Sec McDonald Lashes Out Over Negative USA TODAY Article
VA Secretary Robert McDonald publicly blasted USA TODAY in a press release for publishing a series of stories exposing secret hospital ratings.
Last week, USA TODAY exposed a secret rating system VA uses internally to evaluate health care quality around the country. The data was apparently leaked by a whistleblower after the agency unlawfully stonewalled reporters trying to get the data through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Almost immediately, after VA was called out, Sec McDonald (co-authored by deputy secretary Sloan Gibson) blasted reporters in a VA.gov press release for calling the secret hospital rating system “secret” in a USA TODAY headline. Sec McDonald outlandishly asserted the report would cause “unwarranted distress” by keeping veterans informed.
He implicitly believes veterans should be uninformed or risk being upset if they know about the poor rating of a facility like Phoenix VA or Tomah VA, both of which have internal one-star ratings.
Is this the transparency President Obama promised?
Not only would VA not provide the data, but when the secret rating system was leaked, suddenly the press is bad for informing the public.
What is so wrong with veterans having an informed choice in health care?
USA TODAY VA Hospital Ranking Stars
The leak revealed an internal ranking system using one to five stars to rate health care quality at all VA facilities. One star is bad. Five starts are good.
The data included a serious of very low ranking medical centers like Tomah VA, Phoenix VA and Detroit VA, to name a few.
Many of these one-star hospitals contradict assertions VA recently made claiming health care at one-star facilities was actually of a higher quality.
This news means VA executives were knowingly misleading veterans and the public about health care quality at these locations.
Sec McDonald Unglued
Have we ever had a Secretary come unglued like this and directly blast members of the press?
The publication of the secret ratings caused Sec McDonald publish a press release on VA.gov slamming USA TODAY for needlessly distressing veterans by giving them the secret ratings.
Friday, Sec McDonald issued the press release blasting USA TODAY. Specifically, he accused reporters of sensationalizing the leak and causing needless “distress” in veterans as a result. Instead, Sec McDonald criticized reporters for reporting about the “secret” rating system and that “distress” over health care quality is “unwarranted,” from his perspective.
At this point, it is important to highlight that the Secretary likely has never been forced to receive his health care from a VA facility. Most veterans too poor to afford health insurance under the Affordable Care Act would certainly conclude Sec McDonald and those of his ilk live in a fantasyland.
And in Sec McDonald’s fantasyland, reporters would not only report on news but also serve as VA public relations agents also publishing on positive topics like the transformation.
RELATED: New VHA Head Slams Press For Not Being Positive Enough
“What concerns all of us at VA is that USA TODAY has a consistent narrative of negativity in their news of VA…. Nonetheless, the outstanding and historic progress VA has made in transformation over the past two years is consistently ignored by USA Today.”
However, Sec McDonald’s allegation against USA TODAY is a mischaracterization intended to paint VA and its employees as victims who never receive fair coverage. He must believe the American public has amnesia.
VA is commonly given loads of free coverage for positive stories both at USA TODAY and nationwide. It also enjoys a $25 million propaganda budget to spin stories however it chooses.
RELATED: Reporter Falsely Claims VA Care Better Than Non-VA Care
But lately, VA is engaging in an active propaganda campaign to bolster the moral of its union employees while ignoring veterans still marginalized with poor care or abusive employees.
Something Has To Give
The public relations press release Sec McDonald penned is rife with ironic timing.
In it, he accused USA TODAY of “egregious hyperbole” for using the word “secret” to describe the secret rating system. But the reality is that VA did have a secret rating system it refused to provide reporters.
Why did it refuse to provide the rating system?
According to VA, and not hyperbole, it refused to follow FOIA law because the agency believed such ratings, if made public, “could dissuade Veterans from coming to VA for care, and ultimately produce bad Veteran outcomes.”
McDonald’s press release slammed USA TODAY for then asking its local Gannett publications to report on the local facilities in their respective areas, like Phoenix and Detroit.
If a secret rating system is “secret”, how can including that term in the title of a news story be hyperbole?
USA TODAY Caught VA With Pants Down
Here is why the Secretary has his panties in a bunch. Sec McDonald’s legacy at VA is hanging by a thread depending on who President-elect Trump picks to run the agency.
Days before the USA TODAY publication, Sec McDonald published a story through Military Times, another Gannett publication, about why Trump should not privatize VA.
Our nation’s dinosaur Veteran Service Organizations also threw their weight behind Sec McDonald to remain at the helm in VA despite his troubled history with the press, failure to reign in the unions, and failure to hold employees accountable for all out fraud.
USA TODAY then published its story about the secret rating system, which was followed up this weekend with a report that VA employees at Bay Pines VA in Florida left a veteran’s corpse to rot inside a hospital room for nine hours in an attempt to cover up wrongdoing.
RELATED: VA Staff Left Veteran’s Corpse In Shower, Attempted Cover-up
Anti-Social Personality Disorder
Personally, I am growing confused with Sec McDonald’s position at VA. As time goes on, he and other VA executives appear to have clear cases of anti-social personality disorder whenever addressing the wait list scandal or press coverage of it:
Antisocial personality disorder is a type of chronic mental condition in which a person’s ways of thinking, perceiving situations and relating to others are dysfunctional — and destructive. People with antisocial personality disorder typically have no regard for right and wrong and often disregard the rights, wishes and feelings of others.
