’s question later.)

Trump did select an Obama holdover, Secretary David Shulkin, MD, to run VA at the prodding of Democrats and Republicans to ensure continuity for upcoming reforms. And, there are significant movements in reforming VA, but maybe Trump is letting us down vs what happened under Obama?

New Legislation Signed By Trump In Past 7 Days

Regardless of your position on the Charlottesville riot, you may not be aware that just this week President Trump signed legislation to fund Veterans Choice and the legislation commonly referred to as the GI Bill Forever legislation.

Funding For Veterans Choice Program

During the Charlottesville riot, President Trump was at an event to sign a bill for $3.9 billion in funding for Veterans Choice to ensure the program will have the funding necessary to not shut down.

For the past six months, VA has warned Congress that Veterans Choice was underfunded. That program was created because, under President Obama, VA let its wait list fraud grow to such an enormous criminal enterprise that it killed hundreds of veterans at Phoenix VA, alone. In response, Congress and President Obama put forth legislation that purportedly fixed the legislation while not properly funding it.

President Trump fixed that problem, for now, by signing the legislation into law in the middle of the riot. It was at that time he hand wrote the now infamous tweet that supposedly did not decree the riot harshly enough.

Forever GI Bill Act Signing

On Wednesday, Trump also signed into law the Forever GI Bill Act that removed the 15-year limit on using the benefits following military service.

The new law also increases financial assistant to the National Guard and Reserve. Purple Heart recipients will now receive more funding as will veterans pursuing degrees in technical fields in science and engineering.

Veterans victimized by predatory marketing practices of sham for-profit colleges will also get their GI Bill benefits restored.

Now, all may not be peachy in this action since Congress also drafted the legislation to roll back certain Obama-era regulations. According to Vice News:

Despite Trump’s new protections for veteran students, his administration has also suspended Obama-era regulations that protected all students from fraudulent schools until further review.

Specifically, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos might end two key regulations: borrower defense repayment, which enabled student loan forgiveness if colleges misrepresent their programs, and gainful employment, which forced colleges to provide students with an education that allowed them to pay off their debt.

For-profit colleges love enrolling veterans, largely because of a provision in the Higher Education Act known as the 90/10 rule. The regulation prohibits for-profit schools from receiving more than 90 percent of their revenue from federal dollars, but in what’s often referred to as a “loophole,” financial aid given to veterans doesn’t count as part of that 90 percent.

If for-profit schools enroll enough veterans, they could essentially run entirely on federal money. And if any of those schools close because of fraud, the U.S. government would have a lot of money to pay back.

Nothing Is Perfect

All of the back and forth on President Trump and President Obama needs to be considered outside of the vacuum of hysteria as it relates to Veterans Affairs.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, formerly called the Bureau Of War Risk Insurance, is really a massive insurance company like Allstate or State Farm, that could ultimately care little about the veterans they serve at the core of their missions.

That system has been broken since its inception under President Franklin D. Roosevelt (it was previously 2 or more agencies then combined into Veterans Administration), who restructured VA policy using restrictive insurance schemes to remove funding for veterans in favor of his New Deal programs.

VA was never restructured, and it has been mired in scandal after scandal for decades.

So, is Trump letting veterans down? No less than President Obama did, and no less than any previous president did.

I plan to gather some counter-culture perspectives when writing my response to Glantz’s article. So if you have some feedback, pro or con, definitely leave your comment below.

VA was asked for comment on certain issues not addressed by Glantz but has not responded at the time of this publication.

It you want to comment on the racism issue in Virginia, please do that on a different website. Here, we focus on veteran-centric news related to Veterans Affairs and save the other wild and crazy issues for those more aptly focused on the other topics.

Sources:

https://news.vice.com/story/trumps-forever-gi-bill-wont-stop-for-profit-schools-from-preying-on-vets

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/higher-education/trump-signs-bill-expanding-college-assistance-for-veterans/2017/08/16/11c24232-82ec-11e7-9e7a-20fa8d7a0db6_story.html?utm_term=.23a2877c05ce

DISCLAIMER: Before any haters comment here to spew nonsense, please read below.

I voted for President Obama when he promised the change he later did not deliver. He failed to clean up VA, and some of the biggest scandals in VA history festered and then exposed under his Administration (million veteran claims backlog, health care wait list fraud). I only voted for him once. I also voted for President Trump when he opposed Hillary Clinton because I will never vote for Hillary Clinton. I hope Trump does a better job than Obama. And, I hope our next president does an even better job than Trump. I support any president so long as he or she reforms our out-of-control federal government.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
lily
lily

First! Trump at least isn’t cutting COLA for vets!

