Taxpayer Waste In VA Administrative Leave Scheme To Be Exposed

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VA Administrative Scheme

Benjamin KrauseHouse Veterans Affairs Committee is hitting hard over the VA administrative leave scheme where dysfunctional employees are on paid leave for long periods without answers.

Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL), sent VA Secretary Bob McDonald a letter two weeks ago stating, “Please provide a by-name list of every VA employee currently on administrative leave longer than 14 consecutive days, to include duty location, job title, grade level, the reason the employee is on administrative leave and the date the leave started.” The letter also sought the total amount of money VA has spent to pay employees while on administrative leave.

The House Committee originally asked for the information on July 28, 2014.

DOWNLOAD: Demand Letter To Secretary Bob

According to the Government Executive:

The four-page letter specifically asked about the status of Brad Curry and Lance Robinson, employees of the Phoenix VA Health Care System. The committee said they have been on paid leave since May 1, 2014. The panel also wanted to know about Philadelphia VA regional office employees Lucy Filipov and Gary Hodge, who have been on paid leave since June 2015. Curry and Robinson were top officials working at the facility at the center of the wait time manipulation scandal. Filipov and Hodge got into hot water for ethics violations, not misconduct related to serving vets.

Miller also wants information related to Frederick Kevin Harris, a nursing assistant at the Alexandria, La., VA Health Care System, who was charged with manslaughter in December 2013 in the death of a patient. “Please provide an update regarding Harris’ employment status with VA,” said the letter. “If he remains an employee, please outline what his job duties and responsibilities are.”

VA says it will respond once appropriate actions are taken. Should we hold our breath?

@deptvetaffairs - Should we hold our breath? #VAisLying Click to Tweet

Source: http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2015/11/house-panel-wants-answers-vas-use-paid-administrative-leave-union-hit-list/123741/

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41 COMMENTS

  1. I have come to believe the VA is totally out of control. The many I have dealt with have no compassion for the veterans they serve. If a veteran lives as far away as I do, ya haven’t a chance. They don’t have to tell the truth on the phone, nor do they have to tell you what their name is. Like the big BOOB, they know they can get away with whatever. I am finding it harder and harder to keep taking the disrespect I get nearly each time I have an issue. I have seen people going to jail for a lot less the Uncle Boob. What the hell is President Obama doing about this crime lord he appointed? If ever a petition circulates to eliminate this scum, I know a hundred Veterans more than happy to boldly put their name down.I am 66 now, and I’ve been beat up by several VA’s across what was once OUR COUNTRY. God Hless the Veterans.

    • @Jo3n,
      Very astute of you. I would love for someone from VA who calls me to actually give me their real full name, where there out of, etc.

      As far as VA complying with anyone, that’s never going to happen. The only thing left is the DOJ to start doing their jobs and prosecute any and all who have stood in the way of giving veterans proper medical care!
      Until this happens, I fear VA is going to be “Business as usual.”

      • If I call the VA on anything, I ask for their first and last names right up front, and tell them it’s in case I get cut off or lose my cell signal.
        Only after that do I get in to why I called.

  2. Simply amazing that the VA can remain belligerent amongst high scandal and now it’s 15 MONTHS since the VA was given that letter to respond to!!!

    See, the VA is NOT playing by “the rules”, so it’s absolutely no longer nor was it ever acceptable that the Veterans are expected to have integrity and follow said “rules” when the bastards have absolutely no respect for Oversight Committees and Congress in general.

    Congress is culpable as well. The are as dangerously PASSIVE as our President Obama has proven to be.

    Does anyone wonder if there’s such a thing as a “Lame Duck VA Secretary”? McDonald Duck sure seems more than lame, so I think they exist out there “in the wild”. Where does he hide? Do ducks “roost” like chickens do or are they simply really great at “ducking scandals” out there in the wild?!!

    The VA is totally out of control.

