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Watch Secretary McDonald Fire Back At Congress In Hearing

Secretary McDonald

Benjamin KrauseSecretary McDonald fired back during a heated exchange Congress questioned McDonald’s ability to change the dysfunctional VA culture at the core of numerous scandals this past year.

At the end of the clip, McDonald hits back at Congressman Coffman of Colorado after having his leadership questions.

“I am offended by your comment. Actually, I have been here six months. You have been here longer than I have. If there is a problem in Denver, I think you own it more than I do.”

Do you think McDonald was spot on or out of line?

I think in this instance, Secretary McDonald is correct, however firing back with “What have you done?” to a two tour combat veteran was probably done in poor taste. Still, Congress has largely been ineffective in holding VA accountable, and its hearings seemed to be little more than grandstanding rather than using its subpoena power to really get things done. And, I think Congressman Johnson’s questions were made to jab rather than to genuinely spur change.

I can personally attest to certain top down changes engineered after he took over following Secretary Shinseki’s resignation. Both Under Secretaries and the Secretary respond to individual veterans as often as possible. Errors in VA procedures are corrected within days rather than years. Veterans are getting their benefits quicker.

My only fault with the Secretary at this point is his apparent lack of action when it comes to holding VA OIG accountable for failing to hold VA employees accountable for wrongdoing other than fraud.

When it comes to money, by God VA OIG acts like Johnny On The Spot. But when it comes to veterans dying, VA OIG always whitewashes the investigation by using artificially high standards to evade making hard criticisms and recommendations desperately needed to clean up the agency. The agency needs a new leader in VA OIG. It is time for Richard Griffin to hit the road.

As for Congress, many of those in Congress and on the House Committee of Veterans Affairs have been on the committee for many, many years. Problems persist.

Congress needs to hammer back at VA during these hearings and force the agency to provide honest answers or else hold them in contempt.

What do you think is a good next step for the Secretary?

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36 thoughts on “Watch Secretary McDonald Fire Back At Congress In Hearing”

  1. What do I believe, I believe Sect. McDonald is selflessy driven,enthusiastic,enlightened and 1000 times more honest than any man or woman in the Congress, Senate and the Whitehouse It is with extreme compunction that I even mention the Oval office.and I almost apologize for that, Sect McDonald was and is so humble in his response to the over zealous “Dr.Coffman I presume” trying desparetly to rattle the Secretary. I firmly believe without any reservations McDonald is the answers to millions of veteran prayers. Rome I repeat was “not built in a day” and even the LORD who finishe in SEVEN DAYS hasn;t gotten a break either. So my fellow Vetrans try not to count the days, but make the days count for our Secretary McDonald our wholesome man of “INTEGRITY” P.S. and don”t pray for him either, that would be senseless LOL.

  2. One thing caught my eye with his testimony. McDonald says he is making a difference and says see what they (veterans) say on the websites.

    Although, there are some positive comments (including this article). And he does take calls, he can’t personally intervene in every vets issues. What comments I read on veteran websites, McDonald’s efforts are but scratching the surface and the old issues of claims and healthcare continue to frustrate and anger many.

    Is the VA still screwed up? ….yep. For example, last week we had an ice/snow storm. I couldn’t make it to an appointment and called to cancel. After waiting 30 minutes on the phone, I got someone at the call center. I gave the woman who answered my last name and last four. She said, yep, got you here, I will cancel and the CBOC will call you for another appointment. Before I could ask her if she could make the appointment (the call center has done that in the past), she hung up. It is now a week later and no one called me, yet I got a letter saying I failed to cancel and to call to make another appointment. At the same time, I got another letter, telling me I had an appointment with one of my doctors for March. The only thing is, the doctor told me she didn’t want to see me until June – not to mention, the appointment time is at 8:00 AM and I would have to get up at 4:30 in the morning to get there by then. I thought they weren’t supposed to make appointments without the veteran agreeing to the time? Oh, that’s right, we have the new VA now. (sarc.)

