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MMQB: Scandal Grows, VA Scandal Coverage takes the Red Pill

CNN VA Scandal Coverage

Veterans to CNN: “You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” CNN has taken the red pill in its coverage of this growing VA scandal, which has spread to Texas.

That is my favorite quote from the cult classic Matrix. It typifies much of the “go back to sleep” mentality of many Americans when it comes to our wars and their veterans. The blue pill puts you back to sleep as if nothing happens. The red pill is a whole other story entirely.

Usually, it seems like America takes the blue pill, ignore the wars, and blow off the damage the wars cause when the troops come home. This includes ignoring VA scandal coverage and all things in between.

That is why many news outlets are no longer covering VA scandals. Instead, they are focusing on immigration. I have heard this from enough reporters to know the tide is soon turning from pro-veteran to “what is a veteran?”.

There is lot of enthusiasm during holidays for vets, but the rest of the year, Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé steal the show. Still, I am excited to announce that veterans finally have a mainstream media outlet that has opted for the red pill, at least for now.

Thanks to CNN, the American public is now coming face to face with the deadly policies that have killed veterans for years. Veterans have literally been dying while VA points main stream media outlets to and fro without truly addressing the core of the issue – that VA staff have been cooking the books.

On this note, I have one question. If VA is cooking the books in health care, just what do you think they have been doing in disability compensation?

If I were a betting man, I would say it is safe to say VA is doing similar for downgrading TBI claims and other compensation.

Hi and welcome to another edition of Monday Morning Quarterback for Veterans. I am your host, Benjamin Krause, creator of DisabledVeterans.org. This is the number one source on the web for analysis of veteran policy and news, not to mention tips on how to get the veterans benefits you deserve.

This week we will cover updates on the VA health care scandal, along with some other information. Here are our topics today:

  • Quick facts on VA Health Care scandal
  • Waitlist scandal confirmed – a “how to cook books” email leaked
  • DAV scandal response “disappointing”
  • VA caught in potential compensation downgrading scheme

 

Quick facts on VA Health Care delay scandal

 

The “how to cook books” guide from Cheyenne VA

CNN added another layer to the wait list scandal at VA by circulating yet another email, this time from the Cheyenne VA. That email, allegedly from a VA employee, verifies that VA staff were required to game the system.

“Yes, it is gaming the system a bit. But you have to know the rules of the game you are playing, and when we exceed the 14-day measure, the front office gets very upset, which doesn’t help us. Let me know if this doesn’t make sense.”

VA Secretary Shinseki learned of the authorship of the email and put that employee on paid leave last week after it was leaded. CNN reported that the email’s author was a VA nurse instructing other employees on the ways VA cooks the books in scheduling. Its purpose was to help other VA employees learn how to cook their own books.

A former Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman, Lisa Lee, says she is the one who leaked the email to CNN.

“We were sat down by our supervisor … and he showed us exactly how to schedule so it looked like it was within that 14-day period,” Lee told CNN. “They would keep track of schedulers who were complying and getting 100 percent of that 14 day(s) and those of us who were not.”

The email in question outlined numerous ways scheduling staffers could manipulate the scheduling system to zero out the wait times. These manipulations would hide the fact that the veteran was actually waiting for months instead of the mandated 14 days.

On Thursday, another VA employee from the San Antonio VA claimed the agency there was cooking the books, as well. In San Antonio, VA managers allegedly encouraged staff members to hide appointment delays through a variety of manipulations like those at the other VA’s.

Read More: https://www.cnn.com/2014/05/09/us/va-scandal-cheyenne/

 

DAV scandal response out of touch with veterans

Last week, DAV gave what many veterans believe was an out of touch response to the health care crisis now coming to a full on boil.

On May 7, 2014, DAV head Garry Augustine finally provided DAV’s response to the crisis that is affecting veterans across the country. In Augustine’s defense, other veteran organizations have also been slow off the starting line following CNN’s announcement a few weeks ago.