    • I can’t fathom why Miller would wait 15 months for something that should be easily provided within a month. I am as tired of this lame bullshit of appearing to conduct oversight as I am in the VA or McDonal appearing to do anything to fix VA problems. Waiting to insure their administrative punishments will not be jeopardized is BS. The VA can provide Miller’s staff with enough detail on what they are doing with those on admin leave to know the VA is taking action. That Miller waited 15 months shows he doesn’t really care what they do with that dead weight.

      • I am starting to be completely convinced that the VA is the Government’s dysfunctional step-child and they LIKE it that way…as odd of a statement that may seem, but what else logically makes sense?
        None of this sh!t would fly in the Military under auspices of UCMJ. None of this sh!t would fly in the Corporate World either…they eat their own. The VA consumes the Veterans.

        I still think the military should transition members of military getting Honorable Discharges into jobs at all VA’s and eventually completely take the place of the existing FAT CAT Civilians whom have run the ship aground.

        Oversight? HA! It’s only an elaborate stage play gone really bad.

      • It wouldn’t fly in the military, and does not fly as far in the corporate world because the military does not have to contend with unions whose sole interest is protecting their income from dues. They also don’t have to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act, and if the corporate world does, they are not too lazy to deal with the mess. The union needs an ultimatum…shape up or they will be eliminated or replaced. VA management needs the same ultimatum. Nobody can tell me the union is effective at what their primary mission should be…providing veterans with proper health care, when the union stands by and watches as whistleblowers are crucified. Nobody can tell me VA management is effective when they too ignore their primary mission in favor of crucifying their employees, or committing outright fraud.

  3. What ‘tax payers’ are you seeking to talk about, the generation coming up from infancy, for todays, and the past decade plus, not to mention those previous decades in ignoring or outright denying issues exist, haven’t paid a dime, Especially the wealthy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    DeJa-Vu: “With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after
    Sept. 11″, americans love them free poser patriotic wars, Decades and War From, All Over Again!! And that covers much
    more in the Deficits then just the, grossly under funded and not
    conservative obstructionists pols concern, VA budgets!!
    USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent**

    • The VA is the people served Responsibility, not socialized anything but their Responsibility to Actually Sacrifice, as it’s been since it was established but promises never upheld with congressional fixes coming mostly unfunded and peace-meal causing more problems, the way those served seem to really like it that way as they lay blame on the VA personal!!

      DeJa-Vu: “With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after
      Sept. 11″, americans love them free poser patriotic wars, Decades and War From, All Over Again!! And that covers much
      more in the Deficits then just the, grossly under funded and not
      conservative obstructionists pols concern, VA budgets!!

      The Obama Administration, starting with Sec Shinseki and continuing with Sec McDonald, and it’s full Cabinet, with two more long war/occupation theaters, started addressing the oh so many issues, with full conservative congressional, and their supporters, continued obstruction!! Under the Bill Clinton administration, no wars, same was attempted by Sec Cleland only to be met with the ,decades long, obstruction of conservative, want to privatize for corporate profit and no regulation, not demanding the country served Sacrifice as they demand the Military and their Families do!!

      Chris Hayes : “If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it” In response to Republican, long ago lost as the party of Lincoln and not just as to us Veterans, opposition to expanding Veterans’ benefits on fiscal grounds

      The conservative ideology: Like our long time, us Vietnam and frankly all Combat Theaters, Veterans Conservative, one of their experts(?), used to shape their policies, very highly compensated Nemesis: * * Sally Satel Still Selling Care for PTSD Veterans is Waste of Money * * There are plenty of others, they’ve got a ready stable full of {experts?}, and plenty of ignored and denied issues!!

      “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

      “If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too — not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American.” -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

      USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent**

  4. DOJ, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and how disconnected they are to VA Scandals, even though they have declined regularly to bother to investigate let alone prosecute and here’s a short quote from the Tuesday meeting:

    “[Attorney General Loretta Lynch refused to answer questions Tuesday about how many

    employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs have been investigated for

    manipulating wait times at VA hospitals. Pressed by Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif.,

    during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Lynch said she “was not aware

    of the status” of the number of VA facilities investigated, the number of VA

    executives against whom the Justice Department had

    declined to press charges or the number of officials currently under investigation.]”