    1. Same old stuff . Our VMC in Philadelphia and Wilimington Delaware just send letters with times and dates that are usually 60 days to 9 months so hopefully now we can claim choice . But appointments and times clearly the patient gets no consideration I have to travel several hours to get there myself so I agree 100%…. Same old stuff … Yes McDonald maybe making some inroads but it is going to take years if that and he cant intervene or be everywhere..
      In May will be a huge veterans march in Washington of Vietnam veterans Its now 50 years after the war band we are still getting the same crap from our government and VA and runarounds The vets are planning huge demonstrations with the press, etc in WashingtonDC at the VA in Washiongton DC for the 50 year memorial of the Vietnam War We want you all to be there and join with us so we can tell the country, our government and the VA and politicians our plight

      Lee Horowitz M.Ed, CAGS

    2. Check today’s CINTI Enquirer, 2/15/2015. Lafley is still cleaning up Mac’s time at P&G . Mac’s past record speaks for itself.

      1. You are incorrect. Saw the side-by-side of their tenures a couple months ago. Mac was getting it done during our recession and positioning the company for the future. Lafley has only downgraded the stock and followed Mac’s ideas and then released many of the company’s core. I have many shares, so obviously keep up with and take an interest! And what the heck is 2/15?? It is 11/15!!!!! Why are we still seeing this OLD stuff????????? The internet is ridiculous.

  3. That video is one of the reasons I don’t watch that kind of stuff. Definitely triggering. Although Secretary McDonald’s comment might have been in “poor taste” (although it isn’t IMHO), Congressman Coffman is the one speaking out of turn. The congressman is welcome to call me about my situation. I had a claim in the bowels of the VA for 5-6 YEARS (not really sure how long because I’m not going to dig out that paperwork from the huge box I now have). This is the third time around on this particular issue.

    I emailed Secretary McDonald less than three months ago. Yesterday I got the news that my claim was approved.

    And like some of the previous comments, I received a medical discharge due to degenerative changes in my knees (arthritis) at 10% per knee. I applied for VA compensation and was denied. Some years later, after I realized the VA was wrong, put in another claim which was approved.

    I left the military more than 16 years ago, not knowing the VA “system.” Those how are ETSing now have the benefit of the Internet and Websites like this one to find out the way to get claims approved in a correct and timely fashion.

    Congressman Coffman stated that, “at the end of the day … you will not have made a difference in changing the culture of this organization.” I have personally experienced a direct change from Secretary McDonald. I see him as a forward-thinking leader who is cleaning up the mess he inherited. It seems that, if given six more months to work on the problems, Congressman Coffman will need to be blind in order to not see the changes.

    Thanks for letting me rant.

  4. I think The Very First thing that The Secretary has to do (or any next VA Secretary), has to ELIMINATE COMPLETELY the C&P Dept More than anything else! Priority #1!
    I can also suggest to put the VA under the SSA or at least to have Common Standards in Rating Disabilities. We should be treated EQUALLY like EVERY American ! We earned this more then anybody else! Otherwise, we most likely, will go back to the “Draft” where every Citizen will have to show “How much they Love their Country”
    VAM

    1. I have been through whole process, SSDI and the VAHS and neither agency talks the same language nor do they or will they, by choice, NOT SHARE information…I found that so freaky that VA Dr’s did not want to fill out paperwork for SSDI at same time, NOR would Soc Sec request those records directly with my signing something to allow that sharing…they simply DO NOT…so merging the VA and Soc Sec would be going from nightmarish to quagmires clustered together in one really large dysfunctional bureaucracy.
      Because of this disconnect is very quite often a huge contributor to Veteran Homelessness…as they just give-up as they may see it not worth the stress and triggers the VA instills.

  5. The VA will never be “fixed” by anyone for the simple reason there is no money in it for any of the politicians there are no lobbyists to pad their pockets or add to their campaign funds! They are grandstanding just to make headlines and make it look like they really care! All the new money they have put into the VA has gone to the corrupt Directors of the VA facilities in the form of bonus’s!!!

