McCain Speaks Against New VA VISN 18 Appointee

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VISN 18 Skye McDougall

Senator John McCain lashed out today against Veterans Affairs’ selection of shill Skye McDougall who will head VISN 18 and oversee Phoenix VA. McDougall hit headlines earlier this year when she made false claims to Congress under oath about the wait list.

SEE: Senator John McCain Letter

Before Congress and under oath, Ms. McDougall gave false testimony claiming wait list times were reduced when the opposite was true. Her testimony came while she was leading Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center out of its wait list woes.

McDougall erroneously claimed the average wait for appointments was 4 days when:

  • It was 36 days overall, and
  • 3 months for consultation appointments
  • 48 days for initial appointments

So, how did McDougall misspeak when she claimed it was 4 days?

Senator John McCain spoke out against the appointment given the close proximity to ground zero of the Phoenix VA wait list scandal.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN LETTER

Dear Secretary McDonald,

I was surprised to learn through media reports today that Skye McDougall, the acting director of the Desert Pacific Healthcare Network in California, has been named director of the Southwest Health Care Network. In her new capacity, Ms. McDougall will oversee the Phoenix VA and other hospitals across Arizona and be responsible for ensuring that veterans across the Southwest receive the medical care they need. However, based on reports that Ms. McDougall purposely misled Congress regarding wait times for veterans in Southern California, I am extremely concerned by this appointment I believe that this selection does nothing to regain veterans’ confidence that the VA has been reformed in the aftermath of the tragic scandal during which veterans died waiting for care while senior VA executives collected monetary bonuses.

As the Phoenix VA Health Care System was ground zero for that scandal, the veterans in my state deserve better than to have a director who misled Congress about patient wait times or understated the severity of the VA ‘s failures. Further, while Ms. McDougall appears to have extensive experience in research and as part of the VA bureaucracy, our veterans deserve to have a leader who understands patient care and knows how to improve it.

Given that the VA is still working to earn back the trust of veterans it betrayed from last year’s scandal and its own employees who have lost faith in the integrity of their senior leaders, I urge you to reconsider this selection.

Thank you for your timely response to this letter.

Source: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/politics/2015/10/15/department-veterans-affairs-names-new-regional-health-director/73900478/

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115 COMMENTS

  1. Congress need to get rid of all the staff they have had and get a new set of eyes preferably veterans. Veterans take care of veterans they have all served their country unselfishly and deserve their disabilities and good medical care.

    • I have never understood that Crystal. Why wouldn’t congress want a peer, cohort group to run the V.A.

      I can see some points. 1 they would be biased. 2. They would hate congress.

      No but really, if the V.A. was truly for Veterans, then why shouldn’t be to the veterans advantage to be able to vote who runs it etc.

      People like Ben and others, who can see both sides of the fences would be better suited, at least more so than individuals, that begin with McStupid.

  2. My god what are these people smoking they’re very stupid incompetence and don’t know what the hell’s going on I mean this is crazy Mcdonald has to go now this can’t go on

  3. McCain needs to look into the fact that the House and the Senate allowed the Agent Orange Act of 1991 to expire on Oct. 1st of this year in order to prevent the placement of any more presumptive diseases added onto the Agent Orange lists. They allowed the Act to expire, it appears, at the insistence of McDonald who didn’t want to see a jump in disability claims coming from Viet-Nam veterans. But what else is going on with this that Baghdad Bob could be up to? With the Agent orange Act expired now, is that going to allow McDonald to go in and delete other presumptive diseases already on the Agent Orange list? Could this be how McDonald is going to cut costs and also decrease the claims back log? I smell a BIG rat here!

  4. I believe with every part of my soul that this thoughtless and insulting to Veterans appointment by Sec. McDonald is THE “Poster Child of Incompetence”, especially considering that this VA was and still is ground zero for scandal breaking through to public opinion, news, and more importantly, Veteran Deaths.

    The only way Sec. McDonald could have “outdone himself here” is be appointing an CEO of a very large funeral home franchise to that position in which that funeral home chain would have had contracts with the VA and DOD for manufacturing veteran coffins.

    This appointment is simply heartless and a huge insult to integrity and intelligence of Veterans.

    I also am alarmed that Congress and McDonald allowed the Agent Orange Act to expire Oct. 1….with little to no fanfare or fight nor media blitz. Remember, Sec. McDonald USED Vietnam Veterans as the *excuse* for the VA’s latest budgetary woes…but his excuse then was as heartless and insulting by suggesting the higher costs for care were because Vietnam Veterans were ***getting older***…one would have thought it would have been a GIVEN that ANY system would ACCOUNT for ANY Veteran Population gaining in age…it’s something Humans do.

    Sec. McDonald needs to be held in contempt and High Incompetence for having the heartless audacity to appoint YET ANOTHER **LIAR** to a position where LIARS allowed these problems to continue for many years.

    I am glad to see Senator McCain speaking-up…now. Is he ripe for reelection or something? I ask again: Where was his outrage and voice of advocacy for fellow Vets a year ago or more? Budweiser just bought Miller Brands in their entirety, making McCain and his wife even more incredibly wealthy. I am almost so skeptical these days that part me thinks Sen. McCain is simply making it appear now that he cares to make him look “more aware and connected”, when I am sorry, that could be further from the truth.

    Time for Federal Term Limits. Time for ceasing the promotions, lateral or otherwise, of VA Employees that screw-up elsewhere, shuffled to another place to do even more potential damage.

    Wonder what kind of outlandish “Relocation Expenses” McDougall will acquire moving from Los Angeles to Phoenix, AZ?

    President of USA=Total Fail
    VA Secretary= Total Fail with heaping portion of heartless incompetence.
    DOJ= Where’s your outrage for “Social Issues” such as Veterans Dying? VA Is Lying!

    The only salute I give to you, Sec. McDonald, would be with my unwashed ass-wiping hand!

  5. Let’s see,
    1.) Old McD “appointed” a known liar in charge of VISN 18! The same person who had been in charge of the West Los Angeles VA, where scores of homeless veterans fought in court, and won, over property (389 acres) that belonged to the veterans since the 1880’s.
    Where “wait times” there were also in excess! I wonder how many died under her watch there?
    There’s more about that and other atrocities committed against veterans in the Los Angeles area than what I can say here! It would take too much space!
    I do believe McCain must be wanting another term though!!!!!

    2.) According to a VA Spokeswoman, “…two measures are used when tracking wait times.” The explanation given, if I remember, was what caused the problems in the first place!

    3.) He is going to allow veterans suffering from Agent Orange conditions, or presumptives, to die. Because, we Vietnam Veterans got older! And, he allowed the “law” to run out Oct. 1 without anyone (veterans) being aware of it.
    Where’s the outrage from ALL the “Veteran Service Organizations” over this? And why didn’t these VSO’s inform veterans across the nation about this? I remember getting brochures about AO. but absolutely no mention of it ending in them!

    4.) Last night on our ‘local news stations’, “seniors will not receive a raise in 2016, Because gas prices dropped!” The word “veterans” was used once as an afterthought.
    On the “world news report”, the word “veterans” was not used at all! I guess we aren’t even an “afterthought” to those covering the “World News”!

    5.) President Obama is bringing home approximately half the troops in Afghanistan. Even though Al-Qaida, or the Taliban, is gaining momentum there. As was, and is, being reported by ALL major networks yesterday!

    In my opinion, no one should join the military now. The Government doesn’t even want to take care of them when their in, let alone when they get out!
    I also hope everyone who’s in right now – ETS’s out! Leave Congress and The Senate to fight what’s going on right now! Let those “old farts”, and their children, pick up a weapon and fight for their country!
    Next November (2016) we, veterans and taxpayers, need to vote everyone in Washington out of office.

    Lastly, I remember recently a “radio personality” putting on a “run across America” concerning Veterans and our plight. I believe it was called “Detain McCain”! They started on the east coast and was supposed to end across the street from McCains’ Office. If I remember, they even had someone who knew McCain in Vietnam. Does anyone know how that turned out?

    • @crazyelf-
      Never heard a peep about what came of that “Detain McCain” event. Quite possible only one’s “detained” are still in isolation and sedated by the “Disruptive Committee”.

      I thought about my comment and wondered after posting if I was being too ruff or even callous in my regard to VA Se. McDonald but guess what? No.

      Here’s a great analogy to ponder:
      At the very end of WW2 where the smell of gunpowder and destruction was still fresh as when the Russians and others captured those that did not immediately take their own lives in the Nazi Party or fled to South America. Now, would it have been a very wise, let alone HUMANE thing to do if part of the Nuremberg Trials outcome was a decision to place one of the chief Nazi’s pending the gallows, to the position of Chancellor or President of a new West Germany, while knowing that person was responsible for Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes, Satan’s best buddy????
      No!
      So, how the HELL is it even “appropriate” let alone HUMANE to appoint someone that was caught facilitating and lying to Congress about the VERY freaking wait times/deaths of vets, TO the new position OVER the very “death camp” that opened-up this scandal in first place?

      I find this incredibly insensitive and irresponsible of Congress to allow these things, our President to Approve of such things, and absolutely despicably insensitive and daft of VA Sec. McDonald to think this was a great idea!!!

      Ever notice the heavy-duty $hit usually falls on a Friday or even thicker viscosity $hit on a Thursday/Friday before a long weekend. They have America’s Attention Span calculated with precision.
      The Nazi’s operated with precision as well…just saying!

      • namnibor, I agree. You were NOT being too “ruff” or callous in your comment.
        As a matter of fact, I believe all on here (veterans, VSO’s, etc., etc.), and other veteran centric sites, are being too gentle on McDonald and the rest of the people involved in allowing this, and other horrendous acts against veterans, to happen.

        What I’d like to say and do, I can’t! I believe many, if not all, would agree with me!

