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‘Screwy’ Sunlight Foundation Analysis Rebuked By VA Secretary

Sunlight Foundation VA

Sunlight Foundation VA

VA Secretary Robert McDonald rebuked a healthcare data transparency analysis from a Sunlight Foundation calling it “screwy” yesterday.

My readers took to cyberspace yesterday, emailing Secretary Bob McDonald about an analysis of healthcare data from the Sunlight Foundation. Following an analysis, the Sunlight Foundation alleged VA was withholding healthcare data the agency is required to publish about its hospitals.

RELATED: VA Hospital Data Lacks Transparency

SUNLIGHT FOUNDATION REBUKE

When asked about the lack of transparency online, Secretary Bob McDonald wrote back, “I don’t know where you are getting the screwy information. Our data goes online every two weeks. Please check our website.”

READ: McDonald Emails To Veterans On Sunlight Foundation Data

Which website is he talking about? How can we believe you without more information, Bob? This comes from the same guy who said wait list times do not matter.

RELATED: VA Secretary Says Wait Times Do Not Matter

This comes from the same guy who mistakenly told Congress he fired thousands of bad VA employees while the real number was closer to four. This is the same guy who said he was in the special forces. This is also the same guy who says accountability does not include terminating employees engaging in criminal fraud.

Can we trust him without verifying his assertions, ever? No. In fact, you should not trust anyone in a position of authority without verifying assertions or allegations. It is vital.

WHAT VA WEBSITE, BOB?

Sunlight Foundation accused VA of withholding data and not publishing it on the agency’s hospitalcompare.va.gov website as it had done for many years.

A quick review of the website shows a blank page with no redirect. I included a screenshot of that in this post’s photo.

This reality makes me concerned about Secretary Bob’s response.

His rebuke was about data from a legitimate watchdog organization that specializes in transparency.

That veteran’s email called out VA for not being transparent and ignoring President Obama’s mandate for increased data sharing.

Given that the agency is the 2016 Golden Padlock award for being the most secretive agency this year, why should we not be suspicious?

Bob’s response seemed more like a belch without giving any real insight or thoughtful response to a customer’s legitimate concerns.

Let’s not forget that we are VA’s customers.

SUNLIGHT FOUNDATION EXCERPTS

Sunlight Foundation stated:

“The absence of a new open government plan from the Department of Veterans Affairs over the past six years is not only an egregious flouting of President Barack Obama’s 2009 Open Government Directive, but a failure in governance that calls into question whether such plans accurately reflect the priorities and mission of agencies.”

The Sunlight Foundation also stated:

“On that count, we call on Congress, the VA and the Department of Health and Human services to restore hospital performance data. A blank website at hospitalcompare.va.gov is a national embarrassment. Of the 733 datasets from the VA on Data.gov, the five related to healthcare date back to 2009. That’s not good enough.”

When pressed about this data, Bob called the accusations “screwy” and referenced a website that no longer exists.

According to USA Today, as of July 1, VA stopped publishing healthcare data to help veterans compare facilities. The end result was basically preventing veterans from making informed decisions about their healthcare providers.

This is terribly ironic since VA’s healthcare side is run by a doctor who created a healthcare review website in the private sector prior to joining VA’s Health Administration.

After being called out by USA Today for the failure last month, VA said it would restart publishing such data, but that promise was called into question by Sunlight Foundation.

RELATED: VA Quit Sending Performance Data To National Quality Website

WHY IS HEALTHCOMPARE.VA.GOV BROKEN?

So what is Secretary Bob talking about? Why is that website no longer working and what URL has the data?

I responded to Bob’s rebuke of Sunlight Foundation’s data about the lack of transparency asking the Secretary to provide the URL of the data he claims they publish.

While he alleges the Sunlight Foundation’s data is “screwy”, Bob did not respond with the URL.

Was the Sunlight Foundation’s report bogus?

Are you publishing all the mandated data for consumers?

NEXT STEPS

Lately, my readers have asked for direction to help them take action. Here is an immediate suggestion that will cost you nothing. It does not require a massive march on DC or expensive advertising.

If you are concerned, send Bob an email asking for more specifics.

VA is great at one or two sentence replies calling everyone else liars. When you answer a second level question to verify assertions, that is when they fall apart.

So push back. Do not accept the first answer as true. Ask him to verify like I did above. Where is the URL, Bob? Is the Sunlight Foundation lying?

Email him: [email protected]

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24 thoughts on “‘Screwy’ Sunlight Foundation Analysis Rebuked By VA Secretary”

  1. Bob may well be misinformed, or at least was. Remember that AFGE vowed to undermine his efforts at reform. Union shops like AFGE are run in a gray area of criminality.

    there are simply so many rats in the briar that it is impossible to pin down precisely who mucks up plans. Whoever informed Bob they were getting the job done lied, but I know how union shops work – essentially they lie and engage in miscomduct as a committee. It is impossible to hold a committee accountable. Just ask those of us tossed to the disruptive committee.