Ranger11bv
Ranger11bv

Well, the Gulf War vets are screwed again…

MK
MK

Ben you should Consider having a limit on how much one can write on here geezz, you should give them one paragraph total and 2 responses. The amount of space some of these Regulars put on your blog is senseless.

cj
cj

@MK: Why is it LIBTARDS, are the only ones telling everyone else what they “should” do/say/think/act?

Was that short enough for ya MK? Of course, you can always start your own Blog, call it something like, oh I dunno, “MK Says”. Let’s see how many snowflakes you get. Someday, you might get enough to build an entire snowman. Hey, you never know, stranger things have happened.

James Gallegos
Mk, many of these veterans have been posting for year’s on here and have brought a lot of information to the reader’s. Without them the news would not get out to other veterans and the public. Censorship is not the way to go. Yes, sometimes we ramble, when you find a post that is not interesting enough for you, just go and read another post. Ben and other’s have given some very interesting posts. What you said sounds like something a VA employee would say. We are looking for veterans and the public to join in on the conversations. Do… Read more »
cj
cj

And quit line jumping, go to the back, just like everyone else.
Your comment has absolutely nothing to do with what Ranger11bv posted.

Oh that’s right your a LIBTARD, you think your better than everyone else.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
Say MK, or should I call you Mark Swagerty, Formerly of FSF (Simple Financial Solutions)? I’ll just call you Mark how that for now. Although you are not a Veteran and no doubt ended up on this site to read Ben’s article “Two Companies Defrauding Veterans in Benefits Swindle Get Sued”. Maybe I can explain a few details about the comments on this site even though you are not likely going to like what I have to say. We love looking into fraudsters that have taken advantage of Veterans. Sometimes, one or two sentences, just will not do the trick… Read more »
James Gallegos

You never say to much ! Some people can’t handle the truth.

CorpsmanUp!
CorpsmanUp!

Thissitis left, all the long time writers are legit.
The VA and the VA sponsored and paid for by VA need their citizenship revoked……

NiteWish
NiteWish

Senselessly sharing information? Nothing senseless about what we do……Read it & weep.
SAN DIEGO — Federal authorities say Southern California Marines were recruited for a scheme that bilked the government’s military health insurance provider out of $67 million.
Investigators say Marines were recruited at up to $300 a month for a so-called medical study that involved phone consultations with a doctor’s office in Cleveland, Tennessee, owned by Jimmy and Ashley Collins.
The Marines were prescribed costly compound drugs. A pharmacy in Bountiful, Utah, filled thousands of prescriptions and billed them to the insurer, TRICARE. Lawyers for the couple deny they committed fraud.
“http://www.startribune.com/feds-allege-california-marines-involved-in-67m-health-fraud/441084513/”

Sepp Dietrich
Sepp Dietrich
MK, most of the posters here are “regulars”. 99% think the same & write the same & pat each other on the back for their views & knowledge. they do want to learn they are here to justify some position they’ve developed over the years. i don’t think it’s an accident that this blog is the way it is. Krause seems to be a smart guy, yet he promotes propaganda (like today) and caters the conversation to these regular posters. this blog seems to be part of the Big Show to keep disabled veterans distracted and confused with “legislation” and… Read more »
James Gallegos

What have you done to help anyone, Nazi’s will never understand. Goose stepper !

Ben us pretty smart, you not so much !

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Sepp Dietrich,

You seem to forget all that Ben has accomplished for Veterans, but hey don’t let that stand in the way of your insults and whining.

Alan
Alan
The Gulf War vets are not screwed. There are plenty of VA benefits for anyone who needs them and is dealing with an injury or illness. You can’t compare G1 with 15 years in OEF or 10 for OIF. I was in that so anyone in both gets covered by post 9/11 benefits. The “war” G1 lasted 100 hrs. I was there. As a US Marine that got out in Dec 1990 and being subject to recall on Feb 24 during Desert storm, they told us to stand down. I know many who were there for a while both before… Read more »
Ranger11bv
Ranger11bv

Another blabber..Well in case you didnt READ the small print, if you got out BEFORE 2013, YES GULF WAR VETS ARE SCREWED!!! Dont like my posts, dont read them….