        Do you remember a few months ago where “VA employees and supporters in Detroit protested against the VA clinic?” It received alot of news coverage. This is my suggestion. How about a nationwide protest outside ALL VA clinics for one solid week. Maybe even two weeks.
        This way all those VA employees who “claim they don’t like the way VA is being run”. Can put their money where their mouth is, so to speak. You know, like the ones who have come on here recently and have expressed their outrage. There’s an old saying from my father’s generation. “If a large amount of the population protests. They (the government) can’t fire all of [them]!”

        What I see happening is a “takeover”, again, by the upper echelon of VA and our government vs. Veterans healthcare and compensation.
        Basically, VA upper echelon wants more money for their pockets!!!
        That’s my take on this!

      • Oh, and that putting Nazis back in charge after the war ain’t a new thing. Look what happened after the Alamo and San Jacinto, they put Santa Anna back in charge. Then a couple years later the U.S. had to come back and fight him again after Texas became a state. Same thing happens after just about every war the U.S. gets involved in.
        Look at Japan. The same families that built up their war machine is still in charge today. Mitsubishi, Honda, Kawasaki etc. etc. are still run by the family members who made the war machines that killed thousands of American service members.

        Again, I hope Americans Wake Up and vote these “posers” out of office! Their time is past.
        I also hope all members in the service ETS out. Let Congress and the Senate pick up a weapon and defend America against Al-Qaida, Taliban, ISIS and other terrorist groups. Can you imagine many up there holding a weapon? That would be a site to behold. I bet half, if not most, would accidentally shoot themselves….

    • I don’t believe for a minute any SS COLA for seniors is not coming because of any drop in has prices. If that were the case, it should scare the hell out of anyone that Congress has to dip in to transportation taxes to pay other bills. Has taxes have always been for transportation. Using it to pay social security of true is outrageous.

      • @91Veteran,
        That was the reason given on the news last night, concerning why social security was not going to be given a raise.

      • Yeah I looked up some articles after you commented. I had heard the claim, but didn’t understand the details of it until I read it again because it’s such a lame excuse. The claim is that since gas prices are down, inflation is down, but they ignore many other cost of living increases that negate any savings from gas.
        From what I read, seniors are PO’d, and rightly so.
        I still believe gas prices are down for 2 reasons. Obama wants them down and Saudi to keep pumping well above their quota to not only kill shale oil fracking, but to also put the screws to Putin and the Russian economy. He wasn’t smart enough to see what Putin would do with Syria and Iran.

      • 91Veteran, google about that “MOH Recipient being threatened by ISIS”-
        The title to googled is.,

        “MOH Recipient threatened by ISIS”

        After you watch the video of his response to them, stay tuned. there’s more videos where Putin is conducting interviews with news reporters (European and American) over what’s going on in his mind.
        namnibor watched them. I believe that’s why he, and I, have mentioned Putins name today.

      • 91Veteran,
        I forgot to mention, That’s the reason why veterans are not getting a raise either…
        My comment said, the word “veteran” was basically an afterthought on our “local news stations”. It wasn’t even mentioned on our “world news”! As I said, world news didn’t even consider veterans an afterthought!

      • 91Veteran, I hate to break it to you,
        The Saudis and Syria doesn’t care one iota about the U.S., that came out on “60 minutes” this past Sunday during the Obama interview!
        As do other countries in the middle east.

  6. I live in the VISH 18 coverage area, and I agree that it’s looking like McCain is gearing up for another senate run. McCain needs to go home, back to his east coast roots like so many in politics…

    Phoenix VA isn’t the only VA hospital in the VISN 18 coverage area that’s bad, but for whatever reason the only one that’s been investigated. I suggest that the Tucson VA is as bad, and it should come as no surprise since the head of the hospital has been there since 1994, and according to his bio, has worked at every level in the VA.

    PLEASE someone tell me how to get the Tucson investigated, I’m certain that when looked into the same disturbing patterns will emerge, and there’ll be an accompanying trail of veterans bodies – to include my wife’s.

    • Vic, contact ALL your news media outlets there. That’s one way to get the ball rolling. You never know, one of the reporters might want to cover a juicy story.
      Also, always add the word “taxpayers” to your concern. They love that!
      Good luck brother!

    • I’m proof that elements at the Prescott V.A. tried to kill a patient ,with premeditation! Just to cover up’ A bullet wound to the chest / heart (tip) I almost died ,they took out what they planted in my bowel during a un-needed Prostrate cancer screening exam!
      It had manifested into a colony of sure death for 3-years! Sick ,weak,,dying ! (Be ‘advised’ veterans ) This I have heard has happened before! This type of hit’ smack’s of south of the border technique! (someone want’s you dead!) Was the message I was told ,by a head administrator in the hall way, just after a women who was disguised partially wrote out the script for that exam! They out & out poisoned a disabled veteran because the head administrator there at the time, was in my team back in the Calif. National Guard! And may have been involved in the attempted murder of another guard’smen on a rifle range at Hutner Ligitt training area back in 1986. 1/185th H/Q Company Sanbernardino Ca. I have an M.R.I. from prescot v.a. dated 11/12/08 that proves they damn well’ knew before then there was a ‘Bullet lodged in the tip of my heart all’ that time , Butt all’ they could think of doing was “COVER UP” and instead of doing the right thing ! They poisoned me! 3 years later when I was deathly sick. They had another medical mobster “EXTORT” $ 11.400.00 from me’ a dental office on Willow Creek Rd. I had a precious dimond ring given to me by my Father before he died stolen by gang stalkers in a wall mart in Prescott about the same time!
      While they did remove the problem that was planted in me during that exam 3years later They are still gang stocking me& my family! Threatening ,& torturing us everyday and night! Claiming to be the Local Police and the U.S. State department,
      in the beginning of this Protracted & concentrated act of domestic terrorism right here in everybody’s home town and this neighborhood “Prescott Arizona!” Called congress, senate office’s , after all the normal channel’s of course! There also was an inheritance issue involved , with so called Family member’s In Sierra Vista AZ. who allegedly worked for D.A.V. and have a hand in this also ! This is the truth as I know it! On My Oath !

  7. Here’s a little something to ponder from a “…leaked intelligence documents suggest”,
    “Obama-led Drone Strikes Kill Innocents 90% of the Time.”
    So, these young men and women who “pilot unmanned bombs” from point A to point B, with no return flight possible. Wanted to receive “medals” for the contribution in the wars. That’s a joke all on to itself!

  8. Lying seems to get you promoted! Transferred, so they can continue to harm veterans in New positions!

    VA house committee asked Bob about the firing of 900 employees! Who were these 900 employees.

    Full time employees, nope all temporary employees!

    No executive bonus will be given! Management are not executives, so those in management who have hurt veterans and lyed about veterans, will be rewarded!

    Until they can manage money, no one should get any bonus!

    Bob just got the ok, to dip into money ear marked for other programs, I believe 3.5 billion!

    Everything seems to be geared for the money to go to everything, except veterans disability compensation!

    There must be a school they sent management to, to obtain a degree in lying! Seems most graduated at the top of their class!

    • Yeah, that “Veteran’s Choice Act” $$$$ sure did become the cookie jar for the plucking, didn’t it? From the get-go I am thinking that was all mostly a ruse and slush fund…and the Denver Black Hole VA Money Pit is a whole other cookie jar.

      So this money is not going toward Veteran Comp. and probably going to contracts with aircraft and weapon manufactures contracted to do IT work for VA…again, how many times has the VA spent billions and failed?

      We are not planning for taking care of future disabled vets. While at same time our Pres. now back-steps and is leaving the wars an extension for whoever comes into office next…14 years…I know from some international forums I subscribe to related to music, how the USA is now viewed in not as great light as this great Nation once was regarded.

      Instead of “Green Eggs and Ham” being read for hours and days in Congress, perhaps they ALL should go back to “Basics” and re-read everything written by Founding Fathers. They warned about what is happening and what to do about it.

      • Let’s see if I can remember a few articles I’ve read within this week, ie; military dot com, Stars & Stripes, Washington Times, etc., etc.,

        1.) We have a new General in charge of the Army. Can’t remember his name, only he’s stated a few things worth mentioning. He claims the Army has more troops than what’s been reported. He gets his numbers by adding the ‘reserves’ and ‘National Guard Units’! From what’s been said on here, one or both of these are not eligible for VA once discharged. So, they get screwed if injured.
        He also stated “after the Shock and Awe” by the Air Force and Navy, “ground troops would be needed”. And the army can’t, and shouldn’t, expect to use just “Special Forces” (although they are the elite of all branches) to get the job done.
        There’s more, but I think y’all get it.

        2.) According to another article, “Women will be expected to sign up for the draft.”
        I mentioned this once before on one of Ben’s Blogs. It was stated, if women want to be equal, they will be expected to be treated as equal, (paraphrasing)!
        Why has the government started talking about a “draft”?
        Could it be because Russia, China and North Korea, as it’s been reported in numerous articles, are teeming up.
        China is ramping up over their “man made islands in the South China Sea”, where American War Ships are going next week, according to many reports.

        3.) Putin just held many news conferences with reporters from all over Europe and America explaining his disdain for America. He’s called us the “Terrorists”!
        Many countries, of the world, are not being supportive of us. These are facts guys and gals! Obama and our elected (and appointed) officials have made our country a laughing stock. Iran is still yelling at the tops of their voices, “DEATH TO AMERICA”!
        Very few countries trust or believe in us anymore.
        Even countries Obama, without Cogresses approval I might add, has given BILLIONS of dollars to countries which are laughing at us!
        There’s much more I could add. Only God help the young men and women who go and fight for this country.
        namnibor said it right. Our forefathers wrote what could happen if Americans allowed a government to become too corrupt & too powerful. Guess what folks, it happened.
        My cousin has said many times now, “We allowed it to happen, therefore we deserve what we got!”