  6. I think Bob can say anything he wants to whoever he wants. I think he is just now getting a load of all the scumbags he has to deal with at Congress and within the VA and he is starting to tell them off. I’m a big fan of Bob because I have extensively read what he was trying to do when he was at P&G and he needed time to accomplish his very hard task there. He left P&G only because the Board of Directors there were pushing him into an incorrect way of doing the tasks because the share holders of P&G stock only wanted quarterly profits to move the stock up beyond reason. He left after 33 years with the company, the last 3 years being CEO, and that position reverted back to the former CEO who hasn’t done shit since Bob left. Mutual agreement, not firing. You all can read this in 2011 Fortuine magazine – I think it’s the May issue. Find it on the internet. It’s there.
    I think the Congressmen are getting upity the same way the Boad of Directors and stockholders of P&G did, perhaps to get Bob to resign under pressure – and are using that same template to do it, since they have no brains themselves to think of anything new or reasonable to help with the overall remedy needed to revamp the VA. The VA is a Failure by anyone’s standards, and Bob knows it will take time to restructure. He doesn’t want to make mistakes to make things get hung up in never-never land forever.
    And he clearly see’s that. So until Bob makes a move I don’t agree with, I’ll wish him the best and watch him. That would be something else if they got rid of Bob and reinstated Shinseki again, like they did at P&G. Shinseki looked to me like a lost puppy dog with far-away eyes who everyone walked right over.

    1. ^Agree entirely, and FYI, it’s really the same super rich stockholders such as Koch Brothers, that Congressmen must appease and kiss ass of in the barter for the Billions $$ they give in now unlimited political campaigns, which in-turn the trickle down is it affects what change or not at VA System. The problem is the government is just as rife with dysfunction and corruption and as a separate monster agency, the VA is also one…guess who gets lost in the mix?
      Unfortunately, those same “stockholders” LIKE the “Business of War” and are textbook examples of War Profiteers.
      The one thing that does separate what’s going on from George Orwell’s “1984”, is the war his actually real here and now, and broken people, whether physical, mental and both, should be properly taken care of.
      I must say that the VA’s employee unions are systemic and codependent in all this dysfunction as well.
      Alice Cooper said in a song, “Are we all just humanary stew…? [The Black Widow]
      I think it’s great that the Secretary has the balls to buck this system…like above post, it’s going to take some time. On that note, he must absolutely start with overhauling and turning upside down the whole OIG set-up and make it more like a true scientific method in ensuring you have an outside agency do these instead of all this “in-house investigations, under the rug cover-ups”, and an outside agency would act as a Control Group then make each and every single VA in existence adhere and be standardized…hell, even under oath of UCMJ….I am serious!
      Why just is it that when these various VA people come before Congress they are never under oath?
      It’s designed obsolesce from the very top.
      This is still the greatest Nation in the world and freedom is priceless and I an not without empathy here when I say it’s high-time we cut out of all these wars and re-focus on our great USA. Rebuilding the VA should not be as if it were a Manhattan Project level of a task…daunting, but theoretically not impossible.
      $$$+GREED=POWER, but like a hard substance of abuse, always desire more.

      HAPPY VALENTINE’s DAY to all my fellow Veterans!

      1. The article I was referring to appeared in FORTUNE MAGAZINE, January 17, 2011, page 86, entitled “Can P&G make money in places where people earn $2.00 a day?” It details the efforts Bob put into P&G to create products that are viable for people in developing parts of the world, who don’t make or have much money ($2 a day average pay). Very good quality products ie. shampoos, soaps, detergents, skin-care products etc.that P&G is not used to selling (P$G has always been too expensive for that sector), and how he assigned researchers to actually live with these people for weeks to understand what they needed according to their situation in life. He went deep with his R&D operation to help the very poor that could only spend a buck or two a month for these necessaties. It would have opened new markets for the company as P$G neglected them previously. But “they” cut him short. Other CEO’s from companies such as Unilever, Colgate, etc., all agreed and said”what Bob is doing is not wrong, but it will take some time” To communicate that approach, he has changed the strategy of the company to “”Touching and improving more lives, in more parts of the world, more completely”.
        There Be the Dragons, however, as he experienced there, to put blame on him till he had to split. The same damn thing is happening at the VA it seems. But he clearly sees this and he ain’t taking any shit from some whiffy Congressman trying to shift the music. This is a war of mentality to mentality, not to be confused with talking back to a disabled veteran who was probably kind of stupid way before his or her disabily rating by the VA.
        I think this article is a “must read” for all of us to fully understand where Bob is coming from. Other than Bob, I think the next best Secretary would be Alice Cooper. The hearings should get rid of those phony flags in the backround also. They annoy me. They don’t represent anyone I know who is battling the VA or the government.

  7. Lee Horowitz, if you see this, can you tell me what you mean by “we were not told about the effects of LSD?” I was poisoned by that crap when my superiors put it in my soft drinks in a top secret comm center, and i though they were kidding. it really messed me up. it was part of some bizarre program called MK-ULTRA….. a nightmare that has never ended.