namnibor
namnibor
I want to believe Pres. Trump will push for even more profound changes with the VA in coming days and months. Throwing more $$$ on the VA is like tossing gasoline on a fire and expecting the flames to go out. The AFGE is the obvious gorilla in the room that needs removed from the VHA System. Until then, we will have people on outposts in outer star systems in future…but still have a dysfunctional VA that’s covered with lamprey leeches. A Pres. Reagan Air Traffic Controllers type banning of the AFGE Union from Federal Workplace and nothing less is… Read more »
Angela
Angela
@namnibor, I wanted to comment to you about the VEAP. Yes, I fell under the VEAP as well and contributed to it until it was at it’s maximum. Let me tell you this. The DOD opened up the Montgomery GI bill to the active duty and retirees who were enrolled in the VEAP and had been enrolled in the VEAP during the year 1996. Check this out all. Namnibor, the DOD denied me to convert my VEAP to the Montgomery GI Bill. So yes, I was involuntary retired and denied to convert my educational funds. So I exited without any… Read more »
James Gallegos

Ever heard of VA employees abusing over time.

Have u heard the president may not be in the job for very long…

Trump did do something for veterans and could even do more, but he keeps putting his foot in his mouth.

Now that Bannon is gone, maybe he may wise up and quit tweeting and just get things done.

Maybe.?

T
T
Vice News? Is that like Vice TV? I emailed those jokers about some (very sick) programing on their TV channel. Some young girl with her photo attached, dressed like a Goth, emailed, reported that it was the intention of “Vice” to upset us old folks, old veterans, and destroy all the old American ways to make room for the new younger movemt. And pleased that some of their programming hit nerves of “border loving” patriots, haters, that must have upset me enough to contact them and it was their intentions to create havoc. We need real truth and some real… Read more »
Marine Forever
Marine Forever

Well written. I applaud you.

T
T

Thank you! All I can do is try and do it… express myself, and piss people off. I’m not going down silent or without a fight.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
I guess we’re going to have to wait and see how Secretary of VA, Shulkin, implementes these new laws President Trump signed recently!? So far, Shulkin hasn’t impressed me one bit! He’s already proven to lie to cover-up (some) egregious acts against veterans by VHA & VBA employees! The [$25 million dollar per year] “VA Public Relations Firm” is trying their best, in my opinion, to “side with the VA over veterans!” Lastly, the “squandering of taxpayers monies” by the “most corrupt federal government agency” has been known for decades! Therefore, I believe someone needs to oversee the taxpayers monies… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf
P.S. I wanted to add something about how VA upper management, possibly in Washington D.C., have took monies from the Choice Program, and used it for other purposes! I believe it came out on Ben’s Blogs last year about how Obama took monies and used it for the refugees! When it was discovered, there was a lot of veterans pissed off. Because BEFORE that was allowed, Congress was to approve it! And, that was NOT done! That being said, I guess y’all have figured out I didn’t NOT vote for Obama either time. NOR would I even consider voting for… Read more »
Tom
Tom

$3.5 billion was taken from Choice to pay for Hepatitis meds for Vietnam War-era vets. That’s it.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

“Tom”,
No! Money was diverted from “Choice” to help refugees acclimate into our society!
There were articles about this in “military.com/daily news” either in 2015 or 2016!
Look it up!

VA IS LYING INC
VA DC HQ ONE BIG BIG BIG FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET THE MAFIA IS CHUMP CHANGE TO VA DC HQ VA BUDGET FOR 2018 186 BILLION $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ VA DC HQ ARE DOGS IN HEAT FOR ALL THE BILLIONS OF @$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Ranger11bv
Ranger11bv

WTF!?!?! You again?????

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Got to disagree with you on this one VA IS LYING INC. You see the Mafia is just one of the VA’s minor subsidiaries. Just another department within the VA.

T
T
There is no end in sight against idiots and those at the ‘top’ ruining our country. Those at the top just don’t care to the point, like Facebook, and others out there exposing any of us who may disagree with the demise or corruption in government or with the law makers/activist with their own anti-American agendas, etc. Information or ‘data’ being known of or leaked is about the wrong people. WE are supposed to live in a nation with some security and privacy.. not today. We are also supposed to have access for legal protection and against corruption… again, though,… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf

I can see it now!
“Undocumented immigrants practicing law” to help “Undocumented immigrants” claim “veteran status” to receive VHA AND VBA healthcare and educational benefits!

Think I’m out of line with that statement? Well, guess what, there’s already been “Undocumented immigrants” receiving benefits from VA – AND GETTING CAUGHT!
I believe the last one was in Texas!

Question: How did that “illegal immigrant get past ALL the checks and balances set down by VA to prove ones veterans’ status?”
Who in VA helped him? Was anyone, other than the illegal immigrant, arrested over that?