  9. The last few stories have been about women in high management positions lying cheating and breaking the law. How did they get to these high positions of management and why are they all dirty?????????

    It’s no secret VA has a Good ‘ol Boys Club, is there a Good ‘ol Girls Club in the basement????????

  10. VA BUDGET FOR 2016 IS 171 BILLION $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ VA DC HQ @ VISN RATS WILL GIVE THEM SELVES 1/2 BILLION $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ IN BONOUSES VETS YO ARE SCREWED AGIN HA HA HA BY VA DC HQ RATS FROM HELL

  11. Why shouldn’t old Mcstupid appoint them, they fit right in line with his beliefs. You can not cover up the V.A. affairs unless you have like minded people working for you.

    I believe this to be a very intelligent decision on Bobbleheads desk.

    He acted accordingly to what the V.A. wants to accomplish and that is to cover any and all relevant facts of the V.A. care that it gives.

    I think on the other hand, I would of picked someone that did not get caught lying. I think Mcstupid needs to work on that part of herself.

    So I quess now we have Mcstupid one and Jr. Mcstupid 2.

    What a combination.

    Nick Savage

  12. Benjamin, I think Veteran Organizations across America should write letters as well expressing outrage at this appointment and also urge our Senators to write as well. We need new leadership within VA. Every last one of the firmer Executive Staff across the country needs to be fired. Maybe, then we can see real justice within VA! I will. Will you???

    • I have been for a while now. It’s almost as if the powers that be already have privy to info that a massive cluster of unavoidable asteroids are approaching Earth Orbit so everything is just spinning about and out of control and no one cares.

      This is the stuff movies are made of. Look how world gov’t’s and the filthy rich were depicted in that movie “2012”. The Mayans may or may not have got the ‘Final Count’ correctly, but the depiction and prediction of Human Behavior in that movie, showing how “Ignorance is not always bliss…because the truth eventually comes out”.

      All I have received are a *few* Congressional “Form Letters” thanking me for my ‘Service’ and then proceeding to try to milk me for $$$. I also have been placed on just about every political cold calling list since I have been doing this…again, always asking for $$. Never mind the carnage. Give us $$$, blah, blah.

      Perhaps any Congressional Seat as well as any State Political Seat should pay no more than the minimum wage. Forbid ALL lobbying of any type. Do all this after repealing “Citizen’s United”, a Supreme Court decision that never ever should have happened. Done. Yes, I am talking about a total reset of our USA. Oh, and build a damn wall or greatly expand the Grand Canyon.

  13. Sorry Johnny, the time to have acted was when Congress found out she lied. Urging McDonald to do anything after the decision has been made means nothing and suggests you’re just covering your ass. If you cared a whit about veterans and the VA in your state, you would have been aware of who was being considered and wrote your letter prior to any decision being made.

    • 91Veteran,
      Seems like anything that comes out is “after the fact”, then nothing is done about it.
      Remember the old adage, “When you get caught in one lie. You must tell at least two lies to get out of the first lie!”
      So now, how many more lies will Ms. McDougall tell while in charge of VISN 18?

  14. Put me down as agreeing with Sen McCain. Lying is at the heart of VA problems. Lying to veterans, other VA employees, taxpayers or Congress must be a one strike and you are out deal, if VA is ever to be a workable entity. This lady had her chance, got caught lying, and if she absolutely can NOT be fired, she at last should not be rewarded. This makes Bob McDonald appear to be nuts or incompetent. What the Hell can he be thinking?

    • It’s more like: What isn’t he thinking? He isn’t thinking that he might be under psychological influence. He is. Likely hypnotized. Like McCain and 3 other Senators were a while back when the Army was using unethical mental methods of influence on them, as exposed on the major TV news networks. Hint: If you ever suspect that you are being, or are hypnotized, or being subjected to subliminal influence of any kind, you can bet you are, even if you can’t find any evidence of how it is being done on you. If you find yourself asking the question, don’t answer it by saying, “No.” You asked because you already knew deep in your mind that it is so. One pawn can keep another of its own men from moving across the square or onto the square they occupy; they don’t just block other pieces like a bishop, castle or queen who don’t want them there. They serve a major purpose when they compel the other player to take them. McD is a pawn who uses other pawns..

  15. Nick, I can see a bobble head of McDonald with….. VA secretary up your 6…… I bet they’d sell millions of them.

  16. Was this woman under oath when she testified? Why is she not in JAIL for perjury? SOMEBODY CALL THE FBI DAMMITT…These people are committing CRIMES…Why are they not being investigated and prosecuted?

    • This all depends on Congress, and whether they want to pursue perjury before them. It may have changed since the time I testified before a Congressional committee in the 90s, but back then even I as a veteran was sworn in. A couple weeks after my testimony, I received a letter from the committee along with a trascript of what I said. The letter said I needed to read the transcript and note anything that should be changed, then sign a form attesting to its truth and return it. It is likely this hack had to do the same thing, which means she not only lied to the committee, but she affirmed it after. It pissed me off having to do that after seeing so many congressional hearings where VA officials blatantly lied and were never held accountable. Not even a posturing letter from a washed up politician.

  17. McCain knew a year in advance of the Phoenix scandal and did nothing until it hit the media. Now, he writes a letter that means nothing. McDonald can do whatever he wants. If she committed perjury, she should have been punished by the politicians on the committee, but they did nothing. It all goes back to voting. We need to vote for folks that will transform the VA and other agencies in this country. If they don’t, keep voting them out. Term limits would fix a lot of what is wrong in our government. Just a side note: Allison Hickey needs to be replaced also.

    • ^
      Yes!
      I have a strong feeling that in a pinch, and before a Jury, ALL (or most) upper management of the VA would pull that “famous WW2 card” of the Nazis on trial for War Crimes, that “famous WW2 card” was and is, “We Were Just Following Orders”, and it would only be those -5- words, nothing more, nothing less.

      See, a good leader will effectively use discipline and the fear of God type of respect to make it happen. The VA has no such leadership.
      Think about it. It’s the 2nd largest gov’t agency, yet I would wager that even the Dept. of Defense has structure and “real leadership”, or at least run a tighter ship than the flailing VA.

      I know we cannot blame this all on -1- current leader such as McDonald…HOWEVER, it’s quite another thing to continue down a $hitty path when you $melled that $hit ten miles back…right?

      McDonald answers directly to The President of the United States. We The People, elect The President.

      Now ask, who’s really to blame here?

      It’s not ‘Who’, it’s “What’s Missing”.

      “Accountability With Teeth” is what’s missing. ANY President could easily put in place or at least instill that huge missing element of “Accountability”.
      TERM LIMITS would definitely help this situation. Term Limits at all levels of Federal Gov’t…as it stands, We The People have elected Politicians (of all flavors) to go to D.C. and not even bother BALANCING THE BUDGET. No Balanced Budget since the First Pres. Bush raided our coffer’s surpluses in beginning of all the “Desert Wars”.
      A Balanced Budget is indeed a form of ‘Discipline’.

      We may be ALL to blame for the State Of Affairs we find ourselves in, BUT, we surely can use our votes to instill that accountability element that is sorely needed.

      I am of firm belief that most of this Social Media stuff was ‘set loose in wild’ as a form of disassociation and distraction element…and it has worked. It’s made people so self-serving that now when you go to a large social freaking event like a concert or a large D.J. Hosted-event, everyone has the glow of their device on their faces, only every now and then really participating in the actual event, and spending most of that time trying to show others just how fabulous they look…not really being social or even AWARE of surroundings.
      This is a Designed Distraction Tactic. Nothing less. People need to wake-up but part of me thinks it’s already a bit too long in the teeth and too late.

      What do we do?

      I have a feeling that our Founding Fathers have been spinning in their graves like rotisseries at a rib fest for last 60 or so years. Or just go back to when the USA actually WON a war…REALLY won a war. Been a while, hasn’t it?
      Leadership is a very important element for any nation. So is discipline.

      “Red Pill or Blue Pill?” The events of 9/11 certainly blurred THAT line. Financial Collapse of 2008.
      What sane nation does not have a proper balanced budget after literally being on the very same precipice of The Great Depression?

      Leadership + Discipline = Great Nation.

      Russian Pres. Putin has had the discipline to wait like a predator for the USA to rot from within. Time to wake-up.

      • Ditto namnibor. Just like what my cousin has been saying, we brought it onto ourselves.
        Putin ain’t no dummy. How long has he controlled Russia? Just like all of our enemies, wait and bide their time.

      • Good points, but don’t forget, the VA is part of the DoD, even though they eventually became a separate cabinet with their own Secretary. They are not autonomous from the VA, even though they pretend to be.

      • @Bruce-

        That illusion is definitely propped-up by funding ‘Defense’ and ‘The VA’ separately. However, that makes a perfect ‘money blackhole’ where if a Defense Project fails miserably, then ask for more money for VA and funnel it to DoD under guise it’s for the Troops.
        Thing is, I also think the DoD has a special fund for overseas/wartrust or something, and it seems like the VA cannot tough that so there MUST be degrees of separation.
        However, I used to know a guy that worked for some defense contractor quality control massive complex and some of the corrupt things he told me about that private contractors (war profiteers) caught NOT doing, all in effort to make a LOT of $$$ off “protecting troops”, and the public has scant knowledge of only a few of those things from the very start of this Middle East Cat Box Mess with things like inferior helmets, body armor, plating/metals found to be inferior, and one of my favorites, this company was caught saying they had used a new technology paint that would block night-vision and lower night visibility on vehicles and equipment and it was found to be virtually nothing BUT “whiteout” with a tint.

        At what point do we say we are tired of being at constant war when the war profiteers are funding all elections? Maybe THAT explains Congressional Silence to genuinely helping the VA become viable…codependence 101.