Those with antisocial personality disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate or treat others either harshly or with callous indifference. They may often violate the law, landing in frequent trouble, yet they show no guilt or remorse. They may lie, behave violently or impulsively, and have problems with drug and alcohol use. These characteristics typically make people with antisocial personality disorder unable to fulfill responsibilities related to family, work or school.
Does this sound familiar to you?
When Sec McDonald first came on as Sec VA, he said VA needed to improve how it treated veterans. The Disney model of customer service was what he thought would fix it.
Now, despite rampant scandals and a total inability for the agency to turn around problems within timeframes promised, Sec McDonald blasts reporters for telling the truth and laughably demands, through his sycophantic Veteran Service Organizations, stay at the helm of the Titanic.
I get that Sec McDonald thinks no one in the press should publish negative things, but his attack against the press and continued cover-ups of the wait list scandal show taxpayers and the Trump administration that massive changes need to happen.
RELATED: Anti-Choice Rhetoric Ramps Up
These changes include comprehensive Veterans Choice (you pick wherever you go for health care), competition in the health care community, neutering the AFGE union, and reforms aimed at auditing Veteran Service Organizations to evaluate instances of conflicts of interests.
Veterans are ready for VA to enter the 21st Century, and that includes becoming a modern organization that can compete with other health care providers while eliminating longstanding cozy relationships that serve to benefit bureaucrats and high paid organizational leaders within DAV, American Legion, and others.
RELATED: Why Did VSOs Sell Out Veterans At Phoenix VA?
We veterans are ready for change and many of us falsely hoped President Barack Obama would bring that change. But what kind of change did Obama provide?
We forced the issue of Veterans Choice, but AFGE unions and Veteran Service Organizations continue to obstruct access to competent and high-quality health care we were promised.
RELATED: Is AFGE Union On Ropes Over Veterans Choice?
We know who the problem actors are, and we are ready to cut them out like a cancer. Maybe it really will take someone like Trump from the private sector to get it done.
For me, I say let Pete Hegseth be the face of the agency.
I may throw my hat in the ring to be Deputy Secretary or something like it.
I want to be the a-hole who gets fire the fraudsters, neuter the unions, and investigate the Veteran Service Organizations. Special interests have had their day at VA, and it’s time normal veterans, part of no country club with no golf clubs, gut the system and start over with a modern approach.
Special interests have had their day at VA, and it’s time normal veterans, gut the system and start over with a modern approach.
Is it time to shake it up?
VA Propaganda Slam Of USA TODAY
McDonald Press Release: From VA Office Of Public And Intergovernmental Affairs
Letter to the Editor of USA Today, Dated December 8, 2016
For more than a month we have been working with a USA Today reporter on a story looking closely at our internal quality improvement tool called Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL) and the rankings it uses to help our facilities improve. The story posted online last night completely missed the point of this remarkable and helpful improvement process and serves only to mislead and confuse Veterans and the American public.
There simply is no “secret” list. We publish the SAIL data regularly. The relative ratings – using one to five stars – are not published but are used only to help us focus on improving care. The relative ratings are used by our Veterans Health Administration and all of the facilities as tools to improve. SAIL is the most powerful and positive tool we have.
Relative ratings are not the equivalent of the weekly NFL standings. It is possible for a hospital to improve and still not climb. Since the ratings are relative, during rating periods organizations will receive ratings, one to five stars, even if every facility improves. To be clear, no VA medical facility is bad or failing.
Even more simply put, this internal process keeps VA from the “everyone gets a blue ribbon” syndrome. It may be counterintuitive to the uninformed, but it works. The great stay great, the good get better.
What concerns all of us at VA is that USA TODAY has a consistent narrative of negativity in their news of VA. We have participated in editorial boards and spent hundreds of hours over the years to explain complex issues and provide data to USA TODAY reporters. Nonetheless, the outstanding and historic progress VA has made in transformation over the past two years is consistently ignored by USA Today.
The transformation of VA, the nation’s largest civilian agency is a big news story.
We have done our best to tell the truth about VA’s story of change – of creating a culture of continuous improvement and transparency, of measuring the right data that best capture health care quality and access, and how we use these measurements to deploy national resources to those facilities that need help and assist medical centers before their rankings drop. Others have helped to tell our story, like Harvard Business School in their most recent case study that was most complimentary.
USA Today’s use of the word “secret” in the headline is egregious hyperbole. It is clear that its intent is to have entertainment value to draw in readers. It is a disservice to those same readers because it immediately creates the image that one-star facilities, in particular, are substandard. We accept – and even relish – that because we are a government department, we are held to a higher standard for reporting to our Veterans. We have our fair share of challenges, yet VA remains one of the top medical providers in the country. Over 80% of Veterans are satisfied with their care and VA leads the way in many areas of medicine. Our employees, many of whom are Veterans themselves, work incredibly hard to provide Veterans the care and services they deserve.
USA TODAY has the right to publish as desired but in this case the paper is simply getting it wrong. Further, gathering and formatting a story for multiple papers in your chain to simply fill in the blanks – while convenient – is insufficient reason to cause unwarranted distress to our nation’s Veterans, could dissuade Veterans from coming to VA for care, and ultimately produce bad Veteran outcomes. They deserve better than that.