    The AFGE holds all the cards. Even while ripped on Bob, I strongly suspect he was set up in this. There is not a button pushed, a form submitted, or an action taken at VHA that is not taken by an AFGE employee. The crimes that are exposed are committed by AFGE employees.

    We hold Bob accountable based on his committment to honesty and integrity, but his committment if true in no way spills over to the union members over who he presides. Whilst we launch personal attacks on him, the AFGE scores double – it is,them who are actually reaponsible for this task to be done, and it is an AFGE employee(s) who make sure it is not.

    The battle for the rogue agency cannot be won by a single man like Bob. AFGE controls VA, and VA is no longer under the control of The People, POTUS, or anyone else but a union called the AFGE, affiliated with AFL/CIO. This is the real truth.

    1. Don’t sell the POTUS short on this Redturtle. He has taken many executive actions specifically to favor unions since 2009. Federal unions, the UAW when GM was bailed out over Delphi employees, etc.

      It was clear to many agency heads that holding unions accountable would not be good for their career.

    2. Just another veteran

      How is it AFGE has so much power to get away with the damage it “allows” by lax standards? We veterans are suffering direly from poor healthcare administered by AFGE members. While veterans cannot sue the Federal Government for substandard care until it’s technically too late, maybe we need to start suing AFGE for delivering unqualified providers who are administering life threatening medical treatment.

      Additionally, the public roasts municipal workers for middle-of-the-road issues and a vast majority of those municipal employees are union members. What makes these AFGE Union members so untouchable then until situations turn ridiculous, which, as of late, they often do.

  2. Interesting. Why is Bob lying? Again?
    When doing a Google search on hospitalcompare va, it returns the site, but clicking on it is a blank page without anything on it. It does set at least 8 different cookies from va dot gov, www dot va dot gov and www dot hospitalcompare dot va dot gov, but viewing the page source shows nothing…as if the domain name is in DNS records, but the server is offline.
    Now, if you do a search for wayback machine and go to the internet archive and search on that website name, you find the site was archived when it first went online in 2010 through 2015, then in early 2016 things started falling apart.
    On February 1, 2016, that web address was still active, but on February 11th, the Wayback machine got a web redirect to “www.va.gov/qualityofcare”, which is a basic information page and actually works, but is little more than propaganda. So it looks like the VA wanted to be sneaky and simply redirect anyone to a lousy page after getting rid of the other one.
    What is pathetic about the new page is you can search on your VA hospital on things like MRSA infections, or any other topic, and you only get a star rating from 1 to 5 stars, but even that has various topics such as Hospital Aquired Bedsores where no data is available. Most of the topics are for how well the VA does various screenings, but even those show no data available.
    But back to the wayback machine. If you compare the archive from February 2014 to an archive from February 2016, one of the last dates available, it shows the page changed little in 2 years, and the 2016 page still showed the same National Mental Health provider survey from 2012 and 2013 as they did in the 2014 archive. The 2016 archive mentions something new called SAIL which is supposed to be some Improvement and Learning measure. That data seems to provide some useful information, but some of the reported measures are not clear.

    Why would the VA hide this?

    1. The administration wanting to move to Obama Care or single payer wouldn’t want embarrassing data on a federally run health care system.
    2. The VA and the AFGE wouldn’t want hospitals singled out, and CERTAINLY not comparable to private hospitals.
    3. It would be embarrassing if poor scores were shown when extorting billions more from Congress. Some flunky might have to justify a budget.

    Finally, it’s interesting to see that when you search on VA and quality of care to find that new page, the very first item returned is a bullshit RAND study at the top showing the VA outperforms private care in every category.

    Nothing more than paid propaganda, with a little extra thrown in for a top search result.

  3. Seymore, can you tell me about a “James Carville”?
    He’s supposed to have been a marine! At least that’s what he claims.
    (He also was one of the lying sacks of shit who helped “Billie Boy” Clinton get elected in 1993.)

    I think it would be interesting to find out just exactly what he did in the Millitary.

    1. I always think of “Skeletor”‘s face whenever Carville’s name comes up. His voice is as grating as Hillary’s, maybe worse. He’s one of those political pungent paid cement mixer human think tanks…never understood why they value his political insight because after he talks, your left wondering what the hell the human cement mixer just said.