  18. To ALL,
    This first article just came to my email box. It concerns the Phoenix VA. In my opinion, more vets will die due to incompetence.
    Google this;

    “VA Cites Phoenix Facility Poor Urology Care”

    It is from military dot com,
    Daily News
    16 Oct 2015
    Associated Press

    This article states a vet DID DIE due to lack of care.
    Now, even down here in Florida, VA can’t seem to find quality healthcare professionals. Why would any physician, who’s worth his or her salt, want to work for a corrupt and useless government entity, ie; Veterans Administration? Now veterans have a new director there who is a known LIAR! GOD help them. Does anyone see McDougall doing anything FOR veterans out there? I do, helping them DIE!

    This next article I got off of a twitter comment. It’s as true today as in 1968.
    Google this;

    “Dragnet’s Joe Friday’s Message from the 1968 Destroyed Obama Voters”

    It’s a short skit of Sgt. Friday and his partner “Ganon” talking to a few “hippies”!

      • When your family pretty much owns Budweiser, a Senate job is nothing but a hobby. His wife, Ms. Budweiser, probably loves that it gets him out of their dozen or so estates across the nation each election cycle.

        Career Politicians are definitely a cancer to this USA. (regardless of party)

      • Yes, you have a point. There is something holding him in particular, all Congress members from doing the right thing for vets. They virtually never fully unload on the VA. This week I read something about some bill, totally unrelated to the VA, something about big business I think, that all members of Congress are backing and co-sponsoring. It is something to do with money. I looked online and can’t find what it is about. Whatever it is, it proves that Congress can in fact all get together and co-sponsor a bill. So, WHY CAN’T THEY ALL C0-SPONSOR A BILL THAT PROTECTS VETS FROM THE VA AND FROM EVERYONE ELSE!?

        I did find some examples online of unanimous Congressional agreement. Like, something to do with music programs in public schools. So, they can all get together and back some comparatively frivolous bill, but they sure as HELL cannot all get together and come up with a new law that protects the men and women who have served this country in the military!

        I don’t know if Congress, and McCain in particular, are just naturally wishy-washy and passively and even actively harmful to vets, or if it goes much deeper. You may recall in the major media a couple or more years ago that the Pentagon, Army I think, was caught using Psy Op programs on McCain and three other prominent Senators who were investigating vital things that impact the military and vets. McCain publicly stated in major media interviews that he had not been psychologically influenced by any tactic or technique they may have used on him and the other 3 senators.

        When you have the world’s most powerful military caught using psychological tactics on 4 US Senators, you have to realize that the most sophisticated and subtle, and also overt, methods would be used (were used!). The first thing I thought when I read what these 4 Senators said, “We were not influenced by this psychological program they used on us”. Skip to this: When a person, or group of persons, are hypnotized, or subjected to subliminal persuasion of any kind, by definition, they are not aware of it, and most likely never will be aware that they were influenced. My point is, it is beyond obvious that McCain and the other 3 senators, and ALSO, every member of Congress, has been influenced. This influence and control is HEAVIILY AND SPECIFICALLY used to influence any and all matters related to the VA which is literally part of the Pentagon’s spending programs. It just so happens that I took hypnosis classes in college, AND got an A in Advanced Hypnosis Techniques in graduate school; I became an expert in hypnosis.

        A highly qualified hypnotist can observe a person and discern whether that person is hypnotized or even was previously hypnotized. When I saw these Senators in the media denying that they were “psychologically” influenced, it was more than obvious that they had in fact been heavily hypnotized, heavily influenced, and were actually under hypnosis at the very moment of the interviews they were giving.

        What this all comes down to is, we have Senators like McCain and others, that could do something to fix the VA, but they are NOT going to, not ever. They are pawns controlled by a long-succession of pawns. McDonald is a pawn who influences McCain as his neighboring pawn. In chess, a pawn has an enormous amount of influence in that they occupy spaces on the board (that cannot be occupied by other of your own pieces, or your opponent’s pieces, till taken or moved). A pawn can even be converted to any other piece, right up to your queen that you lost earlier in the game, doing so by making it all the way to the other end of the board.

        Ben’s article today asks, “Has McDonald lost his marbles?” Answer: Yes, in the sense that someone else has control over his mind. This is what the Pentagon does. The expression “Win friends and influence enemies”, that is them. They have trillions of dollars and endless human and physical resources.

        What we must do is continue to go forward, support each other, and find avenues of approach to achieve the goals we have to receive from the VA what we have earned. Elf (and others here), you would not write things here, read things here, and continue to do so, if you did not believe that you can and will prevail in your plight with the VA. Persistence and Determination are omnipotent. They can brainwash, bribe, threaten, cajole, blackmail, and anything they want to any and all members of Congress. Congress can play dog and pony show games for the media with McD and the VA, but we will still be here. The VA multi-billion dollar budget is like a vast electrical grid. Money comes out through switches and electrical plugs that have timers and code pads on them. There will always be devious and clever persons at the VA who have the code for the keypad to turn the switch on so money pours out of the plug into their hands. There are so many switches and plugs, and people with access, that it is virtually impossible to control who gets it. The VA will continue to steal (“electrical”) power from its own system, but we can stop them from time to time.

        Insight and Change: A person with insight will sometimes change. Maybe McCain will read what you said about him, maybe Congress as a whole will finally snap out of their literal trance, and do the right thing for vets. We will move forward. I thank you for your honest and unwavering simple words of criticism of McCain which he richly deserves. Mr. McCain: Stand up for the truth, Stop playing games, and the rest of you in the Senate, come together once and for all for vets; it truly is in your own best interest. Shit rolls down hill, but it can also pile up so much that it comes back up the hill. Our Senators need to think about that the next time they want to take a dump on us. We are not impressed by McCain’s hollow words. We await real, decisive, unanimous action! Thanks again Elf!

      • @Bruce & namnibor,
        First to Bruce. Thank You for your vote of confidence. There’s others, actually alot more, on here that should be praised also.
        Now for the following,

        The more articles I find concerning the horrendous acts committed by VA, the angrier I get. The more it makes me want to fight back. But, I have to sit back, take deep breaths, then type something that makes sense. Sometimes that’s an extremely hard thing to do. Like on today’s blog about Ms. McDougall, that I read this morning, being appointed to run VISN 18.
        Then this afternoon, receiving an article, from “military dot com & Daily News”, written today about veterans having problems at the same damn VA that caused the problem over a year ago, (google & read the article in my comment above).
        It’s by pure accident that it came hours after Ben put his on. I emailed it to Ben, with “Urgent” on it.
        This article should also be passed to McCain immediately by his constituents. Let him know, in no uncertain terms, your dissatisfaction over his inability to protect veterans. Everyone has to remember, voters outside his “district” don’t count. As in all 50 states. Our elected officials don’t give a rats a$$ what someone outside their district thinks. That’s just the way it is.

        Now onto a side note of interest. You know how the news media gives a “number” on people who have signed up for Obamacare!? We all believe that number is greatly inflated. Well, here’s a factual number. How many people do y’all think signed up for Obamacare in Hawaii?
        Drum roll please.

        And the answer is – “0”, nada, zip!
        That’s correct. NO ONE IN “PARADISE” SIGNED THEIR LIFE AWAY. This is being broadcasted all over the place!

        Now to a more somber subject from Channel 9, news, In Ocala, Florida a “Veterans Park” has been vandalized twice now in the past week. They showed where “Eagles” on top of a wall were torn off and thrown to the ground and destroyed. Also, all the “flag poles” (6) were bent. Some to the ground where the flags touched the ground.
        Now, veterans are doing a “round the clock guard duty”!

  19. I could care less about J.M. all the trash he has been in just makes him another politician to me. No better and no worse than any other politician.

    I have no doubt his affairs with his job is solely related to personal satisfaction. Anyone can be a disabled vet, but it is hard to be a real man (or woman). If he was a disabled vet and I respected him, then he would stand for something I cared about, but I do not consider him a man, so that is out of the question.

    So I could care less about his letter, if he was really forthcoming and wanted to help, that letter wouldn’t of surfaced for some time. Everything he does is with a motive, and I honestly do not believe the motive is for disabled veterans.

    • I agree. The letter said “all the right things…all too very late”. Now that I think about it and re-read whole letter later today, it’s almost “contrived”, as you say, “for show”…it definitely is not the typical letter that fills your feet with that wet feeling of fresh political bullshit…it was straight and to the point.
      Maybe someone replaced Sen. McCain with an exact replica and really is an alien? LOL!
      I would have more deserved respect for McCain if he actually fully used his privileged position in both government AND Socio-economic areas to fight like an angry pit-bull to make the VA be the very best it can be for Veterans.

      I am just very thankful that he seems to have hung-up the hat (for now) in running for President full time…I hate, HATE to hear his droning voice. It’s maddening monotony.

      Cannot tell me McCain’s office did not receive mail, phone calls from Vets and family in his State of Arizona alone. A person simply could not be THAT out of touch in a leadership role AND Veteran.
      Maybe McCain does not use the VA so is oblivious to the problems?

      Each member of Congress should be required to use the VAMC’s in each of their respective States…as yet another form of representation and quality check?

      VA would be fixed in a month. Maybe less.

      • I do not know, but I can bet, John McCain does not even use the V.A. healthcare system. I have no doubt he has had appointments maybe for political reasons. I can pretty much guarantee he does not have a regular doctor at the V.A. nor does he get his care there.

        So you are right, if he were to only use the V.A. system for healthcare, then he would really put up a fight, but then as a nurse, I know that they would all get the V.I.P. suites and special care given to them, so that rules that out also.

        Yes as a nurse I have worked contract for some V.A. facilities, and the important ones are put in what is called a V.I.P. suite and there records are kept really confidential, which by law, anyone using a public or social health care system does have some information released do to public record.