Lots of questions, NOT enough answers!

T
T
The BAR article is just another example of those groups/professions in America who do not, can not, keep watch over their own, or willing to expose oath violations, rule or law bending, or expose the criminal or anti-American elements in their ranks or professions from the bottom on up to the SCOTUS varmints we have up there now. So again the attacks on the nation came to this illegal thing being thrown in our faces to boot. Some wanting the illegals to get all schooling for free! It is sad and very telling about this country today. It’s the same… Read more »
cj
cj

@T: T are you signed into the wire?

cj
cj

@T: T, I have you added as a contact, when is the best time of day to get in touch? We are in the same time zone.

T
T
Howdy CJ. I am home again now and up. For now. May have to sit bedside and home sit for a couple of people on and off dealing with some bad stuff. If you are on I’ll try it now while I wait for a call from their family. Mostly I am just online when I can sit long enough and make it worth it, and when I can’t sleep nights if I can stay at my computer desk. I don’t have or can use a lap top, or lay down and try to use one like many do. I… Read more »
NiteWish
NiteWish

The wait list scandal was still going on in 2015, I was on a list for more than 7mos & they got away with it.
This is the VA wait time scandal of 2014 by state:
“http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/texas-news/see-the-results-of-va-waittime-probes-in-your-state_/124981834”

T
T
I did, and hope others take note… that Indiana is rarely mentioned whenever any states are listed for corruption, VA issues, illegal alien issues, who the state’s most wealthy or connected are, etc. Here/that link is another for various reasons my state is so screwed up and many things censored or swept under the carpet. I have lived through some history here that will never be known to the world or media will report. It’s also why I tell people living in Indiana is akin to living in China, N. Korea, Bolshevik Soviet Union, or U.S.A.’s own Gaza Strip. Literally.… Read more »
Dan
Dan
The only way to make the “Choice” program better or workable is to fix the bloody thing. Right on the card it says you have to call in 5 days BEFORE you use it or the VA wont pay for it. Now how in the heck am I suppose to call in 5 days before a stroke or a broken bone or a flare up of my SCI (service connected injuries)? If I knew when this was going to happen I would take steps to make sure that I was actually AT the VA hospital. And when you do call… Read more »
Lem
Lem
Re: Trump and Obama, I’m on the same page you are Ben. But I voted for Obama twice but with a lot less enthusiasm the second time. I voted for Trump hoping things would be better but I’m not seeing it. He shot himself in the foot is the reason he can’t get anything done including getting that money to the field. And the reason nothing positive is hitting the press. His fault and no one else’s. His racism is on full display. He is not the first racist president since the civil war, just the worst. Black skin and… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet
I made reference that Ben’s blog was for the use pertaining to disabled veterans. That’s when the G-spot was in full bloom. Remember? All the denouncing of this and that. And the remarks of what those are if they didn’t denounce the things the Ms. Gee Gee stated. And Lem, no offense, but you’re going to see someone use the “snowflake” word in a different context besides what you believe. There’s many things that tick me off, but I’m not asking for special circumstances or conditions. And, I’m not a racist either. But the word “snowflake” isn’t a hate crime… Read more »
Lem
Lem

If you are not a racist why insist on using vulgar racist epitaphs? Why use dog whistles if you are not? And although I look very white and my black blood is very thin why direct that vulgarity at me?

ANutterVet
ANutterVet
Dog whistles. Were you on a new handle the other day? G used the same phrase? No I’m not a racist, or we would’ve already been arguing by now, BIG TIME! And, racist only has one meaning, where snowflake has many. Supports my whole point. End of story on my end. No offense, and being serious, if this continues to bother you, you may need to visit the VA for a benzo to calm down a bit. And, if you do go, and don’t want them, give them to me, for the VA don’t prescribe benzo’s to those already prescribed… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet

“https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/the-less-lovely-side-of-snowflake”

“http://college.usatoday.com/2017/02/01/the-origin-of-the-term-snowflake-may-surprise-you/”