Bob McD/Obama got handed a huge pile o doo did a lot. like i say they made it 100% better 300% more to go .. agen t orange and more got recognized thanks to them.. LOOKs like Trump and Skulkin is cutting the budget and will make via Unemployability cuts to some who have waited years or decades for benefits alone, now to suffer more foreclosures or other loss of housing and older vets giving up when they might be finally somewhat able to manage and more … YIKES … and the roller coaster heads back down?
Seymour Klearly, I waited til late, so as not to start something. I am waiting for Mr. Trump to get it right. These people he has chosen to his cabinet, and other positions, has become alarming. I don’t consider myself too right, a and on occasion, I get the left.(rarely). I have researched much of the Veterans information you have shared on this site. I have agreed with nearly all of it. This cabinet is scary. If you read, than
Can I get an Amen on that ? It’s unfolding like some obscene Hydra. We do what we do, and we get what we get: Trump….
@ Crazy elf, the mentality of some providers is that they are untouchable. And that they are a genius with their collaborated schemes.
Here’s something y’all won’t see every day!
from; “Political Madness” (on Utube)
dated; 12 Dec. 2016
“Breaking; U.S. Congressman of 20 years Sentenced to Federal Prison Today”
(FORMER) Congressman Chaka Farrah, a Democrat from Pennsylvania was sentenced today, after being found guilty 3 Oct. 2016, to 10 years. He was found guilty of “…racketeering, fraud, and other serious charges…”!
As was his son and a few others. Who were involved as well!
Now, if a Congressman can be found guilty and approximately 2 1/2 months later be sentenced. Why can’t the federal court system do the same to VA employees, one might ask?
Could it be VA employees feel they’re above the law? That’s what it looks like!
The prosecutors wanted a 17-22 yr. sentence for Fattah. The Philadelphia news media has been closely monitoring Fattah’s indictment, trial, and sentencing. Fattah was sentenced 10 yrs. for his corruption. His wife use to be an anchor news person for a major broadcasting company in the Tri-State area [Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware].
McDuck is out of a job in less than 40 days. Why waste our time with what he says or does? It will be a pleasure to walk into a VA and not see the pictures of Obama and McDonald on the wall. In fact, I changed my appointment in January to February just so I can at least have a smile on my face for once when going there.
At least he’s going out unlike a candle in the wind. Quite the contrary, he’s a going out like a flaming idiot who’s playing a card of secrecy so he’ll get his next job of being relied upon to be a puppet regardless of what’s right or wrong. Technically, he’s the last of the Ponzi scheme die-hards who can be trusted to keep corporate secrets like a steel trap.
Just read the OIG busted 7 people for strong arming Dr.’s to sell powerful painkillers. The message came from VA OIG. I’M thinking great, finally the VA OIG has followed through. Wrong… It was the Postal IG who made the bust. Don’t know if it has anything to do with Veterans, or Veteran Dr.’s. I’m just waiting..
Why does the VA own a Hotel? Even more interesting is the facts that Seymore found. It is leased to a corp. the VA Secretary is connected to. I hope this reaches Pres. Elect Trump today!!! Even sadder is that all of the insiders have known this from the start. How could they not?
Can you even imagine…subterfuge at the VA? Who would have ever thought that could happen?
I have a theory only, on why the VA maintains a luxury hotel in France and it’s rather elementary when you stop to pause and consider this:
The Upper Management SES types are so full of impacted crap that the old hotel in France the VA maintains is the only place on planet with proper velocity on the bidets in bathrooms to give these assholes a proper wash and also gives them a place to be away from we burdensome Veterans.
“A bidet (US i/bᵻˈdeɪ/ or UK /ˈbiːdeɪ/) is a plumbing fixture or type of sink intended for washing the genitalia, perineum, inner buttocks, and anus of the human body, and is typically installed in a bathroom. Lower-cost add-ons combining a toilet seat and “electronic bidet” are becoming increasingly popular as well.”
If the VA were to install such bidets in the VAMC bathrooms, at least we Vets could get a good gargle while at the VA instead of shoddy healthcare. The ‘gargle’ would happen because the VA would install them incorrectly, causing internal injuries, possibly death, but a fine damn power gargle.
Bla Bla Bla, Anti Social Disorder, seems to be a requirement of VA employees, I think an outside psychologist should go and interview each employee, with a set of questions that would link this disorder to their answers.
I know if something would be done, many employees would fall under this condition. Put a Veteran in front of them or let the veteran watch. Look at the Disruptive list of veterans accused of disruptive behavior and get the names of the employees making the allegations and make them take a polygraph test and evaluate them for the disorder.
If anyone would call and say they are a veteran they would find out that many employees speak in a monotone voice and speak but say nothing of importance, sort of like taking you on a ride to no where ! and you never get an answer, besides well thank you for your service and we will get back to you and a month later your back on the phone again and told we have no record of your last call and the cycle continues.
God forbid you ask them to help, that’s not my job, that’s above my pay grade, the other guy does that not me. Can you please hold (CLICK), they can be very abrasive towards veterans and they know the veteran can do noting about it.
I am still fighting Choice over a bill in August, every month I call to check the status and each time I get double talk, one employee even told me they did not receive a bill, told employee let me speak with your supervisor, why it wont do you any good, were not the billing office.
You mean I been speaking with you about a bill and you don’t handle bills ? Well please transfer me to the billing office on hold for 20 minutes and hung up. Guess the employee did his job and retaliated against me, by placing me on hold.