        Does no one see the correlation to all the Mc’s in the V.A. controversy lol. Sort of erry.

  20. Off-Topic, but I have to ask: What’s actually going on or not with the billboard in Florida that reportedly was taken down?

    @crazyelf–that defiling of that ‘Veteran’s Park” down in FL. is despicable. Wonder if that was ‘some’ huge ‘agency’ playing a little game of passive-aggressive tag?

    • namnibor, on the billboard. I’ve not heard back from the Volusia County board yet. I said I’d give it till next week, then I’ll email everyone on the board for info.
      As far as that “veterans park” goes, that’s really all that was said on Channel 9 news. Their not even sure if it’s one or more people doing it. Or if the same person(s) did it this time. That’s why a “24 hr. Guard on it”!
      I hope they catch them and prosecute them.

      • Elf, look for Ben to do a big story tomorrow on the surprise resignation of Undersecretary Allison Hickey today. Maybe McD will follow her out the door. It is the only way he is going to avoid criminal charges, but that is just my take on this. There is just way too much criminal crap going down at the VA, ever since he came along.

      • Bruce
        Isn’t it coincidental that Hickey resigns tonight. Right after all this about the crap happening at the Phoenix VA? One down and a bunch more to go!
        I’m reminded of that song in,
        “The Wizard of Oz”, you know “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, The Wicked Witch is Dead, Ding Dong, Hi Ho The Merry O, The Wicked Witch is Dead.”
        LMAO TWICE!!!

      • I read an article she was scheduled to testify next week. I also read somewhere she was the one who signed off on the 2 moving expenses. She likely realized rather than getting trapped in the committee, she could resign and avoid it. She might also know others have solid evidence against her. Last year I emailed her after having problems with my local VA, and she responded within 20 minutes. On a Saturday. I heard then she was trying to save her job, and that timing would likely have been in the middle of the IG investigation. She helped me, and lots of others according to comments at VA is Lying, but that doesn’t absolve her of lying to Congress, and according to one commenter there, knowingly lying to Congress about wait times and other issues.

      • P.S. Bruce, McDonald better grab that golden parachute if he knows what’s good for him! The shits starting to crawl slowly uphill toward his glass castle.

      • I shall repeat myself: Notice how the really thick $hit is flung to the walls on a Friday or a Thursday before a long weekend? This takes advantage of the 15 minutes or less of the average American’s attention-span, if you are lucky and 14.7 minutes of that has absolutely nothing to do with real-world matters.
        I am wondering if this is McDonald’s “Sacrificial Lamb”, to later claim it as a triumph in cleaning-up the VA? It makes me wonder if it was Gen. Hickey whom made the Arizona Appointment Decision or if it was actually McDonald and she is taking the fall along with perhaps a golden parachute or two?
        Maybe it’s high-time for an ex-ENLISTED Serviceman or woman to start serving in these positions? Notice I specified Enlisted, not an entitled West Point brainwashed silver spoon-fed robot.
        Lastly, am wondering if this is just the gas build-up before the real heavy stuff comes down the rear pipe? (LMAO)

        By the way: I stopped believing in coincidences about 8 years ago.

      • @Crazyelf- I am betting McDonald has a ‘Plan B’ doing something with Disney. They are always looking for new ways to fire viable employees and get new ones on the cheap from “VISA Lotteries”, or perhaps McD. will be the stunt double for “The Count” on Sesame Street, since he does so well at…counting.

      • namnibor,
        I’ve said a few times, Something HORRENDOUS is going to have to take place before there will be a real shake up at VA. I’m not sure if this is it. But it could be, IF the Congressional Veterans Committee takes advantage of this newest scandal this coming week.
        Hickey, according to reports, did sign off on those “moving expenses” and, I believe, there werr questions over 23 people. Not just those two.
        Now, we have this newest thing out in McCain’s back yard, again.
        In my opinion, he’s got to be thinking, “What do I do about this?”
        I believe he knew about this. Because too many things have been reported over the past year+. I also believe people have contacted have contacted his office and made complaints. Then there was that “Detain McCain” thing. It was all over the web.
        I just think this could be the beginning of the end for VA. Or pretty close to it! That’s my opinion folks.

      • @Crazyelf-
        Even if General Hickey was scheduled to testify before a committee next week, how would it exempt or give her inherent protections of having to testify/answer questions, by simply resigning before that meeting? Would it not just be a matter of serving a subpoena, if she is somehow “protected by resigning” right before the fact? I might add that if there IS a “Special VA Created Rule” that allows a person to resign before a grilling and be made immune from such previous events….THAT NEEDS CHANGED LAST YEAR! That’s as BAD as that WW2 “excuse” I mentioned yesterday, “We were only following orders”!!!! Pathetic and absolutely a spineless approach for any human but for an Officer, not exactly a great show of true leadership, is it?

        Just look at how VA upper management in that area of McDonald, Gen. Hickey and Friends, have almost sequestered themselves off for several months now…after that very *short time* they made a grandstand act of making their cell #’s available? Indeed, they helped many Veterans in that relatively short time-frame, but why is it so damn hard for these lofty idiots to see this is what their JOB SHOULD BE 24/7…not only while an IG Investigation is going on…kind of places an exclamation mark on the stench of corruption going on and doing something remarkably different (like doing their jobs) in order to make themselves LOOK GOOD but then drop that song and dance once the IG is finished??!!!!!

        I also do not suffer fools easily in this life. Nobody can convince me that Rep. Miller and others in Congress with the ‘Purse strings” have had no knowledge of all these things and it again begs the question of even when they have solid paper evidence in front of them, rarely ever is anything done, and most of the time it’s a demotion that ends-up being made into a promotion. I bet a CIRCUS runs a MUCH tighter ship!! Maybe instead of Disney, the VA should consult Ringling Brothers and send all GS-10’s and above to “Clown School” for leadership and integrity training? No wardrobe change will be needed.

        I would love to hear the VA on camera try to justify just the two known ridiculous relocation expenses to a group of amputee Vets that have been fighting the VA for months/years in trying to get the equipment they need and truly deserve.

        Hickey (and others) should not be absolved by simply resigning.

      • Namnibor, I can’t cite specific laws on how Congress can compel federal employees to testify…there have been instances where they “decline to appear”, and then Congress is forced to issue a subpoena. If that employee resigns like Lois Lerner did from the IRS, for some reason congress is much more reluctant to force them to appear. I believe they can still send a subpoena, but enforcing it may be more difficult. Its a ridiculous charade.
        As for the hacks ripping off $400,000 to move, I am reminded of after I had knee replacement surgery last year. They refused to provide a physical therapy machine at home because the VA did not want to pay an outside company the monthly rent. The machine is used to flex your knee after replacement to improve range of motion. My leg stiffened up badly after surgery and I needed that machine. I had to contact my Congressman and force them to provide it, which they did, but would not do it for more than 2 months. The VA would and did pay to have me come back in, put me under as if I was having surgery again and bend my leg to break up scarring, but they wouldn’t pay for this machine to improve my ability to flex my leg. I could not bend it straight and could not Bend it beyond 75 degrees, with maximum flexion that is supposed to be 120 degrees in normal knees. That machine certainly cost under $500 per month to rent, but these crooks were paid $400,000. I have heard for months now the VA cannot provide many procedures locally unless they get approval from VA HQ. I have also read numerous comments of many kinds of typical disability payments being delayed for months, such as a temporary increase after surgeries. I believe the VA is flat out broke at this point because they so badly mismanaged their budget throughout the year…like they do every year.

  21. Just received this from the Fleet Reserve Association. Do you think we should send it to MCCain and Secretary Bob? Might be the only way the senator hears about it……………

    Report: VA Health Care System is Broken
    An independent report on the Department of Veterans Affairs health care program (Veterans Health Administration-VHA) concludes that the system needs a complete overhaul. This report was mandated by Congress last year. It shows that the system suffering from bureaucracy and leadership challenges, and is on an “unsustainable trajectory of capital costs.” Many veterans have complained that the VHA is difficult to navigate and that the quality of care varies from location to location, and this report confirms that observation.

    The report notes a lack of leadership at VA, a staffing shortage, and a demoralized workforce. VA Secretary Bob McDonald agreed with many of the findings of the report and noted “VA is undergoing a radical transformation.” The report noted that VA outpatient care outperforms other health care systems.

    • @Fred,
      Yes , by all means send it to McCain and McDonald. I would also send it to ALL your news stations.
      Btw, that “report” of 4,000 pages cost the taxpayers $68 million.
      It was “discussed” in front of the Washington Veterans Committee this past week. McDonald was blasted by the commitee over it.
      But this sounds a lot better.
      Too bad many of these “points” didn’t come out.

      • P.S.
        Old bobby mcd is full of it when he claimed a “radical transformation” is about to happen.

        I guess he means it by putting a known LIAR in charge of VISN 18!!!!
        Check out what Ms McDougall did while in charge of the West Las Angeles VA!

    • ^
      “[…The report noted that VA outpatient care outperforms other health care systems…]”

      That last sentence seemed like it was written by a “VA Spokesperson” rather than the ‘Independent Report”, and it also depends on exactly how one defines/qualifies “outperforms other health care systems”…that could easily be taken to mean they simply outperform in errant practices or using Vets as the test bunnies for all the new Dr.’s that all seem to come from non-English places.

      One could excel at ignorance and write a report to make it seem otherwise.

      “Language is a virus from outer space.”-Wm. S. Burroughs

      • @namnibor, good point!

        We’ve witnessed Congress and VA massage that outer space language into what seems from another dimensional galaxy. whereby no human being can understand any of it. no laws can reference such language therefore no one has to follow the laws (Title 38 for instance) and no one at VA, not even Congress has any accountability. yet the Veteran, within this strange language, gets the hammer of accountability most often. only in another dimensional galaxy does that make sense — another cousin of Bizarro World.