Lem
Lem

So why call me something derogatorily that clearly I’m not unless you want to indicate a reverse meaning? Clearly the posts using the term have had a different meaning here. But none the less a “name calling” derogatorily.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet
I haven’t called you a “snowflake.” And, from my understanding of reading the past posts about in what context that “snowflake” has been used, it has been used because of being too sensitive (according to others understanding) of an issue or topic. When the word has been used in the past, it wasn’t used in the context relating to the “white specks” in the air, that flowed down during the time of the holocaust. And personally, I don’t relate the word to this as well. I have hardly ever used the word myself. The other thing, is that the word,… Read more »
T
T
Labels and names… funny stuff. Allow me to share: I was called a “snow-flake,” “honky,’ “cracker,” “white bread,” “white-devils,” “white trash,” “whitey,” and other assorted names from the 7th grade on till I quit school in my junior year which I could have graduated later on in, but joined the military to get away from the public school scene and town BS. And here I liked some good ol’ Mo town and Sly and Family Stone, and Blues. Ha. Some crackers were harassed, bullied, beat, jumped, mugged, robbed, girls messed with on a daily basis and the teachers, school boards,… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@T – – – You proved my point that the word “snowflake” has many meanings, to other people. Not just a singular meaning. – – – Nutter.

cj
cj

The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left.
by Dinesh D’Souza

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Lem you are nothing but a racist. You had to come back and bring your racism back up just to insult all the Veterans who follow and post on this website. Fuck You Lem!!

namnibor
namnibor

A newer addition to term liberal butthurt SNOWFLAKE on Wiki: “I’m going to leave this site if I do not get my way”. (while wanting to control grammar, everything, censorship…fuck you also, Lem)

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

I agree!
“Lem” is nothing more than a racist asswipe. Wanting all on here, and more likely than NOT, other sites to bend to his will!
So, FUCK YOU LEM!

Dennis
Dennis
Ben, Let me offer for almost free some literary corrective suggestions. Your sentence, ‘If you dig past the first three pages on Google News of “President Trump” articles, you will likely not come across these major pro-veteran moves.’, can use refinement. I suggest, almost free, the following ammendment, “If you dig past the first three pages on Google News (written by news artists of) ‘President Trump’ (delete -articles- ) you will likely not come across these major pro-veteran moves.” I offer this as a possible clarification of historical fact, and if we can come to some sort of blanket purchase… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
Has Trump let veterans down? In my opinion, it’s still too early to tell given how recently the Acountability legislation was signed. I believe I commented here months ago just after Trump was elected that for his first 6 months, his administration will be chaos with the media and politicians trying to score blood any way they could get it. I believed based on past history, that would settle down after 6 months. I was wrong. I did not count on the media going batshit crazy. I did not count on many Republicans in the House and Senate obstructing the… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis

I was mistaken about Sec. Shulkin resigning the other day. I misread the news commentator on that. I don’t believe that any President is going to fix the VA on account of losing votes. AFGE is a major voting bloc. I believe that government corruption has gone on too long for anyone to want to do much of anything about it. As a consequence, the USA is on the fast track to becoming another banana republic.

Windguy
Windguy

Wasn’t a big Trump fan – didn’t go all FOX-hate on him either. Never be a Trump fan – something about unrestrained bellicose self-adulation that seems a tad off-putting.

As for today’s revelation, I’ll adopt a cynical wait and see attitude. If something good comes out of it I’ll do my best to credit the real person responsible. Maybe it was Jake Leinenkugel or another appointee. Keeping in mind that many of Trump’s staff have become disappointees .. or is that disappointers… hep me wit my Engish Dennis

Jo3n

I don’t see Shulkin as being on Trump’s, or Veterans team. He has his own agenda. It’s a battle up there. Like others have said, wait and see. I do know that the four billion dollars that was in the Choice account recently disappeared fairly quickly. Last billion went into thin air. Frustrating is what it is. Great job Ben, I agree with all you said.

James Gallegos
Donald trump has done things that will help veterans. I’m afraid if he is going to do more, he better do it soon. So much talk about president trump, will be president much longer. If he should be forced out. Will the next person that becomes president roll back what has been done so far. I see a lot has to be done, the VA is the main problem, but their are so many different agencies besides the VA that they must go after ! OIG, Mspb and other agencies that are redundant. You contact one agency and they tell… Read more »
Ranger11bv
Ranger11bv

gotta love how the posts quickly went about the GI Bill to race baiting and political BS remarks…. How low can we go…..

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Ranger11bv – – – Only some past issues that hopefully were cleared up. Thanks. – – Nutter.

James Gallegos

With the VA 6 feet under. !

91Veteran
91Veteran
On another note, I observed some things recently that don’t give me a warm fuzzy about the VA being reformed simply because management of the VA is so thoroughly corrupt. I believe the good people of the VA are bailing out any way they can because management is so corrupt, and I believe their management is becoming even more corrupt by trying to keep employees scared shitless to prevent them from possibly using any new accountability measures. I saw 4 current or former VA employees looking to find new jobs somewhere else. All seemed to be good employees, trying to… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@91Veteran – – – An employee can get PTSD from being bullied or mobbed by harassing and intimidating employees. This happened to my wife. It took her almost 3 years to gain notable traction in life. When she would walk into the door, she looked like she was beat up. When I was able to get around (thank you VA for your incompetence), I wanted to go ride over to that State Department workplace and tune their asses up, more than a tad.