    1. What I am saying Bruce is that our government and military hide experiments and known effects of LSD and radiation from people that were illegally experimented on or given such without knowledge This testing was also done on prison inmates as well. The government knew such effects but hide it . All I am saying is that our government have used and abused veterans by involving them in illegal experiments and illegal testing .The US government and military need to be held accountable and they need to jail the people involved in it starting at the top !! Too bad you were not a member of ASU – American Servicemen’s Union at the time in the 60s-70s as we fought for you and others to expose all this

      Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CAGS

  8. All of this grandstanding, the continual hearings etc are BS.

    I cannot help but wonder what they would do if we all marched on Washington??

    Better yet what if we used the power of the internet to organize, converge single out and email to– one by one– every one of these political pontificator clowns?

  9. All VA problems are owned by Congress and the President–simple fact is if they truly cared and wanted to fix them –they can and could.And could do so rather quickly at that– through a combination of focused fast tracked legislation and executive action.

  10. Bob needs to keep on doing what he’s doing! He’s going in the right direction! After 6 years of being a V.A. patient, I’m finally beginning to be heard! He’s bringing about attention to the voice of the Veteran! He’s paying attention to the importance of the Veteran’s experience…looking beyond the metrics that may surpass the private sector and focusing on the outcomes for the Veteran patient! Go Bob go!

    1. That’s really great to hear someone mention they are actually benefiting from this process of change that will in fact take some time but you said something keen in that they are starting to ‘Listen’…the VA may ‘Hear’ us but they need to start listening to the needs of the people that give them the very reason to have a job in the first place…and as Veterans, we have been promised this.
      It’s almost like all these years the VA has been AWOL…and no one has been looking for them…but they got caught.

  11. I think it’s at least “REFRESHING” to see a VA Secretary not totally acting like a “Yes Man” to Congress, but instead Bob was effectively butting heads to try to get people to look outside the box of dysfunction that has been such a culture SO LONG.
    THAT made it look MUCH LESS “scripted” in like a little song and pony dance before Congress for PR reasons only rather than change.
    GO BOB!

    1. I also think in all due respect, that Congressman Coffman was being a bit of a dick because he did not even really “listen” to what Bob said rather, he already had at tip of his grandstanding brain what he was going to say next…typical politician….must be the water fountains in the Chamber’s of Congress that injects the Kool-Aid to even former Veterans that go into politics. Happened to a Rep. in Ohio named Mandel as well.

      The “over budget VA Construction” is more than likely “engineered by design” to ensure more $$$ can be funneled to DoD Contracters, and one would think that Congressman Coffman *could* have investigated and questioned all this YEARS AGO when the train first started off it’s track in being over budget IN HIS OWN STATE that he in-fact is a Representation of….some ownership must take place with these entitled kiddies that go into politics!!
      I hope Bob’s new strategy is INDEED to “QUESTION AUTHORITY”…regardless of their backgrounds and such and looking forward is NOT the answer Coffman WANTED to hear.

  12. The veterans administration has not changed in his concept of the American veteran what has changed is the American public’s concept of the American veteran, you may think that is one of the same, but I assure you it is not. There was a time when we felt as Americans that if a man or woman put on a uniform and swore a oath to protecting this country, what happened to him or her in the process of doing so, was reason to give him or her consideration for the rest of their lives, for the thanking of their service. That no longer is true and the reason that I say so, it was pointed out to me on several different occasions that the veterans had a welfare mentality and wanted something for nothing. An organization that Amy Thomas heads has a representative that made that comment to me while I was trying to explain to him why I needed more help with my schooling explained that my heart and lungs had gone bad. By the law, I was entitled but by his way of thinking and others in the agency I had already had my chance for funding. So there you see things haven’t changed, but the individuals with these different attitudes are now applying for these jobs in the administration. Prime example. The choice card was given to the VA to get the veterans that live far enough away a chance to get closer services. Instead, the veterans administration seeing it as a chance to get the money themselves is now being converted back into the VA, technically the veterans Association is stealing $8 million from the veterans. If anyone sees it differently please reply

    1. I think the congressman is right in that the office of the secretary had become little more then a scape goat to be dragged out and flogged publicly periodically by the congress so that no real frowns up change will ever have to be made.