        -Wm.S. Burroughs seem correct in his perspective on language

    • @Fred, yes indeed sent it.

      also, let us see if McCain’s bark has any bite or any other Congress member for that matter.

      words and wordsmithing results so far have left the Veteran community in the dust, we’ll only trust a ‘bite” from Congress now versus a “bark”

  22. NEWSFLASH: UNDERSECRETARY ALLISON HICKEY JUST RESIGNED! McD, her and others hope this will prevent criminal charges and an all expense paid vacation at the “Martha Stewart” white collar prison hotel.

    • @Bruce,namnibor and Fred, are you sure? Great news in one aspect. Bad news cause she ain’t going to prison….can DOJ still bring some kind of charge(s) against Hickey? I’d love that! I think many of us would love to see the B!atch go to prison. That way she can ask that God who told her to stay, to forgive her her sins against veterans!
      On that new Phoenix scandal, there was mention in the “military dot com” -“Daily News” article today that “ONE VET DIED” because of the poor care he received. Maybe that’s why Hickey got the hell out before she was kicked out (and possibly charged with a crime)! Isn’t it a coincidence that the day this article about Phoenix VA comes out, especially on here, Hickey resigns?!

      What I’m getting tired of is these pukes being allowed to retire BEFORE criminal charges can be brought!

  23. Do you think the Senator is asleep at the wheel or he just doesn’t give a rats ass?????? “unnecessary risk for adverse outcomes” “unnecessary risk for harm”, is this malpractice, torture or both? ” We identified 10 patience” how many didn’t they identify?

    Healthcare Inspection – Access to Urology Service, Phoenix VA Health Care System, Phoenix, AZ
    10/14/2015 08:00 PM EDT

    OIG conducted an inspection to evaluate access to care concerns in the Urology Service at the Phoenix VA Health Care System (PVAHCS), Phoenix, Arizona. We determined that PVAHCS leaders did not have a plan to provide urological services during unexpected provider shortage in the Urology Service. PVAHCS leaders did not promptly respond to the staffing crisis, which may have contributed to patients being “lost to follow-up” and staff frustration due to lack of direction. We determined that non-VA providers’ clinical documents were not available for PVAHCS providers to review timely. We concluded that referring providers may not have addressed potentially important recommendations and follow-up because they did not have access to non-VA clinical records. We also concluded that PVAHCS Urology Service and Non-VA Care Coordination staff did not provide timely care or ensure timely urological services were provided to patients needing care. We identified 10 patients who experienced significant delays that may have affected their clinical outcomes in some instances. Such delays placed patients at unnecessary risk for adverse outcomes. We found that the quality of non-urological care in two cases was not acceptable, which placed these patients at unnecessary risk for harm. We recommended that PVAHCS Interim Facility Director ensure that: (1) resources are in place to deliver timely urological care to patients; (2) non-VA care providers’ clinical documentation is available in VA electronic health records in a timely manner for review; and (3) cases identified in this report are reviewed, and for patients who suffered adverse outcomes and poor quality of care, confer with Regional Counsel regarding the appropriateness of disclosures to patients and families.

  24. We should be pushing the United States District Attorneys in each area of the V.A. scandal, they can prosecute any federal employee.
    If I am correct from college, there are 92 or 93 of them located around the U.S. One of them has to care.

    Will they, probably not, but anything is better than letting people like this get away with crimes against humanity.

  25. John McCain has one of the worst veteran voting records in Washington. McCain talks like he’s 100% for the veterans, but he’ll contently vote against us veterans.

    • As I’ve stated, elected officials do not and will not “hear any kind of complaint” from anyone who is not in their district. It’s going to be up to y’all in Phoenix to “remove” McCain from office!
      Historical fact is,
      “No Member of Congress has ever had a successful recall!” One was tried last year, or the year before, but was unsuccessful.
      The only way to get McCain removed is by voting him out on the next election cycle.
      I pray y’all get rid of the scumbag,….

  26. Allison Hickey should be in Jail. She knew what the VA executives were doing to create jobs and obtain hundreds of thousands in relocation pay. Ms Rubens should also be in jail. The DOJ seems to be deep in the sand as they have had many opportunities to jail several VA executives and yet, nothing happens.

    • As should those two females who Hickey signed off on to receive those “possibly illegal relocation monies”!
      Now, there’s this new VAOIG report over the Phoenix VAMC not giving proper medical care to veterans, again.
      Sooner or later that “straw that broke the camels back” will also weigh heavily on VA! Seems to me, many in upper management are scrambling right now. They just can’t seem to keep real bad news out of main stream media. Or out of the veterans hands.
      It seems to me also, the bad news seems to be getting put in the news media MORE often. Speeding up, so to speak.
      When McDonald took over last year, the egregious acts were few and far in between. Now it seems something comes out every few days to a few weeks. This past week to ten days is a good example.
      Let’s all hope, and pray, Hickey does something right. Like, standing up for the people she was hired to protect–The Veterans!!!!

      • Elf, I agree with you. I would add though, that the egregious and heinous acts may not be increasing, it may be that the investigations are getting more intense and by many more investigators, agencies like the VAOIG (though they are apathetic) and media sources. We can’t underestimate the value of what Ben does on all of this. Ron Nesler, Ben Krause, in conjunction with the mainstream media that they, especially Ben, have access to, have made the biggest impact on cleaning up the VA, much more than even the biggest networks and vets groups.

        The best thing about Ben is that he keeps his ego in check while he tells things like they really arel same for Ron Nesler. Virtually no one, including initially Ben, thought McD was going to be the problem he has become. But, Ben not only carefully investigated and discovered and revealed the truth, he went on full attack.

        Further, if it were not for the things you, Elf, and others like you here, continue to point out, Ben would not be able to do what he does. He would make an impact, but because he carefully listens to what we have to say, the impact really causes positive change. Hickey may be replaced by someone as bad or even worse, but she had to go.

        On Hickey and those astronomical moving bonuses she supported, I ask this: How is it that a veteran can be forced to re-pay an overpayment, but not the corrupt VA executives who were grossly overpaid by the VA? I bet there is a federal code that says if a federal worker is over-paid they have to pay it back. It was stolen from veterans and the taxpayers, plain and simple! It’s just as bad and worse than the VERY rare cases that a veteran scams the VA and is overpaid. I seem to recall a veteran who was actually arrested and jailed not too long ago over something to do with defrauding the VA. How about the ones who got these bonuses AND the ones — and it wasn’t just Hickey alone, that authorized and arranged them.

      • Bruce, you are so right Ben has done a lot for veterans and if not for him, nester and like you say stories from veterans and their families for furnishings information about the way VA has been hurting veterans in different ways!

        If not for veterans like them, we would still be twiddling our thumbs!

        Sites like Ben’s gives veterans a chance to tell their stories and I think it’s great therapy, to be able to speak up and be able to release some of the frustration the department of veterans affairs has caused them!

        They can do so and feel safe enough to tell the truth and don’t have to worry Ben is going to report them to the disruptive committee that spells relief, even if it’s just for a little while!

        It would be great if the veteran felt that comfortable speaking with VA doctors without fear of retaliation!

        Ben probably has more important things to due with his life, but I wish he would think about running for office! Maybe one day he will and maybe, just maybe bring some Morales to our political powers to be!

        God bless America and it’s veterans and active duty personal!

        Veterans only want our government to remember their promise to veterans and our veterans fighting for those that will soon be veterans!

      • Why don’t those who received the moving expenses have to repay them? That depends. When this was first reported, they were called “questionable expenses”. That could mean many things. It could be they paid them to go to their new locations to look for houses and that is not usually authorized by the VA, it could be they paid an outrageous amount for a mover than what an average rate would be, it could be they stayed a number of days in a hotel before their house was ready. The only way to know what was paid is to see the travel vouchers they submitted. I don’t believe there is anything preventing anyone from receiving that through FOIA, or if congress requests them. I think they have got to be pretty bad for those expenses to be considered by the IG to be questionable. If they are not allowed, any evidence needs to be referred to the DOJ for prosecution of fraud for those who submitted them. I’m surprised if this is the only thing Hickey resigned for. That would suggest the other two will be prosecuted.

      • @Bruce-
        Agree with all you said. I would think that Under-Secretary would have to have authorization for moving expenses that would easily buy a modest house for each of those VA employees…and add the fact they were supposedly getting “punished and demoted”, it would certainly have to have VA Sec. McDonald’s approval and knowledge.

        This is only speculation: With what I wrote above, it would seem Hickey is playing or made to play the ‘sacrificial lamb under VA bus”, but it could easily be more of even less.

        In my local area that’s also a large metro city, a couple years ago the county’s huge school system test results were audited and re-checked because of financial and student test results reported did not add-up, and it became a huge investigation that’s still ongoing, while several have already been given short prison time, when all that erupted, I was on the phone with my now-deceased Vet best friend, and we were watching same news program in far different places in this city, and it was announced that the County School Board Chairman, whom ultimately is responsible and accountable, announced just before the investigation heated-up that…wait for it…SHE EARLY RETIRED!!! Yep. Both my friend and I thought right there that was only a ruse, but people mostly bought it and guess what? It’s now come to point she is looking at serious charges…but now claiming PTSD from the experience…blah…blah…

        The early retirement in this case of Gen. Hickey could not be that convenient of a coincidence…think about it, upper management JUST spent some time with Lockheed or whatever major DoD contracting company…were the Golden Parachutes handed-out instead of poison pills?

        Thanks Ben and all on here. Knowledge is power. Light washes out darkness.

    • Good points. Maybe Hickey and the rest at the top will get audited by the IRS. You can bet they are underreporting their secret bonuses that they most certainly still receive.