91Veteran
91Veteran
ANuttervet, I am well aware of how corrupt, incompetent, worthless bastard co-workers can make life a living hell for others. That situation results when the manager or supervisor of the worthless bastard sees it knows what is going on, but refuses to do anything about it. I worked with a guy like that. At the end of one particular bad day, I thought I was having a heart attack from what had gone on. I went outside between a couple buildings because I refused to give the bastards the satisfaction of having killed me inside. I was lucky in being… Read more »
James Gallegos

When the VA does something to make the veterans feel lucky to get out alive, makes you have a weard feeling in their stomach.

What the hell just happened, did it really happen. Aughfull feeling !

Lily
Lily

My last two jobs had a bad boss who used a supervisor to abuse and fire employees. The boss one morning fainted while driving to work and crashed into a tree. He lost an eye, broke his arm and ribs. He was let go. The supervisor had a fit one day for not getting her way and walked off the job. It’s been a much better job since that day.

James Gallegos

Ya, chalk one up for the good guy’s. Wish about 350 VA employees would quit.

John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones
Ben – I certainly agree with one or more of the themes in your article, to wit: the problems at the VA have been long-term, and it is of very little value to blame Trump/Obama, or before them Bush/Clinton, depending on your political outlook, although I don’t think it stretches as far back as Roosevelt, since those who fought in World War II received a far better homecoming than those of subsequent wars. I DO believe that the VA is “fixable,” and accountability can become a reality. In terms of background, I was drafted, and spent a year in the… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf

“JPJ”,
Very well said!
I also would like to say, no matter what “title” has been given to the VA over the past 200+ years, corruption has always permeated throughout it!
My favorite “incident of corruption” was during the early 1920’s. When President Hoover caught his “poker buddy”, he placed at the head of the agency, making a, quote: “…100 year contract with a major floor wax company…”! President Hoover called him to “The People’s House”, Hoover was caught “…choking him…” In the Oval Office!

There’s been news of the corruption at VA for those 200+ years!

James Gallegos
I can tell by your writing that you have administrative talent. Sometimes we need to count our blessings. God work’s in mysterious ways. Maybe just maybe he saved you from Hell ! If they treated you this way before, just think what they would have done to you if they were forced to hire you. Too bad they missed out on a qualified person. One must remember that the VA has had decade’s to stack the deck. Hire friend’s, family and will kill to keep it that way. Mspb and many other agencies will pass the buck, your speaking to… Read more »
John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones
Thanks to both “Crazy Elf” and James Gallegos for their comments. I had to chuckle about Gallegos’ comment about being saved from Hell! Quite possibly, all too true. With some ambivalence, I once ran for a school board election, and I won! If not Hell, it was two years of profound unpleasantness, when I had so many other more pleasant things I could have been doing. Yet, I felt, if I wanted my two children to have a better education, I had to “put some skin in the game,” as the expression has it. As for the VA, ditto. I… Read more »
James Gallegos
I feel very fortunate that I an not in a wheel chair or dead after being shot in the head while on active duty. I am assuming that you friend was able to get treatment after he obtain the head injury. Many veterans with ptsd and traumatic brain injury were denied treatment and that set’s Rhode veterans up for failure. Jail, divorce, lost family and friend’s and lastly their own lives. Once I obtained my disability and received treatment, I have become a different person. Been called a success story ! The treating team at the ptsd program, told me… Read more »
Tom
Tom

I feel like maybe even Ben is overlooking a major story this week: The flop by Trump/V.A., with weak rollout, now delayed, Trump “White House Veterans Complaint Hotline”. It has fallen far short of what it was promised to be & I know of even more issues with hotline & the way V.A. is handling, than was reported! POTUS creates a distraction away from positive & negative Veterans news.

James Gallegos

The same thing has happened at the VA. When people see disfunction, they will join in.
They figure since no one cares why should I !