    Here’s a link to the Washington Examiner, it’s a good read, and just place the missing ‘w’ in link:

    http://ww .washingtonexaminer.com/lynch-dodges-questions-about-va-scandal/article/2576582

    • Okay, try this link to Washington Examiner’s article on DOJ Attny General Loretta Lynch’s being questioned yesterday about their apparent disconnect with ongoing VA scandals and just put the missing prefacing hyperlink because it’s an enlightening article and tries to also find out why our PTUS seemingly has not got any memos on the VA Scandals:
      washingtonexaminer.com/lynch-dodges-questions-about-va-scandal/article/2576582

  5. The Rep Miller, and company, constantly looking for the next media hyped, for his popularity, ‘scandal’, instead of doing the job his and their staffs are supposed to be doing!! If he isn’t getting help from the politics brought across the entrances from the inside, much for their personal gains as well, he’ll create his own!! In this case, as in all the cases, like never talking about the huge problems in the cash rich private sector facilities, as they continue seeking to privatize the VA for corporate profit with little regulation, doing what the peoples responsibility, the VA, does!!!

    * * Trump ‘loves vets {?}, hates the VA {!}’, not yet privatized completely for corporate profit with no regulation, Hasn’t ‘Sacrificed’ a Dime For Either * *

    DeJa-Vu: “With no shared sacrifices being asked of civilians after
    Sept. 11″, americans love them free poser patriotic wars, Decades and War From, All Over Again!! And that covers much
    more in the Deficits then just the, grossly under funded and not
    conservative obstructionists pols concern, VA budgets!!

    ** ‘I fight like hell to pay as little as possible’: Donald Trump says he avoids all the tax he can **

    ** Trump swiftboats McCain ** McCain as a conservative does deserve the criticism as to us Vets and him representing those served!!

    But hold on there Donald, neither have you, nor have the other uber wealthy especially, building that wealth with those huge tax cuts and two more long wars, anything you might say you’ve done is like the rest of the flag wavin poser patriots just publicity grabbing hollow gestures, not to mention adding those defense industry investments to that hoard of billions!! Why in your run to be CiC you can use them hoarded multi millions from those two huge conservative tax cuts, for those in your bracket, as well as the returns on those defense industry investments to fund your campaign, as others do same with theirs in funding the many opponents running alongside you!

    * * Sen. McCain’s, Conservative Ideology At It Again, More Harm to Millions of Veterans * *

    Conservative Think, American Enterprise Institute, Tanks Own, one of their experts(?), used to shape their policies, very highly compensated Nemesis: * * Sally Satel Still Selling Care for PTSD Veterans is Waste of Money * * There are plenty of others, they’ve got a ready stable full of {experts?}, and plenty of ignored and denied issues!!

    USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent**

    • Too bad 85% of Vets and active duty lay the blame on Democrats and our CiC. Get real – you are in the minority.

      • I really do not blame just one source of blind eyes; no, all these problems are an equal ‘Hybrid Problem’ that has flavors of corruption from all sides of the political aisle and in-between.
        The driving force of corruption with VA seems to be greed. So since WARS churns the War Profiteer Contract Machine en masse, we have that monster fed by the VA’s darker but more quiet about it, twin sister, the DOD.
        The War Machine and Contractors and Lobbyist for said Contracts, and yes, all the Medical Equip. and Big Pharma influencing the VA, politicians getting kickbacks…I would dare say that *FEW* on the House Veterans Oversight Committee are “clean”…and in all this stench the Veteran is whom gets mowed over, but ALL FUNDING is given according to we Vets and Projections on our foreheads…like cattle.