  27. I just thought of something a truly Honorable Officer could have earlier done, but we are here now, a person such as Gen. Hickey “early retirement or resigning” (whatever the ‘spin’ will be, RIGHT NOW would be an opportune time to on her own (no plea deal)
    to start spilling names and clean house from the very top with her unique insight. The optimist in me as well as strategic nerd in me want to think you never know what the twists and turns will be.
    We can all pray that she is indeed doing the same as she has publicly let it be known her decisions are indicative of her talking with her God. Monday should be interesting, but if things go as have had in watching these things play out in past, usually something even larger from the President is dumped on public or yet another tragic public mayhem act over weekend that erases any attention to the VA Rats Jumping Sinking Ship.
    I would want to think Gen. Hickey will make even a smart career move, even if it gets her a vacation to Leavenworth, and be the very Whistle Blower that shakes the VA Treehouse, or was that Pee Wee’s Playhouse?

    People are way too more now obsessed with yet another sports star scandal…and it *would* have to somehow involve the damn Kardashians and yep, that LA asketball star in Critical Care going to prostitute and coke ranch in outside vega$. I would be highly surprised if Hickey’s resignation makes any news fronts.

    • namnibor
      It would be a great day IF Hickey were to turn the tables on many of her cohorts. This week would be the opportune time. She could actually get great praise by every Veteran out there IF she did the right thing. But I won’t hold my breath.
      I wonder what’s she going to do next. Possibly a lobbyist for a big pharmaceutical company? Or maybe Lockheed Martin for defense contracts? Who knows. But, I’ll bet she’ll make big bucks. That’s for sure.

    • Your comment including about the Kardashians… They could be spies for the VA. Actually, that may not be as funny or sarcastic as I am trying to be. Think about it: they’re like, “Hey, guys, cut your balls off, change your name to a cute little girl’s name, and you can be one of us girls.” The VA would line all of us male vets like cattle and do the same to us if they thought they could get by with it.

  28. Undersecretary Hickey, was totally incompetent and criminally corrupt, and would not have resigned if it were not for Ben Krause’s investigations. He digs deeper than most if not all of the major media, and tells it like it truly is, about her, and others at the VA.

    • I beg to differ . She has personally helped thousands of Veterans with issues concerning there claim. She was the only advocate that was willing to help. Who is going to help us now? Not the corrupt and incompetent regional VSO. SO before you bash her in, talk about the good deeds she has done . She obviously was forced out by those against her for helping vets.,Shame on all of those speaking against her.,She was forced out.

      • Sorry to burst your bubble. If she’s so damn great why didn’t she go to the FBI or or federal law enforcement agencies and turn people in who were committing crimes against veterans and taxpayers?
        There’s an old saying,
        “If someone stands by and sees criminal activity and does nothing. That someone is guilty of complicity!”
        Well, you say she “was forced out”, are you saying she knew of the criminal activities of many in upper management? If so, then she is just as guilty as they are!
        Helping a few, (how do you know there were thousands),with their VA problems does not make her a ‘Saint’!

      • I know some that enjoy giving veterans the shaft, at least this will let VA employees know they are being watched and can and will be held accountable!

        If she was really concerned, she would have made sure veterans were heard and given their deserved disability!

        Many veterans finally get their disability, just to have the VA go back and take it away! You hear it all the time!

        How many veterans has she helped (total) . She is retiring, nice pay check each month and can feed her family!

        Every veteran deserves to be treated with respect and given the benefit of the doubt !

        The regional office policies of denighing veterans by hiding their records, shredding records, etc were being done under someones watch and did nothing about it.

        She may have helped some, but all deserve the same, as the head of that agency, she had to know this was happening, everyone was telling her!

        Veterans should not be called lyiers, just because they apply for a deserved disability!

      • As one who had gotten help from her, she very likely may have been forced out by VA Directors unhappy with her calling their facilities directly and telling them to get their shit together. Problem is, she brought this on herself if she signed off on those moving expenses and if she lied to Congress in her testimony. She may not have wanted to do either of those things, but doing them gave others a reason to go after her.
        I don’t feel concerned for her though. She’s at a level where she will certainly be OK. My concern is for those whistleblowers who have had their lives ruined legally or financially by VA management.

      • 91Veteran,
        Sorry, but according to facts, she did sign off on those moving expenses and she did lie and berate many on the committee.
        Those two things there are enough to kick her to the curb.
        Now it may come out she was aware of many other atrocities against veterans. If this be the case, well I have no pity for her. She deserves everything she gets.

        Now, to the other side of the coin. If she’s a religious person. As she has admitted. Then she should stand tall and defend those hundreds of thousands of veterans she let down. That was her responsibility while serving four and one half years in office.
        She should go to that committee meeting this week and spill her guts. Let everyone, everywhere know just how corrupt VA really is. Give names, dates and places where upper management screwed veterans.
        Do that this week and I, as well as all veterans everywhere, will respect her to no end. I, as I believe many veterans would, come to her defense. She would then deserve our respect and honor. Until then, it’s in her, and her God’s hands!

      • I’ll take your word she did those things crazyelf…I just couldn’t recall definitively if what she did was reported publicly or repeated by other vets.
        She will never testify or spill her guts. Testifying means she’s open to being held accountable if she lied to Congress before since they would ask her the same questions, provide her answers then, then ask her what the truth is. Spilling her guts shuts off any possibility of a cushy job with some contractor. It will never happen.

      • 91Veteran,
        First, those things came out multiple times.
        Second, two words,

        “Plea Deal”.

        Testify and “clear the air” about VA atrocities against veterans!
        If she can’t live off of what she gets from the government—-

      • I agree it’s been out there Crazyelf, I just don’t recall the specific articles I read about it. As I said in another comment, I had heard somewhere that she was scrambling to save her job last year.
        If she testified and named names, it might resolve a huge number of things. It would be a break point if she did, I just don’t have any faith in her doing so, or even if anyone in Washington wants her to. They have her scalp. Her naming names would mean lots of hard work for people who are too lazy to care.

  29. Ben would be an excellent person to be in a position such as the very VA Secretary…however, the corrupt VA Systemic System would actually *want* to have him in such an official position where his hands would quite well be legally tied to do absolutely little or nothing due to the adversarial nature of the beast.

    I think from this Advocacy and Legal stance, it’s making best effective use of people resources (Veterans and Survivors and Tax Payers), without the red tape of a corrupt system. The VA can be improved and cleaned-up from the outside. Grassroots still have a LOT of power that’s incredibly hard to quash their voices. Technology has made this even more effective.

    Remember that quote that went something like, “…keeping your enemy close…”? That’s what the VA would love to do and think Ben is doing the right thing from right location and place at this present time in history.

    I say this because I have witnessed “great Veterans” that came back from Iraq and got into my State’ political arena and it was surprising how it was only a few years and it comes out he was quickly made corrupt…the system is a poison as it stands and it really is time to get back to basics.

    When did ANY of us ever think there would be a Presidential Regime in which the Secret Service has constantly allowed people to get away with jumping White House fence, all the strippers/drugs/drunk on duty/parties, living high and mighty on Public Dime, while serving in what used to be considered more ‘elite’ than the FBI???!

    The stench is thick. The limestone is stained brown from it. Time for that “Change you can believe in”, cause not really felling it right now.

    • namnibor,
      I agree 100% on everything including about Washington corrupting good men. As a matter of fact, you saying that reminded me of an old John Wayne movie “The Alamo”. Where one of characters, “Bee Keeper” says, “Yea, Washington sure has corrupted many a good man!”
      And that was back in 1976, I believe, when that movie was made.
      Also, the wife and I have gotten hooked on “Last Man Standing”. It’s on Fridays at 8 pm est. on Channel 9, I think that’s either CBS or ABC. It’s gotten some great reviews because it has some very political dialogue. Tim Allen helps run a “camping, hunting and fishing store” called “Outdoor Man”! That should explain the premise. Conservative to the max.
      Check it out, ok.

      Also, Troll Alert!

  30. @Bruce, namnibor and others,
    There’s a very old Greek saying,
    “When men act like the Gods, the Gods remind them they are men!” From Aristotle!”
    When Caesar would enter Rome. A slave would ride in his chariot and whisper in his ear, “You are mortal”!

    Many in Washington, I believe, think they are God Like!

    Wrong!!!

    They are just men or women.
    As far as I’m concerned, Hickey better get her “happy ass” in front of that committee and start “spilling the beans!” And I don’t care if she believes, because she’s retired, she doesn’t have to.
    She’s guilty and she knows it. If she truly believes in God, she will make a clean breast of it! She might also want to consider naming names of VA employees who have committed crimes against veterans AND taxpayers. And I’m talking about from McDonald on down!!!
    RANT OVER & OUT!

  31. From “Stripes dot com” re: General Allison Hickey:

    “[WASHINGTON — The beleaguered undersecretary in charge of benefits for the nation’s veterans resigned Friday after being implicated in the latest Department of Veterans Affairs scandal.

    Allison Hickey, a former Air Force brigadier general, was in charge of the Veterans Benefits Administration and oversaw 20,000 employees and is the highest ranking casualty of an 18-month VA crisis since Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned in May 2014.

    She was at the center of a recent VA Inspector General’s report that found she had helped two employees manipulate the hiring system for financial gain.

    Included in those employees’ moves was $400,000 in moving compensation that Hickey had approved for two regional directors.

    The IG referred criminal complaints for those directors, Diana Rubens in the Philadelphia VA Regional Office and Kimberly Graves in the St. Paul (Minn.) VA Regional Office. The IG report also suggested Hickey be considered for disciplinary action. Hickey had told Stars and Stripes she picked Rubens to clean up the Philadelphia office, which had its own scandal that included discarded veteran mail and rodent-infested, unsafe working conditions.