91Veteran
91Veteran
I think the best way to figure out how Trumps veterans hotline is working or not working and why is to read comments of veterans who actually called the hotline, and what the results were. In reading these comments, I saw that for about the first 30 days, the hotline worked as advertised. Vets would call, they could speak to a human, the vet would get a call back within 14 days, and the problem would get resolved fast. Roughly 30 days after the hotline started, I noticed a significant drop off in veterans saying they had a positive result… Read more »
cj
cj

@91Veteran: 91, I don’t know any other way to say this, Your input is needed on an issue, that cannot be posted in a public forum like this blog. Would you be willing to discuss this using the ‘Wire’ app? Not today, or this weekend, but during the week? It is a point to point encrypted app with no middle servers,

91Veteran
91Veteran

Cj, sure. Can you give me the details on using it?

So I just download it? I assume I would have to know how to connect with you guys.

cj
cj

@91Veteran: 91 hit the pluss sign and add cj59 and I can add you to my contacts

cj
cj
@91Veteran: Sorry, I should have been more clear. Once you have the program installed, you will have to chose a public name, careful on this one, you will have a place for your name, and another for your handle. make sure the name you want showing is the one you want showing, your account is setup. After that you can either enter a search for a user name, or enter a persons user name, by clicking on the + sign at the bottom. That is where you can enter cj59, you will know you have the right one when you… Read more »
T
T
I enjoy the Wire chat thing. Seems safe, no cookies, no tracking, can delete the conversation at the end, no strings. Very easy to use, no pc issues, no large download stuff or programs either. Had fun on there last night with CJ. Had a nice session. Would be nice for networking with the serious minded regulars out here, with our real info or not. After contacting Mozilla about their joining Soros and his clan, Vice TV about their sick stuff and pure hatred for Veteran baby boomers draining the system when foreigners need it, and others too before us,… Read more »
James Gallegos

Once government employees see disfunction they will start or stop caring.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet
Our Politicians can act faster. In light of my visiting Nurse being canceled by the VA, without every letting me know why or what is going on, the VA would rather have me talk to a voice recorder, and share my fuzzy feelings too. Wow, so humane. Every time the VA does something, I’m not infirmed of all the details, and much of my input is non-existent. There’s no team work or a understandable medical care treatment plan. There’s not a written plan for myself to focus on, or in case of an emergency, for a non-VA Physician to start… Read more »
Tom
Tom

I had a very similar experience with the Patient Advocate at the nearest VAMC. For 3 years I dealt with mediocre attempts at communication by every level of the V.A., the worst being the Patient Advocate. Finally, I met with a Chief of OC’s who literally told me the P.A. was useless. To just stop trying to get his help, as too many Vets were complaining.

The Advocate finally left earlier this year, only to get a job with a state Vets organization. You can’t make this stuff up!

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

move’em around like cattle on the grazing field, only feeding on Veterans. – – – Nutter.

91Veteran
91Veteran

All of the patient advocates at my VA are/were worthless bastards and liars.

At one time, they had at least 3. 2 patient advocate flunkies, and 1 guy in charge of them who also doubled as the hospital PR person.

The one female PA left to go to another job. The other male PA is still there, as is the PR flunky.

Even the veterans representative in my local congressional office said that the remaining male PA is a liar.

The other guy in charge of them is more concerned with covering the asses of the director and other hospital management.

ANuttetVet
ANuttetVet

@91Veteran – – – At my local VAMC, there has always been a high rate of turnover for Patient Advocates. And many Veterans, spouses, care takers, relatives, or friends of Veterans, wishes that the Patient Advocated would just do their job. What’s the use of having them, if they don’t perform? How measures or monitors the Patient Advocates?

91Veteran
91Veteran
ANuttervet, you should find out who the Privacy Officer is at your VA and what their email address is. Shouldn’t be hard to get. Once you get it, send to FOIA requests to them. 1. Request the 6 emails you sent on each of those dates, and any documentation, email, telephone log, report of contact or any other record of what action was taken by the Patient Advocate after receiving each of those emails. 2. This second request would be for all notes, records or progress reports submitted to the VA by your in home nurse or any other in… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet
@91Veteran – – – Thanks for the guidance, cut and pasted to file. There is so much to do, I really could use a Medical Receptionist on my staff. I think that due to the complexity of my care (made by the VA, not me), and by not acting in making any medical changes, per even with the Progress Reports from my now ex-Visiting Nurse. Yes, the only PTSD services that the VA is offering me, is completing a 5 day a week synopsis on how I feel, and what I’m experience. It isn’t known how much human contact over… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf
I’m going to say this again! Will there be someone, other than those affiliated with VA, to insure the taxpayers monies GOES FOR WHAT IT WAS INTENDED; ie: the “Choice Program” and “GI Forever Bill”? In the past; Taxpayers monies have/has just gone missing from VA’s financial books! Where did it go? Or; Taxpayers monies have been used for other projects/programs: ie; refugees and illegal immigrants comes to mind! Maybe even financing a politician’s campaign? (This is a federal violation, only Congress can divert monies from one place to another!) Or; Taxpayers monies being used to purchase items NOT connected… Read more »
Thomas
Thomas
Elf, we actually agree on almost everything about V.A. corruption, so I’m not disagreeing with your “the V.A. took from Choice Act to give to refugees” opinion, simply with an opposing point of view opinion, I’ll also provide the factual documentation. I honestly want Vets & Military families like my own, to be better aware of how funds are diverted so it stops happening! Here are the facts on V.A. budgets & re-assigning funds like V.A. Choice Act $$. The original bill was written and passed into law specifically stating that the only way funds could be taken from the… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@Thomas,
Thanks for the sites! Guess I was wrong on that one issue!