      These public displays of concern and bravado are so stale, insulting and even criminal negligence given the 22 …

      Has anyone ever gone after the comp and pen folks with a wast and fraud complaint ? It seem like these guys spend years coming up with disisions in my case that are so ridiculous that I HAVE to appeal them out of honor if nothing else, how could this be anything but an attempt to creat an extra work load, job security for themselves ?

      Its WASTE

    2. As a Vietnam Era Veteran we were never welcomed home. In fact we were all drafted basically so we had no choice. We were called baby killers or spit on when we got home and had to wear our uniforms off the ship or station. We weren’t allowed to go into Cambodia ( versus the the israeli army) nor invade North Vietnam , etc Then we had traitors such as Jane Fonda and others who supported the Vietcong, etc while draft dodgers were later pardoned who went to Canada, etc. This is the tip of the iceberg of what Vietnam veterans came home to with no parades no nothing !! The VA medical system never gave us the care we needed Look at sent orange and the whole host of complaints of Vietnam vets The facet are the US government and the VA made a contract that vets would receive the best medical care possible That has been a lie now for for 40 years and beyond Beyond this look how many years it has taken and beyond this to get medical treatment and disability fof evetrans who were guinea pigs and lied to on the effects of LSD , radiation, Agent Oraneg and we can go own How can we ever trust our governments contract and word to veterans ??

      Its why we have national lawsuit for the civil right of all veterans SEE the yahoo Groups vetsuesva and join this class action lawsuit !!

      Lee Horowitz M.Ed, CAGS

      1. In general you are right, we were not allowed to go into Cambodia. But, I did, during the Fall of Saigon, March and April of 1975. If you care to hear, what I did was supposedly de-classified some time ago, but when I went to PTSD therapy or tried to I have always been blocked or terrorized by the VA. Less than a year ago I finally got approval for a “special” ptsd program where I could finally talk about sensitive crap and formerly classified shit, from the Talon Vise and Frequent Wind thing, and a bunch of other shit including all sorts of TS “this never happened we were never here shit”. My wife and I drive a few hours that I can not handle hardly at all, only to be told by two VA doctors that they are “mandated DoD reporters and if I say anything about my PTSD or what happened in the Marines to me or what it as all about in Cambodia or anywhere in this f’d up program I was in that we will both be arrested on the spot. We filed all kinds of complaints everywhere you can think of, Shinseki was replaced coincidentally after this little shit game by the VA, and recently we were told I can talk about anything in ptsd therapy now. I still have not gone for ptsd therapy but i am trying to get into it. we are being constantly harassed by various entities and persons and it kind of seems like some asshole is running some scam on us to keep me out of ptsd therapy for their paranoid reasons even if that shit was many decades ago and no longer sensitive or classified. one of my superiors from the Marines was helping me get into therapy then he disappeared, and i am to believe he sold me out or just gave up on me, which is actually likely. he got the medal of honor and i got shit nothing, but you know how that goes, as in “the wind doesn’t blow, it sucks (in Nam),”. nice touch that a VA psychiatrist called me and my wife just before McDonald came along as new Secretary. This doctor was in a wild rage for several minutes, calling me delusional and that I am out of touch with reality. I asked for specific examples then asked him to look at the many sworn affidavits from reliable eye witnesses who were there at the times and places in question, and all he did was rage on. fortunately that asshole has left us alone and the VA seems to be acting like they have humans somewhere in their ranks now, maybe at least a few. anyway, the Mekong River, aka Shit Creek, runs from S. Vietnam up into Cambodia, and that was where we went… no one cares now, hopefully, thank God. it would be nice if the VA would get off my family’s back and mine. McDonald is supposedly making a difference, so something relative to my claim that has been hanging for many years will hopefully be approved soon to go along with my 100% service-connection. i couldn’t read your whole story, i stopped at the cambodia part, and drifted off into space with this. sorry, and thanks for your service….

  13. I personally don’t agree with your viewpoint that “… however firing back with “What have you done?” to a two tour combat veteran was probably done in poor taste.”

    The mere fact that we are veterans, disabled or not (and I am 70% from well before 9/11) once we enter congress or any other political office we are servants of the people Congressmen have a long established habit of using these hearings to vent their personal spleen, blame others, and hide from their own failings.

    That Johnson is a combat vet does NOT shield his bad behavior nor does it give him a pass on anything.

    While each of us have a right to our own opinions we do not have the right to abuse other people with it for our own grandstanding.