I really do believe employees should be sent to a psychologist, see how many pass ? If they did this they would have to place at least half on disability for a mental disorder. Nothing wrong with having a disorder but it is a problem, when they don’t seek help and are able to abuse veterans.
VA’s dream, If only there were no veterans this would be the perfect job ! Next best thing give the Veterans hell, maybe they wont come back and its working.
As a veteran, I’ve been rating the VA all along. 1-5, 5-1, whatever I rated the VA, it still stinks. It’s good to hear from McDuck. Thought he was traveling. I’ve been noticing that Senate and Congress are trying to get things done. They haven’t done a thing for years now, but, they are in a hurry now. Without Our new President getting the right Sec of VA, and keeping an eye on our lawmakers, nothing will change, perhaps get worse. Ben, if you are not in a position to create changes in the VA, then there is no position. Honestly, that rating story just doesn’t seem worth McDuck coming out with the tirade he did. I’m waiting…
More fucking bullshit flowing from the top down. McDonald should stick to asking “do you want fries with that” instead of covering up bad actors and worse performance by his minions. To think this is what6 we got after they threw Shinsecki under the bus makes me vomit. I am one of the “lucky” ones my hospital got a 4 star rating.
Shitty one star VHA hospitals. I’d like to know where the 5 star VHA hospital is?
Roger that Linda
@ Linda, they say the 5 stars are mostly on the east coast.
As a Democrat, I must admit that The VA is one place Democrats (and 2 Republican admins) have failed horribly. It will be hard to convince a Democrat that the VA Union must go. You CAN shop a Union and it will not hurt Democrats with other Union efforts. The VA is whole different union world. It exists to perpetuate itself and the money does not get to the veterans.
@ Crazy elf, i know where you are coming from with little to no justice for the crimes against Veterans. It has upset me and broken me for years. Some of the best people i know are Veterans. It gives me some hope when there is a blog talking about the injustice and others understanding the truth behind the lies. I do not think what is being asked is beyond reach. No one expects anything to be perfect but the expectation is to have some accountability in government or a system. Change takes to damn long when a group is being persecuted by another. Historically, the fact it is being talked about is the beginning of that change. That scares people in authority. Life is everything about change and yes I do fail on believing it myself at times. I tell myself that alot even when i fail believing it. Like Dennis and others pointed out culture is difficult to change. People do not want to give that power up if they have it over someone else. If they are morally bankrupt it is even a worst disaster.
Everyday I come on here, wishing to read where someone, anyone, from VA has been arrested for committing crimes against veterans.
So far, nothing, zilch, Nada!
When it does occur, it will cause me great joy. Nowhere in other government agencies is the corruption so rampant.
Maybe one day I’ll read where someone, somewhere, has been held accountable.
Until that day, my PTSD will just have to be dealt with on my own. The VHA I visit doesn’t give a ratass about me!
Lastly, to Seymore,
I read somewhere today, Chicago, a “Sanctuary City”, is the number one place for all the reprobates from other countries to live and COMMIT horrendous crimes against its citizens!
How that mayor can disregard his legitimate people’s safety is beyond reason. He should, once President Elect Trump is sworn in, be the first one tried for treason and “accessory to murder”!
The “Horn News” today gives all the credit, concerning the veteran in Tampa, FL. left in a shower for 9 hours, to Obama!
“Outrage! Obama’s VA desecrates lonely veterans corpse”
Dec. 12, 2016 | 18 comments (from about two hours ago)
It’s true, Obama should be held accountable also!
Chicago Mayor is direct implanted turd from the Obama Adm., the first 4 sour years. Like Obama and McDonald, Chicago Mayor thinks things are JUST FINE and they LOVE their sanctuary city.
With that said, easily resolved. Before building the wall along border, practice makes perfect, so let’s build an enclosure wall and dome around these sanctuary cities and pray to the ricochet god. 🙂
Here is a little more about the hidden war in Chiraq.
“Chiraq: Deadly Week in the Windy City, 100 People Shot in Seven-Day Period”, by Todd Huston, Breitbart news, August 12, 2016
“Iraq v Chiraq: How Chicago violence feels like a war”, BBC News September 13, 2016
CA is taking steps to not Cooperate with Federal Immigration Authorities & become a Sanctuary State. CA State Senator Kevin de Leon introduced, SB-54 or the “California Values Act”;…”should the incoming administration adopt an inhumane & over-reaching mass-deportation policy” California will be the “wall of justice” for illegal immigrants…
I remember a director saying when they crunched some data concerning dissatisfaction he said, “Oh, they are just numbers”.
BEN: BEN: Why would a post be “awaiting moderation” ? Not going PC on us are you ?
If you include a link or a email address then it goes into a holding que for moderation.
With links I put a set of quotes around the link and then it will post.
@ Seymore Klearly, thanks for info.
It just impressed me as a ‘ Fluff Piece “. What they should be doing some researh on is just how much business Protor & Gamble does with the VA from their worldwide pharmaceuticals subsidiaries. Everyone like’s to avoid the third wire of follow the money trail.
As for the anti-social personality disorder psycho-babel, it’s just more junk science made up out of thin air.another recently made up disorder called, are you ready? : Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) that was published in DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
If you question authority you now suffer from the ravages of the this mental disorder. Shit, I’m at the top of the list on this one.Used in the legal system, Law Enforcement and the Courts, court ordered psych evaluation .