    VA Secretary Bob McDonald released a statement Friday saying he had accepted her resignation “with regret.”

    Hickey was slated to testify at a hearing of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs on Wednesday, along with Rubens and Graves, in what promised to be a tense exchange with lawmakers.

    “She leaves the department amid a damning office of inspector general report linking her to a scheme in which senior Veterans Benefits Administration officials abused their authority, resulting in the misuse of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars,” the committee’s chairman, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said in a statement. “Right now, VBA needs a leader who will put veterans – not VA bureaucrats — first while working to end the backlog without sacrificing quality, accuracy or service to veterans. Unfortunately, Hickey was not that type of leader.”

    Lawmakers have been harshly critical of her since the IG report, and the head of the American Legion, Dale Barnett, called for Hickey to resign; Barnett was also invited to the hearing. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., has called for the Department of Justice to investigate the findings of the report, and a separate letter from Blumenthal and a bipartisan group of senators called on McDonald to take “immediate action” to address the findings.

    It was not clear whether Hickey would still be asked to testify. She did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

    In an email obtained by Stars and Stripes titled “My final love note — Thank you and God Bless!” Hickey lays out her accomplishments at the VA, including a reduction in the claims backlog, but does not mention the scandal.

    “After 4.5 years of this blessed honor, it is time to serve others and you in a different way,” she wrote Friday to her staff.

    Hickey was hired as undersecretary for benefits in June 2011. In his letter announcing her resignation, McDonald credited her with helping to increase the numbers of veterans and survivors receiving benefits and for reducing the claims backlog.

    McDonald did not mention the IG report in his letter.

    “The Department of Veterans Affairs, and I personally, appreciate all that Allison has done to help transform VA for the Veterans we are privileged to serve,” he said in the statement. “She has been an exceptional colleague and an even better friend, to me. Her commitment to excellence and service to our country is unquestioned, and we wish her all the best in her next endeavors.]”

    **DID** everyone catch the grammar? “Hickey WAS slated to testify…”! Other grammatical tell-tales kind of give the impression the page has already been turned and Hickey WAS supposed to testify WITH at least those -2- VARO Executives about the outrageous relocation expenses this week. it left totally in question hanging in the air whether even those -2- will be now required to testify now. We need to watch this closely so it’s not simply swept under the proverbial rug.

    If Gen. Hickey does not take this opportunity to be one hell of a whistleblower after her words above that state, “In an email obtained by Stars and Stripes titled “My final love note — Thank you and God Bless!” Hickey lays out her accomplishments at the VA, including a reduction in the claims backlog, but does not mention the scandal.”—she is yet another religious hypocrite that loves to throw the right religious words around but in her lists of accomplishments in that “final email”, they made it clear she mentions nothing about the current scandal…it makes me wonder if she thinks she has been forgiven by the “man upstairs” so no need to be even mentioning exactly WHY she is leaving.

    Like I said earlier, this smells of a ‘sacrificial lamb thrown under the VA bus” to me and she even mentions above that, “After 4.5 years of this blessed honor, it is time to serve others and you in a different way,” she wrote Friday to her staff.”—sounds like the golden parachute is already sailing.

    Any guesses who may be placed in her vacant position as an “interim until next President is elected? It would be JUST like the VA to place one of those VERY women that had the outrageous expenses into that role…call me a cynic, but it seems all things VA that if you f*ck-up, you move-up.

    • A copy of the IGs report can be found at “http://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-15-02997-526.pdf”, or by goggling the title of the report titled “Administrative Investigation Inappropriate Use of Position and Misuse of Relocation program and Incentives”

      • Some management employees become so arrogant, they start acting like they are above everyone and are not afraid to push their luck to prove a point, no matter who it hurts and higher management, turns the other way or assist the employee in a cover-up in an effort not to make the VA look bad!

        Even! When they know it’s wrong! I guess it’s easy to keep a lye going, than just do the right thing in the first place!

        Usually conspiracy in a illegal act is a crime and those employees that do not come clean, are just as guilty as the person who perpetrated the illegal action in the first place and should be held accountable for not correcting the situation and aid and abating the criminal! Criminals

      • The VA hired and promoted these morally and ethically challenged people to bend and brake the rules to screw over Veterans.

        So there is one thing that everybody can be certain of and that is these same morally and ethically challenged people will bend and break the rules for their own profit by stealing from the VA.

  32. To everyone,
    Ben’s blog, and comments section, on friday has alot of info to digest. There’s so much happening across the board. It could be mind boggling.
    That said, just for sh!ts & giggles, I went onto “VAwatchdog dot org” to see what was new. There was a bunch. Here’s a list for y’all to Google;
    1.) “VA delays skyrocket in San Antonio”
    by the’San Antonio Express News’
    2.) “Agent Orange law changes as new cost fears surface”
    This one is a must read for all Korean War & Vietnam War Veterans.
    3.) “Delays at VA Urology clinic implicated in deaths”
    Also a must read.
    4.) ” McCain Hits VA Over Pick to Lead Southwest Region VA Healthcare”
    This is what Ben’s blog was about friday.
    5.) “Veterans Vent to VA officials about care, lack of communication”
    From the’Star News Online’
    by Bill Walsh
    Oct. 16, 2015

    Then there’s two articles about Hickey’s resignation. By the way, VAwatchdog has removed her picture. There’s a “question mark” in her place now!

    6.) There’s an article dated Oct 7, 2015 about
    “Vet frustrated by level of care at local VA facilities”
    from “Komonews”
    by Tracy Vedder
    Oct. 7, 2015

    Now, The recurring ‘theme’ I see on almost every article concerning “lack of care” (which has caused veterans deaths) at VA’s is “lack of healthcare providers” or “professionals”!
    Because of the numerous negative articles that have arisen in the past
    year or so, and it was also said by my local news anchor here in Central Florida, quote; “Who would want to work for the VA?” unquote.
    I think that question is as viable today as it was last year. In just about every clinic and/or hospital nationwide, VA is plagued with staff shortages.
    There has to be a reason. What is it? I believe part of it has to do with good or great physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals NOT being allowed to practice medicine! The good ones, or great ones, quit shortly after hire because they see the B/S, and WILL NOT put up with it. So, we veterans are left with seeing people who graduated at the bottom of their class. OR, Worse yet, they come from other countries and follow rules from management that gets VA in the fix their in!
    To all VA upper management. How about getting rid of the healthcare professionals who cause problems. Get the ones who graduated at the top of their class, and let them practice medicine the way it’s supposed to be. I guarantee it will save VA lots of money in the long run. And, it will save veterans lives! Isn’t that what VA is all about, Saving Veterans Lives? Or am I mistaken, Bob?

      • James, that IS so true.
        Many VA clinics and hospitals nationwide are experiencing a shortage of “experienced” and “talented” physicians and nurses. These types of healthcare providers don’t stay long!
        The ones VA hires and KEEPS, it’s been said, are from the “bottom of the barrel”. Basically, veterans see a person who doesn’t have the proper training, schooling or experience. They, physicians assistants and most nurses are there only to “collect a paycheck”! They actually don’t care about what a vet is experiencing healthwise.
        When you go to VA, and your sitting there explaining your symptoms, what is that healthcare provider doing? Does he/she face you and keep eye contact? Are they typing into your medical file the correct info? Are they more interested in your family life, if you love your pet(s) or how many weapons do you own? Does he/she seem more interested in his or her family life? I ask these questions because I, and my wife, have experienced all of this and more! My wife has also witnessed some, while sitting at their desk, playing video games. Or, they are on the phone “gossiping” to someone about how they just got done not treating a vet very well. Then laugh out loud.

        I’m only speaking about physicians and nurses, not the mental health providers. They are another breed all together. Most, if not all, clinics only have “Social Workers”. These are ones who only wish they were real psychologists or psychiatrists. Their expertise is extremely limited. So you should be very wary about them.

      • Social worker’s do try and act like psychology doctors and can write, what they want and put words into veterans mouths that was their twist of the story!

        Not what the veteran actually said or meant!

      • You should be incredibly wary even of the VA PhD Psychiatrists. In my journey of my claim process I was required to obtain my years of civilian treatment records FOR the VA…I was almost homeless then, no car, and had a friend drive me many hours to obtain those because I did not want those hard copies only just sent to the VA t lose them.
        When I went to my VA Psychiatrist PhD appointment and I explained I had records and meds tried, whole journey, and what’s been working for many years, she took the packet and refused t even look at it and dropped them to her round filing system on floor. Seriously!
        I left and went back to my new to me city civilian Dr.’s and told them I would rather use the State Medicaid I had at that time since I was really knocking on death’s door from the very VA health issues given to me, and was also awaiting my SSDI claim.
        When I told my civilian Dr.’s what transpired, specifically, a seasoned older Psych Dr that works with people like me that have terminal or life-long serious health issues, and he told me I did the best thing to run from VA health care.
        My Civilian Infectious Disease Dr. told me exactly the same, with the caveat that she reminded me I would not be alive right now had I continued to use the VA health care (they also would not recognize civilian healthcare plan and medication I was and am still on).
        I am sure there’s some great VA Drs. out there, am sure of it, but my experience as well as Veterans in other States as well as my brother in an entirely different State, has the same shitty experiences.

      • namnibor, so damn true. I had a “top shrink” at a VA who gave me meds that weren’t even approved by the FDA. When I asked a few pharmacists about the meds, they were surprised I had them in my possession. Two pharmacists actually called the FDA and reported the VA shrink.
        The meds almost killed me, and that’s a no shitter.
        The meds put me in my bed. I deficated it. And my skin turned grey. If it hadn’t been for a fellow vet, I do believe I would have died! When he stopped by, and I didn’t answer the door, he found me and threw me in the shower, then took me to the hospital.
        There’s more to this story. But I think you get it. VA does its best to get rid of us.

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