        No one is innocent here but each is certainly allowed the freedom to believe whatever they may view from their unique perspective as a more culpable Party.
        No really wrong answer is what I am saying. I personally hate the Party System.

  6. 15 months? Oh shit, Rep Lee Zeldin has only been waiting 3 months for an answer from Baghdad Bob on his letter.

    Maybe the rumor that Baghdad Bob needed to be medicated after the Fox News phone call video was played over and over and over and over are true.

    Someone said he was spotted being whisked into the ER of a famous DC hospital and right into the back. No PR prop there that day.

    But, I bet with his P&G bucks he could buy a case of Jack Daniels or two every other night. Hell, the way the VA accounts for for that Jack is probably put on a VA credit card.

    Point is where Bob I Care? He has been replaced with Baghdad Bob the guy who lies just flow out of his mouth and Dysfunctional Bob who says call me but can’t put the needed resources to take those calls…or even see that one coming at him in play.

    McDonald has lost all credibility that he is the guy that can fix a flat tire by himself much less the behemoth evil and corrupt VA. Time for him to follow Hickey into the abyss wherever she landed after God listened to our prayers and finally whispered in her ear to resign..

    • @Robin,
      Your Rep ain’t never going to get a reply.
      We all have come to the conclusion VA is unfixable until someone with big —-‘- steps up and prosecutes these ingrates we know as VA employees from top to bottom…..

      • @crazyelf,

        took the words right out of my brain. “zero” has been done about much of the VA thuggery currently & over the past decades. and as you write, we all know it and have known it for a long time.

  7. Okay, try this link to Washington Examiner’s article on DOJ Attny General Loretta Lynch’s being questioned yesterday about their apparent disconnect with ongoing VA scandals and just put the missing prefacing hyperlink because it’s an enlightening article and tries to also find out why our PTUS seemingly has not got any memos on the VA Scandals:
    washingtonexaminer.com/lynch-dodges-questions-about-va-scandal/article/2576582

    • @namnibor,
      Thanks for the article, both my wife and I Twittered it and she put it on Facebook.
      Great read by the way.

      • Great! Thought it was interesting how the Attorney General was lying through her teeth trying to claim she was not aware and could not talk about ongoing investigations! HA!! She just gave away she actually IS aware but have chosen to ignore it. Biiiiiiiiiiiiiii—iiiiiiii—-tch! (as Eric Cartman would say)

  8. Nothing real is going to happen until this Administration is out. It doesn’t make any sense in hoping for change when the only change is corruption and deception.

    • Johnny5 you’re on the money. In the meantime all of us on this site and any other site we frequent, send a copy of this letter to our representatives, senators and the media ask if they are supporting the committees efforts to get these questions answered.

      Don’t limit it to just yourself, have you wife children uncles aunts neighbors the local sheriff, tell them it’s their tax money therefore everyone has an interest in the problem.

      We are all aware that politicians respond to 2 things, money and votes. We can get their attention by burying them with emails/faxes and threaten to vote them out of office. The committee has taken the next step it’s time for the tax paying voters to step up. Contact the local media, write the, “letter to the editor section” of the paper, and use twitter and face book, get the general public involved. It’s not just a veterans problem, it’s a tax payers problem……………….

      • @Fred,
        From what a close friend told me this morning. POTUS, Congress, the Senate and other executive branches are being bombarded with emails, Twitters, phone calls etc., etc. over this issue and many more. They can’t keep up with the people’s concerns and complaints fast enough.
        When I contacted Congressman Mica’s (R-Fl.) office, the young man was said he couldn’t keep up with all the complaints.
        I said, “Good, he deserves everything he gets!”
        There’s more to this. Right now there’s a bill in both Congress and Senate wanting to give veterans a 3.8 or 3.9% pay raise. Don’t know it it will pass. But the kicker is, Seniors on Social Security won’t be getting a raise.
        In my opinion, seniors will be pissed, and will come out in droves to vote. They ARE a “voice to be reckoned with!”