Moving right along, a subject largely not covered to the extent that it should be is the Nature of Administrative Agencies (Administrative Procedure Act). The VA is at the top of the Dysfunction pecking order on this one. There was a great panel discussion on this at the CATO Institute, and one of the panelist was a part time VA employee:
Worth the time to get an some understanding of the nature of the Administrative Jungle.
Seymore Klearly : There is ANOTHER VA OUT THERE. YOU JUST NEED TO LOOK AT THIS FROM A PARALLAX POSITION ON THIS. EDWIN CROSBY IS A GOOD START. GET YOU TO THINKING IN A NEW WAY….
@Ben – – Good article. None of us should be surprised in the least that SucVA McDipshit would lash out at anyone for exposing truth within his dysfunctional organization.
How did he EVER graduate West Point?
He obviously was incapable of comprehending the words: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”
I have thought this man a douchebag ever since I saw him on television lying to a homeless vet about having served in Special Forces in order to “make a connection”. He won’t be gone fast enough. Too bad he won’t be going to jail for his Crimes Against Honorable Veterans.
Any chance West Point gets their drinking water from Flint, Michigan? The One-Star “secret-feed” supply pipe would explain a lot.
A good measure of the lead must have also gone to his ass because this is one VA Secretary that does not get enough sunlight. Silly me, same location as the brain so yeah, it makes sense entirely now. 🙂
Maybe Bob Stossel can do a”Gimme a break” expose on the VA on 20/20.
What about Snowden or that Wikileaks guy??? Can you imagine one of them exposing all the skeletons in the VA’s closet?!? All of their internal memos being shared with the world, would be such an eye opener for all who don’t have a Vet in their family.
No one seems to have the stone’s for this.Wonder Why ?
Big money is being brought into play to quash most forms of public media. I think USAToday pulled it off because it was/is a privately owned paper. Or they don’t falter in the face of threats from the liberal elites and gov’t officials.
I think it’s cute how McDonald claims he’s worried about vets being distressed over a news article about their SECRET ratings.
McDonald should look at the silver lining. If vets are distressed over these ratings and don’t go to the VA, their wait times should improve for the remaining vets and McDonald can brag about the improvement.
I like the idea of auditing the VSOs Ben. Do they actually care about their charter anymore?
I’ve looked at the SAIL data in the past. I recall it being a new measurement replacing some other fancy acronym. I don’t see why McDonald has his panties in a wad…the SAIL data is just as worthless as that it replaced. Many of the measurements are essentially those the VA is forced to report when they get caught. I can easily see many things that should be counted on the SAIL data that could be easily ignored or covered up.
Ben, I like the idea of Deputy SecVA and your agenda. I think the next SecVA would need several pit bulls like you.
Finally, McDonald seems confused. He whines about the the USA Today article causing distress, then in his rant to the editor, he accuses USA Today of running the story to entertain readers.
Which is it? Am I supposed to be distressed or entertained?
“Which is it? Am I supposed to be distressed or entertained?”
VA redefinition is….Distr-ained, which is handy for VA in that it rhymes with deranged. 🙂
Clever i approve that one!
Or constrained…They like that as well. Constraining everything possible that might benefit a veteran in any way, including the veteran if needed.
Looks like he is taking a page right out of Trump’s playbook. If someone prints something he doesn’t like he takes to the twitter and media and blasts them. Perhaps McDonald is trying to protect his job by imitating his future boss.
The “SAIL” acronym suits the VA well! The USS BULLSHITTER to be exact. In comparison to Max Headroom, McDonald’s head is about the size of a Mount Rushmore statue. I will think I will call him Statue Boy from now on! What a dweeb! Trump just needs to fire him publicly to set the bar for these Agency heads, especially knowing that they are all in the line of succession, which supercedes what they do at their agencies. You have to think in the line of who would succeed on a larger scale than their Agency , should the line of succession should be called upon. McDouche GTFOH! (in the voice of R Lee Ermy)
Personally, I don’t know what to believe.
Although I can state what I feel.
My personal feeling is that McDonald and the leaked document is a smoke screen hiding something really big and really, really bad.
When I look to the web and find out things like the following. I know that I cannot trust anything coming from any of the main stream media or the VA.
1.) After everything that we have heard and read about Dr. David Houlihan and what went on at Tomah VAMC. Not only does he still have a medical license but the National Provider Identifier Registry shows that he is still registered as providing care through Tomah. He is required by law to update his provider’s information within 30 days of any changes. I honestly believe that he is still working with Veterans through Tomah.
2.) The Veterans Administration not only owns and maintains a 5 Star Luxury Hotel in Paris that is worth $100s of millions of dollars. A Hotel that is leased to a corporation that is directly connected to Robert McDonald for a mere $100,000 per year. While veterans cannot get proper timely medical care and even after death at a VA facility they just shove a dead Veteran into a shower room to rot.
3.) With Hindi now the second language spoken at VA Health Care facilities and branching out in to state and all government run health care systems. The way that this is happening is the VA contracts out system security to an American firm who then contract the security to a hacker from India to monitor systems like the portal to the license and credentialing system for the Veterans Administration.