Aside from the delay, I was disappointed by DAV’s apparent toting of the party line as to how VA Secretary Shinseki should respond. American Legion said the VA head should resign. Meanwhile, DAV’s Augustine stated the VA Secretary merely needs to provide answers quickly and to ensure accountability.

I am calling on VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to answer not just the public allegations but also some fundamental questions about the entire VA health care system.

The Secretary must quickly, comprehensively and publicly answer a number of questions that are necessary to give us, all veterans and the American public confidence that the VA health care system can and will provide safe, high-quality care at every facility in the nation.

Yet, veterans are beyond the point of mere talk.

Action must be taken to restore confidence in the system to include criminal prosecutions. It is time for Shinseki to either step down or fire droves of VA managers followed by numerous criminal investigations for wrongful death.

Should all veteran organizations be taking the same stance as American Legion?

Read More: https://www.dav.org/learn-more/news/2014/statement-garry-j-augustine/

 

New scandal over TBI downgrading scheme verified

Missoula veteran Charles Gatlin cried foul after his traumatic brain injury was downgraded following a questionable VA examination.

Former Army Captain Charles Gatlin was evaluated and retired from the US Army following a traumatic brain injury (TBI). At that time, in 2007, Army psychologists concluded Gatlin’s TBI had stabilized and would not improve.

In 2011, when it came time for VA to evaluate Gatlin in Montana, the agency used an unqualified psychologist to assess the severity of the impact of his injury. The agency allowed a psychologist to perform assessments created only for neuropsychologist to perform called the RBANS. VA adjudicators then disregarded qualified Army opinions in favor of the unqualified VA psychologist.

“They’re intentionally and systematically downgrading ratings across the board,” said Gatlin. “They’re arguing PTSD all the time. They’re arguing medical literature that’s not proven and finding the most convenient one and using it.”

VA psychologist Robert Bateen evaluated Gatlin with a battery of tests that were inappropriate. The Montana Board of Psychology concluded Robert Bateen caused an “unreasonable risk of mental harm and financial loss by using the incorrect panel of tools to assess the residuals of his traumatic brain injury.”

We will be watching this story unfold. Let us know if you experienced a similar problem with VA downgrading your traumatic brain injury.

Read More: https://missoulian.com/news/local/veteran-files-grievance-alleges-va-psychologist-practiced-outside-scope-of/article_10375b26-d8ab-11e3-a6c8-0019bb2963f4.html

 

Upcoming Congressional Hearings

 

Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs

State of VA Health Care: 5/15/14, 10:00 AM

 

House Committee on Veterans Affairs

Evaluating Federal and Community Efforts to Eliminate Veteran Homelessness: 5/20/14, 10:00 AM

Exploring Jobs for Veterans in the Energy Sector: 5/20/14, 2:00 PM

 

Stay informed on VA news, scandals and benefits. Get our daily newsletter via email.

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28 thoughts on “MMQB: Scandal Grows, VA Scandal Coverage takes the Red Pill”

  1. Interestingly enough, my cases for claims all information sent. Now, they “can’t” ( or won’t) let your Doctor of 20 years do it. 14 day wait? If they consider an intern who makes a diagnosis off a urine test, she doesn’t qualify. Since January 2014, I have been tossed around. Maybe an appointment in June? ( said phone 5/18/14 none.) I relied on “one outsider. My reps office who has a VA rep. Since I was, will always be, medical in many regards, I had told him what wasn’t asked for or done. RELY ON A POLITICIAN? NO WAY! And the one doctor I saw wrote many false statements, argumentative-no, statement made, buddy, you have yet to see me do my get up in your face and “school you!” Has tried everything. Yes, very true statement, and all he suggests? Done it, didn’t work-aren’t you suppose to ask “what have you tried?” Ready to LAWYER UP, TESTIFY ( as stated ) and prove every written lie in my record! ANY TAKERS?