  14. All I can say is I had an iron clad case with HCV as a Corpsman. Numerous cuts needle sticks. After being diagnosed in 1998 I finally got my SC. In 2012 for 10%. Of course I fought back with a lawyer. As soon as they realized I had had enough BS the conceded. Only way after my body had turned to mush. With cirrhosis from the virus not alcohol. Than my SC jumped a whole 20% to 30%. Then came portal hypertension 70% for a fussy math score of 80%. Finally I have combined it with TDIU. For complete and total disability. Due to my liver not working correctly I developed GERD. From there skin cancer in my epiglottis. for which I am being radiated as I write this. I say hell yes jump down in any orifice you can on these congress people.Especially the ones that have 10 or more years.They couldn’t care less about Veterans. beyond a faded yellow ribbon on the car they handed down to their grand kids. FUBAR is right as far as meds go but get cancer and you get med overload. Hell of a way to get the attention that was promised.

  15. All veterans and family members need to join our national civil rights class action lawsuit against the government and the VA o regrading our cvil rights and the contract made to veterans for the best quality medical care from the VA

    JOIN US SIGN AND NOTARIZE TWO COPIES OF THE JOINDER FOR EACH VETERAN AND EACH FAMILY MEMBER THIS IS THE FIRST NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS LAW CASE FOR VETERANS

    INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE IN FILES AT OPEN MEMBERSHIP
    YAHOO!! GROUP vetsuesva https:// groups.yahoo.com/group/vetsuesva/

    RE: Kendall (et el) va USA, VA et el, United States District Court
    for Idaho, case no: 12-330-CV LMB

    We also need veteran attorneys and civil rights attorneys who will be dedicated to the lawsuit currently before the US Supreme Court

    Contact: Gary Kendall via the joinder page which must be in 2 copies notarized and signed for each veteran and separately two joinders notarized and signed for each family member of the veteran

    Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CAGS
    US Navy , Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
    Veterans advocate/ Veterans civil rights advocate

  16. After hearing the video I don’t see how Bob is responsible for the VA’s past failures. It seems as if the past is the past and the focus should be on the future of the VA. I kinda agree with Bob that he has been here only six months and if there was a problem with the construction than it is on the congress and it is something that Bob has inherited. Bob can only try and fix what is broken within the VA and their is a lot that is broken. It would seem that a construction problem should not be a concern and that the overall health of the VA should be on the forefront. There are still problems with the VA HealthCare System that needs more urgency than a construction problem. It is a problem and those vets that use this VA are most likely complaining about this. I don’t feel that it is a problem that Bob should be taking heat about. The Senator should be trying to work with Bob on a solution to the problem instead of throwing him under the bus. The Senator himself states that this is something that has run yrs. over so how is it now Bob’s fault.
    I also love how each Senator talks about their individual state and none of them give a crap about any of the other states. They are looking out for number one that is for sure. I also agree that this is like a bunch of kids pointing the finger at each other and instead of trying to help each other get out of this mess they continue to fight each other and as a result, they get nowhere. Maybe privatizing the VA is the right answer.
    I am afraid that we will get less quality healthcare because the govt. will pay the private Dr’s much less and therefore no Dr. will be willing to take a vet’s insurance and then we will really be in trouble.

    1. I agree. I think that the secretary was tired of the finger pointing and bully mentality the representatives have. In business, planning for the future is vital to ensuring that the business will have future viability. All of us veteran’s would love a magic wand that erased the many failings of the VA. But, as veteran’s, we should also remember how hard it is to change the course of bureaucracy in the government. The secretary understands that problems have existed for too long for an overnight change. Instead of working in the past, he seems to be working for a viable future. Holding the secretary accountable for the VA’s previous mismanagements does nothing to fix the VA today or tomorrow. Playing catch-up won’t fix the VA. You don’t get an opportunity to play the cards you want until you stop playing the cards you have and get a re-deal. Six months is too short a time for anyone to change the VA. Lets give him time and see what he might accomplish before we start blaming him for stuff.

  17. Patient of Dr. Houlihan

    Easily said at all levels “it’s not my fault it’s the next guys fault. ”

    I swear, watching this is like watching a bunch of fighting kids throwing temper tantrums. It’s a disgrace at all levels.