“Administrative Investigation Improper Access to the VA Network by VA Contractors from Foreign Countries Office of Information and Technology”
The qualifications, or total lack thereof, for of some of these so-called doctors involve purchasing a bogus certificate and learning how to bypass the check required in the United States to practice medicine. To many links to list about India’s fake degree problems and most vids are not in English but follow this U-Tube search and you can learn from the descriptions in English. Even their minister of Justice used fake degrees to get the job.
There is so much more to list but I don’t have time to write that series of catalog.
But in closing I would like to point out that Obama has pulled out all the stops in suppling weapons to the moderate rebels but he forgot to say which countries moderate rebels he would be supplying.
Here is a video with the sights and sounds of the automatic weapons fire by the moderate rebels in Chiraq, formerly known as Chicago Il. Currently the body count for this year is higher than the body counts for both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Over 7500 for this year alone. This vids is what that body count sounds like.
This vid is some of the moderate rebels in Kentucky playing with their new toys.
Why isn’t any of this in the Main stream News?
Nice research Seymore Klearly. I also have heard non=confirmed rumors that within the VA break-rooms there’s vending machines with any degree you may happen to need for those pesky days when the VAOIG comes around. Medical credential equiv. of an Industrial Pezz Dispenser, shaped like a Disney Character, of course. Spared no expense.
The VA monitors these Disney Industrial Pezz Machine Medical Degrees very closely and how they keep constant tabs on their use is as soon as a degree is dispensed, their AFGE Union Dues increase automatically and there’s no turning back. Once a brain surgeon, no going back to medical assistant or cafeteria slop master. The VA Cares.
The VA clearly knows about the problem it has to with so many of them being so unqualified. But it gives the VA Doctors that own there life to the VA. With the VA having something to hold over their heads. If they talk about what is truly going on with Veterans care they are not only kicked out of the VA they are also kicked out of the country.
I hope you listened to the leak on the war in Chiraq. This is going on while the Illinois National Guard troops are deployed to Afghanistan and North East Africa.
What is going on in Chicago is not gangland shootings. That is a flat out war zone that was recorded. Truly would hate to be in law enforcement in Chicago right now.
@ Dennis, you are correct. They do not get it.
@ Seymore Klearly, i do not know what to believe either. I know operations in va medical centers are beyond bad. I do not know if the real truth will ever come out. It does not with the media. Everyone mans their station for damage control when bad things happen. They have meetings on how they are going to make their statements of excuses. They make their statements where everyone can see the lie and has no logic to it. Then they go into hiding and wait till this incident blows over. They conduct business as usual until the next disgusting event that leaks out. I believe Congress would have to change laws for accountability, serious reform, much more than they are probably willing to do.
Trying to be positive. I would like to see Ben Krause throw his hat in. Would he consider us as his consult team?? I think this blog could give real time creative solutions for real problems. People here do care.
Funny you mention everyone manning their stations. At Tomah they’re well-aware of ALL the negative media and will openly talk about it until they realize you’re sitting on the getting-screwed side of the fence. That’s when I get to observe the VA employees slam the fence gate shut and clam up. Their friendly attitude quickly subsides. It’s actually comical to watch. They have no problem playing with my life at Tomah. Don’t even think about pointing out the workers sitting there on their dead behinds are what caused the problems. We the veterans- are viewed as the enemy. Unbelievable! I hear say Mr. McDouble-Faced states he doesn’t want us to know this is occurring.
I can’t remember where I read this. Maybe it was from “The Horn News”!
I read where the White House, Obama’s administration, is making it illegal to force a person, from another country, to speak English. The administration says it’s “discriminatory”!
Yet, those companies employees are required to learn other languages.
Don’t know how well this will go over. Yet, if one looks at all the different languages being spoken at VA, one would understand it’s just another FUBAR in the making!
Making it illegal to force another person from another country to learn English and speak English. Yea, the Obama Administration is full of crap. We bow down to other countries and when our employees go to other countries, we are required to learn their languages. What a deranged president. He has no grip on standing up for American rules and laws. Hey, all there is one place on the other side of the globe where from what I believe that I remember that I read is that believe it or not but English is the primary language that is used. The agency is the International Atomic Agency and is located in a city of Vienna, Austria. They do tons of research there with radiation — nuclear and the lists goes on. But, this is the country of the United States and our official language is English. Our official language should always be and anyone who comes to this country should abide by all our rules and laws. Mr. Obama is totally trying deligimitize the United States with trying to do as much as he can down this path before he leaves office. Although, Obama is not leaving Washington DC, he is still going to do what he knows best which is being a community organizer and be a sharp thorn in Mr. DONALD J TRUMP’S side to put down Mr.Trump’s efforts and Mr.Trump himself and his family.
I have been trying to think of a way to have an online web interface where any vet can go in, enter a VA providers name, and bring up all the information needed about them. License #, specialty, what state(s) they are licensed in, what actions have been taken against them, etc.
This interface would allow veterans to update the information if needed, with all of it sourced to state regulatory agencies, or the NPI like you link.
I think it would be shocking at what is found.
In fact, the interface would have to be a type of wiki page. It would provide full information on a provider, but he able to track edits so the entries could be verified.
If McDweeb is concerned over a BS hospital rating system, imagine what he would think about every VA provider having an easily accessible, online profile.
An interface like that would be useful for veterans in knowing what kind of provider they are seeing, and it might actually help prevent the quacks from being shuffled around to some other VA once their malpractice is discovered.