  2. I went to the VA for a condition that has yet to be determined (internal blood loss from ’12) & they’re trying to shut me up with giving me iron IV over 8 wks. Last wk. I checked in at the kiosk (’cause the people at the desk are there for what reason? They will not check you in & the people in the infusion room make your follow up appointment. I think they’re getting paid to do nothing). I was given a paper which was the first time I’d ever received something like this. It had my name, last four, below that it had Day of next appointment & below that the time for the appointment. What I read below that was got my attention. It stated “Book [ ]”‘ below that “Computer [ ]”. I thought about the “cooking the books” subject & while I was getting my IV the woman explained this new system they are using to schedule the vets to a guy at the desk. So I listened to her explain to him how to do this. She explained that after the vet gives her the paper & she gets and they agree on the next IV date, she puts it in the book & gives it to someone else (I don’t the name), she said the other person puts it in the computer when it”s needed. I really think they’re talking about “cooking the books” and didn’t think I could hear them talking. Why else would they take the time to write in a book & then give it to someone else who decides when it goes in the computer. She told the gut this is how we”re doing it now. This was at the Puget Sound Medical VA Hospital in Seattle. I asked for that paper back so I could have it for my appointment date (an excuse to get the paper back) and was told that I could not have it. When I asked why not I was told that they could not let me have it as they needed it for their system use. I think something else was going on.

  3. Remember the Walter Reed VAMC scandal? Remember when VA ordered a nationwide audit on medical? What happened? Nothing! Not a doggone thing! Now Shinseki is asking for another nationwide audit on VAMC’s? This is history repeating itself, when are we gonna get some actual results? I don’t think that this audit (if it actually happens)will do anything towards solving the issue. I see it as another way of sweeping the entire thing under the rug. We’ll hear about this scandal, how far its spread and now an audit, but right after midterm elections nobody will hear of it again. Mark my words

    1. Eric, you’re so correct. NOTHING will be done except damage control. They’ll do the basics & take their time until this thing in so longer a big deal & then the audit will show nothing wrong or some very minor items that’ll be taken care of & everyone will be happy. Everyone except the actual vets who are having to suffer everyday they use this broken system. If anyone saw the hearing, it was such a bunch of BS. Almost everyone there stated that the vets reported excellent to above excellent healthcare after they got into the system. & they gave the outdated survey that reported something like 96% of the vets surveyed stated they received the above stated care & would return again to use the VA Healthcare system. That hearing was such a political set-up it was a huge slap in the face of us vets. I hope that Ben was there & will give a report on this. I watched the people lie, twist words to make things looks so much better, dodge questions, and the politicians try to look as if they care & want something done so they might get re-elected.

      Continued

      1. Continued from above

        I for one am writing my senators & congressmen/women about how much of a bunch of BS this is & how noting will be done & I will not vote for them if that is the case. They stated that they have enough evidence to convict people of a crime & yet these people will never be convicted. They’ll be re-assigned because like they said, it takes so long & there is so much red tape to go through that it is almost if not completely impossible to fire some of these people. The people know that so they don’t care, they will be re-assigned, & go on, no big deal. I am sure the Gov. will pay for their relocation expenses as well. They told of a woman they couldn’t fire so they flew her to WA DC & back for 3 yrs. the whole time paying her $180,000 a yr. for those 3 yrs. How does this make any sense. I would love to be that person. I would make $540,000 for 3 yrs. to do nothing and I get flown to WA DC at no cost to me (taxpayer money) and then I might get fired after that or I can say how sorry I am and that these 3 yrs. have taught me a lesson that I will never do again and hope they will re-assign me and I go on like nothing ever happened. Most likely the Gov. will cover up her history and no one will know about how terrible she is and she will be allowed to be and do the same thing because she knows she will not get fired. And people trust our Gov. I would like to sell those people some ocean front property in AZ. used by an old lady on Sundays.

  4. Like I said there is a major problem with the VA in claims and medical but unless our politicians or vet service organizations investigate or someone in the VA snitches, nothing will ever be done. What gets me is the service organizations that are suppose to help and protect our rights know what is going on yet have never done anything about it, if they had we would not have the problem we do today. They have done some good work for us but when they know what is wrong with the claims decisions being made by claims analyst yet do nothing to make the VA correct it, then nothing will ever change. A bonus is worth more than you are!