      • The closer politicians get to making a decision to put boots on the ground the closer attention they’ll pay to what’s being said about the VA. Momentum is on our side, keep pushing as much as possible knowing others are ding the same.

        It’s very important to keep pressure on the veterans in congress. Each one of them ran for office touting the fact that they were veterans and wanted to see change. Well it’s time to put up or shut up. If one is in your representative ask them why they’re not publicly showing their outrage and demanding answers from VA.

  9. Ben, I sent you some info for a possible post. Are you interested? I would like to offer it to other media if not.

    • @91Veteran,
      Even if Ben wants it, send it to as many news sources as possible. Someone might pick it up and run with it!

      • I did email him twice. Once to give him a heads-up and again to provide a bit of information. I’ve since found out more that makes it even more damning, including a tie-in to the USA Today article on bonuses.
        I know Ben is busy, likely doing more important stuff directly helping veterans, but this is important, and very likely occurring at other VAs across Colorado and other states.
        I don’t want to be pushy, but I also don’t want to see the VA quietly change things to try avoid accountability.

  10. 11/18/2015

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Last Night Channel 3 in Phoenix, AZ aired a news flash about a VA employee mocking a whistle-blower at the Hospital, by dressing up like the individual for a VA Halloween Party.

    How does the VA Staff have time for a Halloween Party?

    Is the Party still going on at the VA?

    Either, this guy got paid for it or he is so stupid, he should not be working there!

    Especial, since it does violate the written Federal law, the three (3) Page Whistleblowing Document that is post by the Elevators on the First Floor, so that everyone will read them.

    Where is Dennis Wagner—over at the TAR [The Arizona Republic]?

    What about the 17 other investigative reporters at the TAR?

    And the young college kids at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism?

    It had [HAD] been 17 days since Halloween and we are just hearing about it? Over two (2) weeks!!

    No wonder why Bob has not gotten back with me on the 293 dead vets since we shook hands in 08/08/14.

    But in reality—-it is all nothing but misdirection.

    293 dead vets at the Phoenix VA Hospital in 2014; XXX dead vets at the Phoenix VA Hospital in 2015; for the last three years you have over 1,000 vets that were victimized by a Management, too Evil to care.

    The problems in Procurement [Taylor], Pharmaceuticals [Opiates], Supply [McKesson], Human Resource [Gripper], Medical practices [Tomah, WI], maintenance [Everywhere], and preparation for the future [Denver] is nothing to the victimized veterans.