      “”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeletor””

  4. I don’t believe there is much federal oversight in terms of how a internet site is run or not run. I just see the government and some private or organizations or corporations use the web as more of a deterrent and a place to get rid of information entered into by us rather than it being used a tool for government agencies, private orgs & companies to help us. It’s an electronic way to say how great they are gather our info and THEN use it as an electronic file 13, rather than throw paper into a trash can, the internet sites ARE the current trash cans of yesteryear.
    My PC was shut down after I called the head of the Justice committee, Senator Patrick Leahy & the one who answered the call asked when I filed my concerns on line and I told him the day before and VOILA,my PC was shut down immediately.
    That was well over 5 years ago.
    Who runs the web site has total control and in my humble opinion it is there obstruct our info from getting to the right people. Maybe moles and maybe they’re told to obstruct.
    Maybe Bob McDonald should use his private server to just see how well the VA site really works and then see who or what is really SCREWY!

  5. Hey Elf,

    You ready for the false flag in Syria?

    “Aggressor squadron? Pics of US jets painted in Russian colors spark Syria false flag conspiracy”, Published time: 11 Oct, 2016 07:05

    “https://on.rt.com/7rkh”

    1. Yep, sure am! I got a bad feeling we’re going to see something extremely bad soon. And IF Hillary’s elected, we’re going to see something “HORRIFIC”! Most of the Middle Eastern countries hate Hillary now!

      I guess you’ve heard about our Naval ship being shot at with missiles!
      Just one more “reason” to dislike “The Butcher of Benghazi!”
      If it weren’t for Obama’s and Hillary’s screwup in the Middle East, we wouldn’t be having this much trouble! Oh, I know, it goes farther back than those two. Yet, it really didn’t become this bad until this current administration!
      I know that to be a fact. Because there wasn’t this much going on in the previous administrations!

      Did you watch the debate Sunday evening?
      Sure was surprised that Hillary couldn’t defend herself on most topics of concern Americans have! Of course, she really has no defense!!!!!

      “Old Billie Boy” sure looked like he wanted to be anywhere but there! People should really be upset more at the Clintons than at Mr. Trump! And, screw it that Chelsea was in attendance. She knows about her father. Like the saying goes, “The Truth will set you free!”

      I definitely liked what Trump did BEFORE the debate. He made the MSM look like fools.

      Also, when Mr. Trump asked Hillary IF she would spend any of her own money to be president! I thought that was priceless!

      Then during the debate, he attacked the witch on almost all of her failures! It’s true, she has no real accomplishments in the 30 plus years she’s been in politics! What, she named a post office, big freaking deal!

      I guess you’ve also heard what’s happening in Haiti. The news media isn’t really covering it. There’s “conservative” news reports coming out about how Haiti’s next worries is “STARVATION” among the people!
      I wonder IF the “Clinton Foundation’ will ever spend any of that $2 BILLION raised to help them?! So far only 2% went to Haiti!!!!

  6. I think Booby can’t be reached at this time. I tried, but email to him didn’t go, all it did was.. nothing. I’m just tired of having to struggle every step of the way in dealing with the VA. Having PTSD may have something to do with it. I don’t sleep the night before I have to deal with the VA, and I am getting old. It’s just too hard. When will this War be over?

  7. I was very enthusiastic about Bob McDonald when he was appointed. I spoke with him shortly after he was sworn in. He talked a lot about personal honor. That was encouraging to me, because honor and accountability are exactly what is missing at VA. Sadly, Bob McDonald has devolved into a part of the cover up at VA.

    1. So what did you get from Bob when you and Ben had a conference call with him a few months ago? Ben said he sees good things ahead from the conversation. Then it was dropped from discussion.

  8. You screwey moochers that just clog up the system and then end up dead without reason inside VA hospitals are just ruining the system when your bodies liquify while on a wait list for burial. VA has demonstrated their effectiveness at handling really tough challenges and STILL remain dignified as a Hungry, Hungry Hippo chasing VA balls.

    To think that you would question the authenticity of an official action or comment is unthinkable to the severely cognitively impaired, but nonetheless it is unthinkable to those in congress who fit into that data set (RAND 2016).

    I realize that employment practices are less than stellar (VA PhD 2016) but you can’t expect these people to work like robots! They are more than capable of achieving the same level of efficiency as the robots the purchased and damnit these people come with real hearts (attacks, imminent, 2016).

    I am absolutely sure thatas soon as a reasonable answer can be fabricated in this matter that it will fill the airwaves and internet sights with blissful knowledge and a warm feeling. (crap in pants, 2016). Set aside your suspicions and become a part of the solution (not the liquid part) and maybe trust can be restored to the healthy and wholesome name of “McDonald”(s).

    Can I have a ketchup packet please?

    1. Sorry, but all the VA AFGE Hamburglers have obviated all ketchup packets, rendering them unnecessary. The same goes for VA accountability websites. The VA cares and our army of Hamburglers are ready to obviate anything remotely close to accountability. You can only have it your way at the Burger King, which is any other healthcare system in America other than the VA. Have it our way or the highway.

  9. “This page can’t be displayed” is still showing-up on the website, so it must mean there’s a “full moon” blotting-out the light rays from reaching the VA Cesspool.

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