@91Veteran, that is excellent. Especially when a Veteran is considering surgery or serious conditions to be treated. Even if it was a small database to come here to lookup providers.
That will never happen with the iron curtain of secrecy at the VAMC. They control their own form of communist medicine and are endorsed by the US government to do so.
Actually it can be done, it just would take time and effort.
I’ve done essentially the same thing with every provider at my own VA. Its just not in a publicly available, searchable database.
All one needs is the name of the provider. Everything else can be found on the internet.
My Husband’s PCP has a felony concerning drug usuage and sells, etc. They took his license for 5 years. Now he has it back and works at the VA.
This is exactly the reason why it would be so useful to veterans.
What civilian hospital would take this kind of risk?
@91 Veteran, I agree with your statements. Also, I think we should make someone in authority aware because these type of providers are dangerous to Veterans lives.
@Sandy this is so upsetting they get into trouble and they still are hired to come back. And who would hire someone to provide medical care, or treatment and for the welfare of another human being with a felony in their work history????? Also, pharmaceutical abuse and sale??? It is insanity…
FAKE RANGER BOB MCDUCK TOU NED TO BE FIRED ASAP YO ARE A TOTAL SEWAGE RAT YO ARE A TOTAL WASTE OF US TAXPEYERS $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
All of the comments carry a great deal of weight. The concerns are real (not hyperbole) and the outcomes have been terrible, if not catastrophic. I do think that any first steps to right these wrongs should begin in the areas that directly affect the quality of healthcare being administered to veterans. “Without your health you have nothing.” I know this to be fact.
So do I. Well said.
Yes we do deserve better, thank you USA today. This article only proves what I have been saying for years.
My facility rates 2 stars. I knew this already since I was damn near killed by a VA quack. While I got my first ambulance ride that night, unconsious and unresponsive being taken to a real hospital my family was never notified until I was able to call them 12 hours latter. I guess they wanted to see if I would be another rotting corpse before they notified my wife kids by mail if at all.
Now Mr. Secretary I am still waiting for someone anyone at the VA to apolojize for almost killing me and all the way below sub standard treatment I was victum of by all of your graduates of Ali Babba University.
When I attempted to complain to administration they called the VA police to escort me out saying I was being disruptive. This is I believe the 1st words a VA employee learns in training. I guess I was in a no complaint zone. I was told “hey we got you an ambulance, right??
Mr Trump HELP us who have taken many years out of our lives to serve this country. Some of us have suffered for a life time from our experiences in the military.
I want nothing more than to receive what congress. AKA” We the People” say what veterans should receive professionally and honestly.
There is much more to my story with the VA dating back to the first quack I got assigned to 10 years ago (another graduate from Ali Babba University, I guarentee you English was not his major”. BTW I just learned makes over 200k a year for being a non caring incompetent jerk.
Time for campaign promises to happen Mr. Trump.
Only in America
We all know what Christmas stands for. Humility, Love, Understanding, Compassion etc., etc.! Evidently, there’s a “slug” in Indiana who is like the “Grinch”! His heart, if he even has one, might be smaller than the “Grinches”!
Here’s an article from:
“ACLU SUING INDIANA TOWN OVER CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS”
dated: Dec. 12, 2016 | by: aggregation | 19 comments (as of a few minutes ago)
Quote; “Knightstown, Ind. – The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a central Indiana town over the display of a cross as part of its Christmas decorations.” Unquote!
I wonder what Vice President Elect Pence thinks about this?
One individual says he passes the town tree every day and it causes him great anguish.
What do I say about this,
Ahhh too fuckin bad. One more “snowflake” having his feelings hurt!
If you don’t like it here, leave!
“…could dissuade Veterans from coming to VA for care, and ultimately produce bad Veteran outcomes.”
Bob, has it EVER occured to you that the very reason it takes the press to “out” your shiney VA ass into the daylight is because most Americans are absolutely CERTAIN that the VA produces “bad Veteran outcomes.”?!?!?!!!!!
What about the DBC committees Bob? Are you worried about their bad Veteran outcomes?
Are dirty drill bits a good or bad outcomes, Bob?
Maggots in a festering wound of an honored warrior….god or bad, Bob?
Illegal epxerimentation on veterans deemed non-human….same question?
Dirty surgical instruments from year to year to year – hmmmmm?
False reporting to police/false entries into med records/shredding documents…Bob, want to give this one a shot too?
We have seen photos of you pinning medals on the chest of a VA man who ripped off Americas veterans of the money that had been gifted to them. Bob, he saluted you. This worm of a man, with a Rolls Royce, a mansion worthy of Howard Hughs, and dressed in drab green uniform of a military man, admires the living shit out of you, Bob. So much so he saluted you, as his leader.
Did you get to drive the Rolls? I heard those are damn fine cars, Bob. I got to drive VA issued crutches. At pair number three that failed within one week, I splurged for the Rolls Royce of crutches – (Amazon dot com one click buy). These babies last for months! Good quality, like the Rolls, but I did have to pay for them myself. Did the Rolls come with 8 track or cassette? Was the Rolls a pretty good outcome for the vet you honored Bob, or bad?
But you know what REALLY frosts my ass, Bob? It frosts my butt to see veterans get ignored!
Vets get ignored by VA.
And by VSOs.