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  11. IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO BE READY AND HOLY COW I THINK THIS INTEL SHIT WHO IS A DAMN MARINE IS OFF WITH HICKEY GIVING HER DATA ON ME?!
    “PUT HER BACK IN A UNIFORM HE IS A MINNESOTA LIAR WHO STATES LIBERAL BUT CALLS NATIVE AMERICANS “JACK PINE SAVAGES?” GUESS WHAT-“APACHE, ARCADIA CALIFORNIA!” CAN I SAY HOLY CRAP THAT WAS A REALLY CRAZY ONE!”
    OH TRUST ME THIS OPENS A DAMN CAN OF WORMS AND OH I SO DO KNOW ABOUT HIPAA AND AHIMA REGS THAT NO RESPECTFUL DOCTOR LIKES THE DAMN DALLAS VA.” HE IS A LONER AND HE LEFT A DISABLED VETERAN IN A BED WHEN I KEPT ASKING CALL THE DOCTOR? HE YELLED HE WOULDN’T UNLESS MY INSURANCE WOULD COVER IT? LET US INTRODUCE OURSELVES TO TEXAS VIA SOMEONE HELP A SISTER OUT I CANNOT DISRESPECT MY NAME, MY HONOR-GUESS WHAT BOYS AND GIRLS TIME IS NOW LET PARTY!”
    HE IS THE SPY GUY I AM JUST A SIMPLE GIRL, WHO ACCLIMATED QUITE WELL BUT PISSED I AM WE REALLY WERE DISCUSSING THE LYRICS AND THE MOODS OF THE TIMES, MUSIC, HIKING, NO WARS BUT A DAMN HONEST LOVE FOR SCIENCE.”
    THIS IS MORE THAN JUST A FEDERAL LEVEL OF BULLSHIT YOU GET FED BY ROGUES AND BASSET HOUNDS FROM THE CORRUPT STATE LEVEL AND I CAN BASE A CALL BY FACTS-IT IS NOT MY STORY GEESH I THINK I AM THE BEST ONE AT EXPLAINING IT?!”
    1635 A MAN OF THE CLOTH ARRIVED UP NORTH AND MANY FOUGHT FOR SIMPLE FREEDOMS-NOT COMPLICATED TO FOLLOW HIPAA LAWS IS IT AND GEE HOW ABOUT A REAL DOCTOR WHO CAN READ?”
    IT MAY COME UP AS DEE BECKMAN. LET ME MAKE SURE YOU KNOW I PROTECT MY FAMILES AND GUESS WHAT?
    “DAMN! MY GIRL CAN SHOOT BUT ONE WHO IMPRESSED ME? YOU GO GIRL YOUR RAIL THIN CAN NO LONGER IT, SOMEONE PLEASE NOW.” 🙁
    Dee Vinciguerra
    My Grandfather was here working on his Uncle’s Farm she was the “Beauty of the Village he came knocking and the ONLY HOPE WAS LADY LIBERTY-NEVER FEAR ALL REFUGEES ARRIVED AND SAFELY THEY STAY. HEY, HE THE ARMY GUY AIN’T HAPPY-BUT I AM THE OLDER SISTER-DO NOT TOUCH MY FAMILY!”
    CALL ME DAMN STRAIGHT UP AN AMERICAN? LABELED BELIGUM NOT? JUST A HOPE TO JUMP A FENCE BUT I THINK MY ADHES CAN JUST REST WITH JIM MORRISON<3
    NOT A BECKMAN OR ???

  12. As a little addition to the topic today, I went to a private vascular doctor the other day (non-VA) for a heart catheterization for pre-surgery. He is one of the best in the country, and the best vascular doctor in the large healthcare system I am going to. I showed him a prescription the “VA” doctor (an old Indian lady) had given me a year ago for circulatory problems. He took one look at it in a spit second and told me it was totally useless, that it was junk, and that it wouldn’t do a dam thing for me at all. He backed this up with a speech to me about research the nih did on this drug, and he told me they thought it was complete garbage too. He said to “throw them out, you are wasting your time with that. That medication doesn’t work for anyone at all.”
    The VA keeps the BIG PHARMA alive and well buying stupid shit drugs and giving them out to the vets, however. That lecture from him scared me from the standpoint of ‘ what other shit are these numbnose doctors giving out to one and all’? I thanked the good doctor for informing me of this and I said “I’m glad I asked you”.
    Bob McFuck made lots of millions as CEO of P&G (15-20 mil/year for his 3 year tenure as CEO, plus bonuses and perks up the ass, including a private jet. Not to mention top healthcare coverage a person could ever want.) He also made many millions for senior-level posts he held for the previous 10 years spent at P&G. He is very rich. Richer than me, anyway. So what is he doing working at all? He is saving face from his being let go by P&G for his own legacy. He has NO idea how to do anything else but to ask for more time and more Congressional $$$. That’s why he was picked by (fill in the space). That is his job in the World Order. And he doesn’t even know it. But I think he is starting to realize it now after a year+ in the job.
    No “Secretary” is going to do a frick’in thing about the VA. That’s how it is all planned by BIG MONEY!!!! You know, the people and companies that own all the governments. Balance the world population and balance the input (immigration mix) and output( deaths). A money making world for them. Shit for us all. The VA fits in there as a section of that.