  5. “You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” proof that they use mind control on the u.s. military and the drugs to be able to do it!

  6. Just went for a C & P scheduled through VES (Veterans Evaluation Services). What a treat that was!! (dripping with sarcasm) ,My examiner spoke broken English and had little knowledge of military terminology, for example: he did not know what the acronym TDY stood for, after telling him that the OIC had to approve non-emergency sick calls, he literally asked “whads dat min” (not a misspelling – trying to show dialect) — fortunately there was an English speaking RN who sometimes re-worded the questions. Now here is a guy who will determine my benefits, but doesn’t have a clue what military service is like and doesn’t have the communicative skills to understand the English language. In VA parlance “it is more likely than not that this VA examiner job is the only doctoring job he could get”. I don’t know what country he emigrated from, or what college he graduated from, or his qualifications to make judgments regarding what is service connected and what isn’t a service connected disability.
    Veteran examiners should have to present their credentials to the veteran being examined. For all I know, maybe he isn’t a fully accredited doctor.
    Things gotta change!!!

    1. Mr Cancel, I just had a C&P evaluation on a malpractice case I am presenting. To start with they wanted to schedule this with the surgeon who operated on me. I put a stop to that one. Then they couldn’t schedule me an appointment with a doctor who could see me during the DAV run times Monday to Thursday. I had to reschedule the first appointment date by calling Regional. I did the verbal request and a week later I received a call from Regional about the reschedule request. They stated that I had apparently refused the first appointment. Not true and I explained to him it was the VA’s fault so he approved my request. The second appointment date again could not happen during DAV. So I had to pull out the stops and find a way there. If I tried to reschedule again I’m sure my claim would have died.
      So I get there and this doctor is fairly young (I’m thinking) and she does a fairly reasonable exam of my leg. Mind you after 1 1/2 years of fighting staph and tears I’m an expert on my knee. She then starts to remind me of the consent to treat document I signed which explains the possibility of surgical problems. (REALLY? I’m thinking). I then proceeded to educate her on the statement made by the VA themselves that I should expect a reasonable outcome of any treatments. I then asked her is the statement “The VA permanently disabled my leg through the use of a 72 year old doctor who should have retired” an unreasonable statement? She then told me she would do what she could. I feel like I ran into roadblocks but I drove through them. How many claims die this way and the Vets are unaware of this.?

  7. I sent in my increase claim for my migraine headaches/ seizuredisorder after years of my conditioning worsening since 2006. I have been to the ER many times due to my condition, had to leave early from my job about 20 times out of the year and also call out about 10 times . Luckily the company I worked for I pro Veteran and didn’t fire me. A physical therapist suggested I get a MRI of my cervical area, he suspected a herniation due to my symptoms . It turns out I had 2 disc herniation , and severe spinal chord compression . I was scheduled for an anterior Discetomy 2 level and now have a titanium cage in my neck after my c-5 diseased bone was removed. I now have a lifetime lifting limit of 20 pounds and no overhead work. My surgeon provided documentation stating this injury was one and the same that caused my migraines and seizures during my military service , and my doctor stated that I need one year of convalescence following
    surgery to recover . I submitted increase in claim , 100 percent disabilty due to surgery and secondary claim due to the missed spina chord and herniation . I used the VSO form the American legion and was submitted in January . Any advice on any of my information ? I went to a mandatory QTC appointment and the neurosurgeon didn’t even look at me. He looked at the paperwork I filled out and state there was no need to do an exam. Thanks .