I’d like to see VA be audited by a “non-VA reputable auditing team”! Maybe then we would see how and where taxpayers monies go!

Question, It seems, back in 2015 (?), $2.8+/- billion, went missing from Choice! No where is it recorded within VA’s financial books. Where did that taxpayers monies go?

Tom
Tom

Elf, I have been asking for 4 years what will it take to have an independent & non-partisan outside group audit Veterans Affairs, specifically the VA Healthcare system. Seems like no one wants to deal with the results that would surely follow. The closest we may get is that the Senate has requested a full review today of Choice Act expenditures & a detailed explanation from HealthNet & TriCare West of their policies & procedures in accordance with Choice Act & Accountability Law.

cj
cj

-!¡¡!-

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Personally I can sum up VA healthcare system and the Veterans Choice program in one word.

Both are FUBAR (fucked up beyond all/any recognition/ repair/ reason/ redemption).

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Seymore Klearly – – – I’d like to use this on my unfinished FB page. Permission? – – – Nutter.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Ok with me.

Jo3n
Again, I feel like we spinning our wheels. Until we see accountability, until the VA actually follows these laws, nothing will change(for the better). How now do I find out how the Choice will work for me this time, when I wasn’t allowed Choice before? I was, after whomever took the last billion. Are we back to PC recommend? I’ve gone private, and bankrupt, and alive. Just the thought of looking at this fake Dr and pleading for Choice makes me sick. In Alabama, Veterans rarely get to use Federal resources. Not without going through hell. AG Sessions and all… Read more »
cj
cj

@Jo3n: Jon, when your wheels keep spinning, time for some swamp buggy tires. Oops, pardon the irony.

Thomas
Thomas
Jo3n, could not agree with you more. I’ve been doing physical therapy post-op for major knee surgery this year & needed a request for additional services completed to continue treatment. It was sent on July 28th. After giving them a full 7 business days, 12 days total, to receive and process a 1 page form for approval, I called to get an update for how best to proceed with scheduling of needed care. I was told it was received, but still pending being processed. HealthNet admitted this was unusual & would forward it to their Scheduling Dept. For expedited review.… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

Been there, done that. It took 57 days of phone calls AFTER being referred and a congressional inquiry before I had a Choice appointment.

I too was told by Healthnet they would expedite things. Repeatedly.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
“Tucson VA’s record request denial overruled after Star appeal” Emily Bregel Arizona Daily Star Aug 18, 2017 Updated 23 min ago “http://tucson.com/news/local/tucson-va-s-record-request-denial-overruled-after-star-appeal/article_ee4e5eef-a2dc-5c21-ad60-58d313346be8.html” “Legal counsel for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has determined the Tucson VA wrongly denied the Arizona Daily Star’s public records request seeking the names of the hospital’s current dermatologists. After the Tucson VA’s privacy office refused to release the names of the hospital’s current specialty staff, citing privacy concerns, the Star filed a formal appeal with the national VA system in May. This month, general counsel for the national VA granted the Star’s appeal “in full,”… Read more »
NiteWish
NiteWish

Provider database for all the VA’s are out of date. Good Job Arizona Daily Star I hope this happens to all the VA’s & they get them all updated with accurate information.
Another really Good article thankx Seymore!

James Gallegos

The VA is making their own rules about VA employees name’s being published, if that was the case, the employee in the news their right’s are being violated and those news agencies could or would have been suied !..

This is nothing more than a lie !

Secretary Shulkin is a VA employee and he is all over the news. And many other’s.

VA employees will never get the message, until they see for themselves the name’s of fired employees.

Transparent Not !

wpDiscuz