    • @ohlsee-

      Had a similar experience. Mine was fact I have major Peripheral Neuropathy that’s connected to a slurry of other svc. connected health issues (not diabetes…other health issues that attacked my nerve linings), and at that time when I was using the VA (and was getting progressively concerned for my well-being/life), the VA gave me Gabapentin which is an old school generic drug and really only one of two RX’s for peripheral Neuropathy, with Lyrica the other and very closely related chemically to Gabapentin, but remarkably different for a very good reason.

      Both my feet and all way up to knees/calves had swollen-up so dangerously and *painfully* I went back and insisted upon being seen, not waiting a month or more. The (again) Indian Dr. said I must have “heart/circulation issues/blood clots” (never mentioned ANYTHING about what I was experiencing was a VERY COMMON toxic and dangerous side effect to those that cannot tolerate it. To give perspective, my reg. shoe size is 10.5 and had to go to a payless shoe store and get size 14.5 and could not even tie them, just so I did not go barefoot or in socks to the VAMC.

      So I went through the battery of tests, no heart or circulation problems and just told to go home. I ended-up in the ER and admitted and come to find out, my bad reaction to Gabapentin was SO COMMON, my attending (and now still my civilian primary care Dr. 7 years and happy with him) told me the deal and why I NEEDED “Lyrica. There’s no generic for Lyrica and it’s not a cheap drug at all. I need to be on the max allowed dose of 100mg 3x a day. He even wrote a letter for me since at that time frame I was still waiting on my VA Svc. Connected Disability Claim and since I was a spitting distance away from homelessness, I had State Medicaid for the interim.

      I took said letter back to the VA and would you know that Indian VA Dr. said, “NO….you cannot get approved for Off-Formulary (Lyrica) until you have not been able to tolerate drug for X-Number of time)…WTF? I went to Patient Advocate Office…she was literally out to lunch and backed the freaking stupid Indian VA Dr. that barely could say words without needing an interpreter!!
      They would NOT approve Lyrica and wanted me to SUFFER MORE before they could justify it.
      There were also other medication issues with the VA and myself and my civilian Dr. and Specialists told me that if I stuck with the VA they were going to recklessly kill me with stone age medicine because I WOULD HAVE formed a clot eventually that WOULD have caused my demise had I stayed with that medicine and VA Quacks.

      Magically, within a week of not taking Gabapentin and starting Lyrica, the life threatening swelling went back down.
      For the VA to have so dangerously misinformed/uneducated medical staff on the very reason Lyrica was made in first place is unacceptable and coupled with another even more serious Prescription Issue, I have not been back to the VAMC since and simply use Medicare and Civilian Dr.’s, even though I am a 100% Svc. Connected Disabled Veteran/Category 1, and it costs me more to use Medicare and Medicare Drug Plan but how do you place a dollar value on your very life??!!

      Sorry so long but your shared story struck a shared nerve and decided to share as well. Veterans deserve so much better!!!

      • Wanted to add I fully acknowledge not many Veterans have a choice of using Medicare or even their State’s Medicaid if they qualified, no, most Vets have to use the VAMC. I want the VA to simply be up to par with the civilian world and best for Vets now and future, and reason I care and from my perspective of using both ends of the stick, I can say that Medicare is a painless pinprick compared to the VA’s Frankenstein Research they also get on the cheap because of all the minions of Medical Residents that do the actual work and get to practice on you and I…without proper supervision. Scary.

        My thinking is if someone does not return reply even after the date they were supposed to by -2- weeks or let’s even say days…but for now 15 Months…the VA has absolute insolent intent. It’s obvious.