    1. The QTC exam is a waste of everyone’s time and money. The only reason the VA used them is because they (the VA) pays them to not find anything wrong with you. I would request a C & P exam from the VA. They should do that. My three QTC exams were so terrible that I appealed my case and put it in my appeal that they were huge liars and NEVER did what they said. I made copies of my paperwork from the QTC exams and proved that they changed my answers to make it look better for the VA. Get a copy of your C-file (Claims file) from your Regional VA (Ben has a very good template for the request) and look it over with a fine tooth comb. make notes and copies of ANYTHING that is wrong. and make sure to make corrections and have it put into your records (this can be done through the ROI at your VA hospital) . Then you have to become a lawyer because your Service officer most likely will not help that much. They make the same if you lose your case or if you get an increase and a million dollars in back pay. I have done all of that and I received my results today. I went from 20% to 40% and almost $10,000 back pay. It took a lot of work on my part and I still did not think I would get this. I can give you more if you need it to try and help. I am so ticked off with the VA that I am willing to do what I can to help anyone else (what I can do, up to a certain point). I want everyone who is deserving of an increase to get what they are due. I hope this helps. Remember the VA contracts with QTC to do exams. What does that tell you? They are basically the same thing. Both are crooks, liars, and thieves.

  8. This is not “New News” to me. I just got an MRI done on my neck and lower back that was ordered by my primary care doctor at the Dallas VA over 9 months ago. I finally got the MRI on March 5. Cooking the books, yes, as I must be out sourced to get OPEN MRI’s due to being claustrophobic, which is the notes my primary care doctor puts in the notes. I have been through this type of delay many times, for extended months at a time. Delays in healthcare have been unbelievable, and my friends always state some type of disbelief that the VA would be doing this, as if I am lying about the treatment I get. Not to mention the delays in getting my appeals for denied disability claims, and threats to reduce my percentage ratings, stating I am showing improvements, when the fact remains I am in no way improving from service-connected injuries. Thank you Ben, for letting me vent where it could count.

  9. The VA is supposed to be the one organization invested in the Veteran and their welfare, I’ve read some of these comments and have one similar to another I noticed. For the second time now in the last 6 or 7 years the VA has lost my Form 21-4140 (it’s for reporting as to whether you’ve worked in the past year or not for those on Individual Unemployability), and of course their response is to immediately strip my status (TDIU). I’d love nothing more than to be able to go back to work or school (because this is like being in a prison within my home and body, so that’s bad enough in it’s own right), but my service connected injuries won’t allow that. So because of this lost paper, the VA’s inability to contact me to check on whether it may have been lost in the mail, their mail room, etc, I may end up losing $2,000 a month I need to support myself. Like it’s so difficult to check social security, or IRS data for this information in cases such as this. It seems more like the VA is deliberately losing these forms (because I KNOW I mailed the form back to them) so they can take this step as a way to reduce the demands on their budget instead of doing what’s right on behalf of a Veteran that faithfully served his country and was injured while doing so. WHAT HAS BECOME OF THE VA!!!!!!! And now, they’re allowing this stuff within our Medical services so the troops that protected this country are like second and third class citizens is ridiculous!!!!!!! They need to be held accountable on all fronts.

  10. Ben, I lived in West Texas(Midland), the VA clinic in Odessa, Tx has been put under nthe glasss of the VA OIG 4 shuffling & cooking the books!!!!

  11. Shinseki is an experienced military tactician. He will continue to test the wind, including during the Congressional subpoena hearing on Thursday, then either launch an all out attack against veterans — in the form of doing nothing to correct his deliberate deficiencies, or he will order the VA to make drastic comprehensive corrections throughout the VA. Because of his military combat mindset he will be tempted to put most if not all of his resources into one or two strategic areas where he can re-gain a stronghold for later offensives (against veterans). He is very likely to use a twisted variation of the Lois Lerner, IRS scandal, “I plead the 5th” strategy, on Thursday in front of Congress (unless he can get it postponed). But instead of the 5th (since this is not a criminal complaint (yet), he will most likely just dodge questions (and future risk of self-incrimination). He will continue to feign shock, outrage, compassion and surprise, while using an endless refrain of, “We have to wait for the IG report before I can adequately answer that.” He will stall and delay as much as possible, try to put the Congressional panel to sleep with the clever collection of standard robotic responses that he always uses. His main tactics will be what they have always been: stall, delay, wait for media attention to fade, hope it all goes away, then lower the standard bar even further than it already is. Lerner is not being arrested by the Sgt. of Arms of the House, Shinseki knows that, and so he figures he really doesn’t have anything to worry about. And, in reality, as history has proven, he doesn’t. The only way he is going to be held accountable on any of this, to the point of being removed, criminally charged, or put on final notice, will be if the mainstream media, especially the traditionally liberal media such as CNN and NBC continue to bring fire down on his position. What you can count on for sure is that Shinseki will dodge bullets, fall back, make flanking moves, move his troops around, then see what he can pull next.