    Congress is accountable for not establishing an outside agency to set and police standards, OIG for utterly failing to do the job appointed by covering, regional areas for ensuring standards are met, VAMCS for providing adequate care, and individual staff for turning a blind eye to veterans in need.

    Dump the entire system and let veterans seek their own treatment. They’ll be able to get the treatment they need and won’t have to get caught up in this evident blame game with a failing system across the board. Of course, that won’t happen because everyone is too busy justifying their job and blaming the other guy.

    Congress needs to act like a parent and stop the childish fighting. If nobody can behave, then separate the problem by dismantling VA care and let the veteran seek private care.

    1. Agreed let all veterans be allowed to private health care no strings attached !! 88% of veterans polled are not wrong !!

      Lee Horowitz, M.Ed, CAGS
      US Navy, Disabled Vietnam Era Veteran
      Veterand advocate/Veteran civil rights advocate

  18. 02/11/2015

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    It appears Sec. Bob McDonald has been reading the Books [08/08/14].

    And he is not going to take responsibility to the Problems created before him, that was made clear in the hearing [a stunt Rep. Walorski pulled in 2014].

    Mismanagement and individuals in the wrong position [not knowing how to manage the job position] is plaguing the VA Hospitals—and especially in Phoenix.

    Why?

    Sabotage is my answer.

    The quicker Americans/Veterans use the word—the faster things will shape up.

    Bob is just beginning to see the Problem and he is getting a clearer picture who is involved.

    I wonder how he feels about Peake and Principi over at Lockheed/QTCM?

    That’s got to be a must see hearing in the future.

    Keep up the good work.

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  19. My experience with veterans issues has been eye opening. It isn’t because of the hearings in 2014, it is being active in various veterans issues from 1979 to 2000. I learned that most of the VSO’s and NSO’s and the failed doctor’s and PA’s or Technicians at the Martinez, Mare Island if not the total Northern California VA Medical System. I have written proof of a lot of those year’s of my own medical record’s. It is appalling and I wasted decades going to the VA Medical for my service connected wounds which are serious enough to have me get “retired” from the United States Army. I was wounded in the head by shrapnel with various other wound’s in an ambush while serving as a Combat Medic in the 1/327 Abn Inf of the 101st Abn Div. By the way, the frigging VA denied that I ever had a TBI! Bob McDonald is making a difference and we all know that it will take a life time fixing the broken system in the VA Medical and other entities that are FUBAR. I have no confidence what so ever in the Veterans Administration Medical System or those that are in “partnership,” that would be the useless NSO’s and VSO’s I have been acquainted with. . I have been a veteran since 1968. FTVA!

    1. FUBAR SIR is the most correct discription of the VA I have ever heard .Having been and expert field medic ( non combat ) , orderly , LPN for 22 + years .I have yet to see any medical practice as illogical inept in my 56 years on this earth .I have been dealing with VA almost 30 years .In that time I have watched congress talk the talk , while fixing Nothing .The errors in my care could fill a book .From a Dentist not sterilizing instruments or changing gloves between patients , For 16 Years ! With I have been told the whistle blowers being terminated ? To my cancer surgery being put off due to incompetence , until the Tumor grew to 4 times it’s original size . To being treated for depression by a Psychotropic Pharmacologist for 3 years , as apposed to a psychologist . Psych meds that caused me be aggressive with my wife .Constant med changes . Constant delays in treatment , treatment plans and courses of treatment without the proper radiologic test to first find and diagnose the problem , repeated courses of physical therapy , even though no MI of the involved joints had been done .Not one time have all of my injuries been addressed and a plan of care developed that in compasses them as a whole . If meds begin to help it never failed to have the dosage red used per VA policy .Appointments canceled and Rescheduled constantly by Nearest VA hospital , only to have MD ‘ S call , irrate wanting to know why I failed to show for original appointment at my local VA clinic .
      Meds not renewed in time .Multiple pharmacists unable to read persciptions. And they wonder why I have animosity .FUBAR , the only term that comes close !

      1. Charles, and just think you and I are only two of the many men and women who experience a “SNAFU” at the various VA Medical Facilities within the United States. Bob McDonald, I believe will do some good, you and I know from our experience with the health care that that is and will be no easy task because of the “FUBAR” of the past decades. I have seen some minute change these past few days but in no way does that make up for the abuse and mistrust For me forgiveness is a hard thing to do because of the scope of the damage the VA has done to Veterans of America!

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