      • Right. Lyrica is expensive. Tricklel down World Order (to the VA) says “we don’t spend – we give cheaper shit out so everyone thinks they are being treated medically – there’s no money in it for us to give premium products that actually are effective – give them whole bunches of shit drugs – don’t listen to reality – go argue with advocate – you get nowhere – I fuck’in win -you fuck’in lose – I have doctor’s license – I was issued printing press to print money when I finished doctor school in India – you don’t like? – you go fuck yourself – next.
        Who the hell would go to some Indian lady that I don’t understand and have to say “what?” after everything she says on the outside (the VA) world?
        Every Senator, every US rep, every president, every sup ct. justice, every member of the Cabinet, every state governor, every high ranking government official shoud be mandated by “the people” to go through the VA healthcare system or Vet choice program “incognito” to see how shitty they put together these programs and the problems involved. That would fix there asses real good.
        As I see it now, the World Order is starting to get worried that people are catching onto their schemes. That’s the only good thing I see. ,

  13. I agree with a lot of what Jim Starowicz is saying. The problems with the VA are not problems within any party. It’s a problem of government operations, which politics tends to make even worse. McDonald has been the VA Secretary less than two years and the questions the conniving politicians are asking are questions that should have been addressed toward Shineski. The scapegoating of the VA Secretary is the political process that helps to keep the VA from moving forward and being functional. Politicians and veterans that understand the beauracry involved know that it would take 10 VA Secretaries hired at once to get the VA moving at the pace the politicians pretend is possible. Thus calling for the resignation of each VA Secretary at every scandal is the precise method needed not to get anything done.

    If one one looks at who wants to spend on defense, they see it is the same folks that make the loudest noise about the VA. But do they support increases to the VA functionality the way they support increases to defense? The answer is no. And we all know one cannot be a veteran unless they have been a service member, active or in reserve capacity. So the funding and resource process is like a funnel with the DOD being the large end and the VA being the small end at the bottom. Don’t be fooled by rhetoric and posturing. If the people really cared about the active service members, then they would see the reality that they need to care about veterans equally. But new oil and used oil doesn’t have the same value. If anyone understands the concept of magic, they recognize a term called misdirection. The political posturing is just misdirection from the unbalanced attention that is given to the DOD over the VA. The VA is full of faults, but politicicans are in no real hurry to resolve it. Let the funnel process continue. The people getting the shaft will continue to be the ones at the lower end of the funnel.

  14. Paid leave of just a few?

    Heheheeeee. Put this new information to work:

    I will spill an insider tip: A nurse fresh from the military gets a job at VHA. The nurse subsequently documents that she has witnessed death, that patients of the VHA have touched her or made sexual comments, and the nurse tells her boss that she is experiencing severe depression from all of it. Her boss, likely a good friend or two, diagnosis her with 10% sc PTSD, which then (witness death) is worsened. His/her rating for PTSD is re-evaluated based on the VHA experiences, at 80%. This makes her “Individually Unemployable” as a nurse.

    Nurse retires after 2-4 years at VHA on 100% VBA compensation due to Individual Unemployability that her coworkers and friends have diagnosed. She gets SSDI also. About $52,000 per year, tax free from all taxes, and immune from garnishment (except for child support and taxes).

    Do you want to take a guess at how many of these people live in my plush apartment building that have done exactly this? I won’t give up their names. They saw the niche, and took it. But unlike leave, this $52,000 per year tax free is for life.

    Trust me. Ask the questions for yourself, but be warned; most of the information I just told you is protected from disclosure. It’s the scam of the century, and adding more and more veterans to the payroll is adding the fuel to this fire frankly: new employees, especially the nursing staff quickly learn this technique from others. Do you really think the turnover rate is high because they go get other jobs? hehehe, we are getting duped America, and the Devil is hiding in plain sight.

  15. has anyone herd anything about Tricare sos, service overseas? I ive in pattaya
    Thailand and have to useit over seas. I mail my claims
    i have over 40 caims on backlog at this monent. they have never answered a complant since 1 oct 2012.trycarreand medicare is under obama care over here.
    it is like living with no insurance over here. is anyoneese having any
    prolems ? Ronald hickson. p.o. box 07. pattaya,chonuri, 20260 Thailand..

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