  12. American Veteran

    CNN shills for Obama. So I don’t expect them to follow up on these VA scandals. Fox News might follow up on these VA scandals, however, I won’t hold might breath.

    In fact, CNN refuses to report on the Benghazi tragedy that saw 2 decorated Navy SEAL veterans murdered by Al-Qaeda. Only Fox News is running coverage of this.

    However, if a RINO is elected CINC, I fully expect Fox News to soon stop reporting on Benghazi and the VA scandals in order to protect their “chosen” politician.

    This media bias is now advocating for foreign invaders on American soil. This illegal immigration has already contributed to the decimation of the middle class of America, of which many veterans belong.

    For those veterans who are poor, the Democrat and RINO politicians, and the pro-illegal alien shills in the media, will make sure that any taxpayer money goes to the newly-founded ‘American’ citizens under the soon-to-be amnesty program and not to our wounded warriors.

    They tried doing this back in December of 2013 when Dems and RINOS agreed to cut veterans’ retirement benefits but keep tax credits for illegal aliens.

    Remember this?

    How incomprehensibly wrong this is when our elected leaders would rather submit to foreign invaders than to our wounded warriors!

    So take your Blue Pill and go back to sleep like a good little soldier.

    1. Very well put. We veterans’ are less of a U.S. citizen than an illegal aliens. What a shame. I believe that you are correct that this will go away. I believe it to. Just think, after it all cools down and we are forgotten again the VA will back to doing what is it now doing and it will take many more yrs. of people complaining before it is back to the top. Meanwhile many, many more veterans’ will not get the healthcare they are due or get the right decisions on their disability claim handles correctly. But the good news is that all the VA people will be getting their big paychecks and most likely even bigger bonuses because they will be really “cooking the books”. They know that they will need to do it a different way and I am sure they are just waiting for this to go away so they can implement their new way to kill us off. I wish we could all just abandon ship and then they would have no use for any of the VA people, fire all of them and then we can come back to the VA and they would hopefully get new people to help us. It would be nice.

      1. American Veteran

        Well, if the recently exposed Obama strategy to conceal, deny, and lie is any indication, the truth will not be told about the VA slaughterhouses that vets use for their medical care.

        Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner finally came clean and fessed up to lying to the American public under orders from Obama.

        Even worse, recent declassified White House emails show that Obama told National Security Adviser Susan Rice to lie about Benghazi.

        So don’t expect VA Secretary Shinseki to tell the truth about these VA scandals.

        I firmly expect Shinseki to state for the record, while not under oath, that the VA scandals were “rooted in an Internet video” and not “a broader failure of policy”!

      2. you tell them, I agree with you but Im sure they will cover up whatever they can and protect themselves and if someone is to pay the price it will be some low ball at the bottom that gets the shaft. they need to go after whoever is calling the shot in the middle of the wood pile or whoever is actually screwing the veterans for bigger bonus and fry them till nothing left. the problem is getting veterans to go to Washington and demand the VA be held accountable for there actions. If you did something wrong and they wanted to take your benniffits they just do it but as far as you getting beniffits then we go with denie,denie till they die.

  13. I’ve said this before; I’ve been fighting the VA for almost 6 yrs. now for an increase on both knees. During this time they’ve done what they could to deny this. They even changed it to scars associated with surgery. I had surgery in ’84 on my left knee and HAD (5), ¼ inch scars that are gone. They sent me to an exam only rating my scars that weren’t there. The examiner was a gen. med. Dr. He had no Idea of what he was doing. My paperwork that QTC sent was only for scars. I got my C-file I looked at his report and he’d put info on my knees on an exam that NEVER took place. He never checked my knees for ROM, pain, ETC…he put it in my records, the VA evaluator looked and said that there was nothing wrong with my knees. I wore metal braces to the exam and he put down that I didn’t use braces. My extension was full and now it’s at 10º by another exam they sent me to. Now the VA is stating that they can’t increase above 10%unless I’m at 15º.
    Continued with another post

    1. I’ve never had a limit so how can they change my current 10% rating to the limitation that I now have. I’m in the process of getting a lawyer to get these crooks. It’s such a shame that we are treated worse that people on welfare. We are looked down on and everyone thinks we are just trying to get a handout. NO, the people who abuse the welfare system are getting the handout and nothing is done. I will be so happy if I win this case. I don’t care if I have to spend every dime I will get from back pay, it will be worth it just to know that I won before I died. There needs to be another uprising on the backlog and the whole disability process in the VA. There once was and it went away just like this current problem will. Ben is right, something else will take the place of this and it will be back to the same way with the VA. Even CNN will eventually give up on this.

    2. we need to reach the news about the cooking the claims not just the medical appointments , more veterans die waiting for claims and appeals than medical. the VA is intentionaly doing it cause the less they have to pay veterans or treat them the bigger there bonus

      1. Art, I am glad to say that the VA finally approved an increase for part of what I had asked. I am still going to have to fight for the rest. I have the same problem in both knees and they approved some of the things for the right but not the left even though they both had the exact test results and had never been rated for what they gave me on my right. My left is now the one I have to fight to get the same increase and the proof and facts are in black and white. It is the same exam that they gave me the rating on the right. This shows that they don’t care. They were hoping that I would say OK and go on. Sorry, I am in this for the long run if need be. I am sure someone get a bonus for “finishing” this and most likely someone will get another one when I appeal and wither get what I am due or deny it. Either way someone will get a bonus for something that they should not be getting if this would have been done right. I am glad that most of this is over and I can concentrate on a small part and hopefully it will not take as long for the rest. But yes they need to do a much better job and get these done in a timely manner. The only drawback to this is that I am sure that more of the claims will be denied to eliminate the backlog and that leads to appeal after appeal to try to get what is deserved.

  14. I believe if one person died while on this secrete wait list someone should face manslaughter charges.

    1. I agree. If they can show it then the VA should pay and pay dearly. It is going to take something huge to start to make a difference. People serving a very long jail time and huge (at least six figure) fines. Even if they hold the employee responsible to the point of prosecution, that person would most likely report anything that they know would get them into trouble. They should be able to report it anonymously, so they have no fear of retaliation from their bosses. That would be a start and it may get the ball rolling to get this system back to helping the people they swore by oath to help.

  15. Im with ya but CNN needs to also look at how the VA deals with claims decisions and how they backdate evidence or whatever they can to denie a claim. the appeals in florida are getting worse cause the VA is denying claims like hotcakes and using every means possible to do so. they spend so much time in St Petersburg regional office looking for ways to denie a claim no wonder veterans are dying by the thousands each year before there claims are decided. the biggest reason for all the wrongs the VA is doing is so they can give themselves bigger bonus since they don’t have to pay disability to veterans. I can prove the VA backdates evidence and what I say.

  16. J. Edward Vernon jr.

    WHEN DEALING WITH THE VA I FEEL LIKE WE ARE SENT TO “AREA 52″(NEXT TO AREA 51), WHERE THING GO TO DIE/DISAPPEAR. IT IS GOOD TO SEE THAT CNN HAS TAKEN THE “LEAD” IN EXPOSING, BUT TO WHAT AVAIL(REMEMBER WATERGATE, NIXON TAPES, CLINTON SCANDALS, ETC). HOW LONG WILL THE “PUBLIC” SEE THE “TRUTH” BEFORE THEY “BELIEVEIT AND CORRECT THE ERRORS”. LET US HOPE FOR THE SAKE OF OUR FUTURE AND THE COUNTRY’S WELL-BEING, NOT LONG.

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