…some of vets got REALLY tired of being ignored and we elected the biggest jack-ass in the land because there is just thing that a jack-ass is very good at; you can’t ignore them. The one we elected loves breaking down the people who try to ignore him. He is good at dealing with the ignorant and us vets figured if you are “ignoring” that makes you the “ignorant”.
And you have the nuts to stand up in public and tell a newspaper who choses NOT to ignore America’s veterans and their families that it was the press who was “ignorant”!
Maybe I don’t understand the VA definition of a “good outcome” at VA. Can you post on this forum for me please a clarification of terms? Mr. Sec., please tell me how the words “good outcome” are defined at ANY VHA facility?
Veterans are just dying to learn.
Certainly McDonald is not worried about veterans having bad outcomes. If he did, he might suggest to the Tomah VA leadership that kicking homeless vets out of a VA building in the middle of a nasty cold winter might result in some bad outcomes.
Such as a vet jumping out a window.
I think it was Crazy Elf that posted the links to the Wisconsin Watchdog report. Seems the VA is kicking out between 50 and 60 homeless vets in mid January. They are housed in a VA building on VA grounds, with a non-profit that had been paying the $17000 per month rent. The VA claims criminal activities as the reason why they are ending this 20 year program. If that were the case, I could see several other VA hospitals shut down because of criminal activity, including a supposedly secure treatment facility in Milwaukee where a veteran recently died.
Is it possible the VA has other ideas for that building?
Why does it take an external non-profit to pay so much in rent to house homeless vets if the VA, as McDumbass claims, is doing such a stellar job?
The VA also seemed to suggest that the nonprofit failed to provide security for that facility, which the leader of the non profit, currently serving overseas, said was BS…that they were providing security.
I guess the VA, in their brilliant thinking would rather these vets fend for themselves on the streets in mid winter. Where they must be more secure or something.
The criminal activity in the building where the homeless veterans reside likely comes from the pharmacy which is in the same building. Wasn’t it the pharmacy staff at Tomah caught selling prescription opioids? I did hear some of the homeless veterans were doing the same. That all dates back to the Houlihan era with the homeless veterans but the pharmacy folks, I heard, were doing it most recent. Maybe due to the close proximity of the two, that’s how the homeless veterans got tangled into the mess. To dump the homeless vets into the sheer freezing environment because the civilian lifers can’t get their act together is inexcusable. What this is turning into is to get rid of the veterans and the Tomah problem goes away. The medical center at Tomah is virtually a ghost town when it comes to veterans. It used to be a bustling facility and now most of the waiting rooms are devoid of patients. Closing down the homeless shelter is just one more more to eliminate the problem- the veteran.
Thanks for the additional details.
I’m sorry but I, as an intelligent adult human being, reserve the right to make an INFORMED decision based off all available data about where I go for healthcare. If a facility has a 1 star rating for WHATEVER reason whether internally or available to the public, we, as veterans deserve to have access to that information.
What we don’t deserve is a lying, scheming, BULLSHIT ARTIST like BoB McDonald who only wants to blow smoke up our ass regarding the quality of care at the VA while our veterans are being left to develop maggot infested wounds, assaulted and murdered by VA staff who fear no repercussions. We deserve better treatment than to have our corpses sit in a fucking morgue until our remains LIQUIFY.
BoB McDonald is a failed leader and he helms a department of failed human beings. If BoB McDonald put even a fraction of his energy into righting this sinking ship instead of trying to spin the narrative, stories like this would simply not exist.
I wish we could all descend on his D.C. office with pitchforks and torches and light the place up. I imagine it would be hysterical to watch all the roaches, yes Secretary McDonald you are a roach, scurry out between the smoke and the flames.
How much money has BoB Mcdonald made allowing us to be humiliated and murdered while turning a blind eye?
Fuck you Secretary McDonald. FUCK. YOU.
Here’s the article Ben spoke about on the vet laying around for NINE HOURS!
It’s from “military.com” by way of “the associated press”.
“Report: VA Hospital Left Body in Shower Room for 9 Hours”
posted: 12 Dec. 2016
It happened at the VHA in Tampa, Fl.!
That particular VHA has been mentioned many times over the past few years over how they (mis)treat veterans! How do y’all think McDuck will respond to this article? Do y’all think it will be how he responded to the USA TODAY article? Basically, calling it bull shit!?
Speaking about “Censoring the (REAL) news!
Here’s a couple videos for your viewing pleasure!
from the “Alex Jones Show”, posted – 11 Dec. 2016. (10:18 minutes)
“Morning Joe Host: Hillary Censored Us, Interfered in Election”
Go to the 4:40 minute, the actual ‘clip’ from the “Morning Joe Show”, mark to learn how the Clinton Crime Family tried to get a reporter fired for reporting the truth.
IMO, the complete video is a must watch!
Here’s another video (I put it on here last night) over what some of our elected officials are up to concerning “Censorship”!
from: “Lisa Haven” on Utube.
“While You Were DISTRACTED The Senate PASSED “Orwellian Controlled Media Act” – Govt Controlled Media”
Posted on 11 Dec 2016 (18:22 minutes long)
Ms. Haven gives ‘links’ to verify her article. The two ‘bills’ to watch out for are;
HR 6393 (which has a 30% chance of passing the house). It’s already passed in the Senate.
SB 3274, which has already gone through both houses. Now, all it needs is Obama’s signature! This one is for a complete shutdown of all conservative news medias!
Think about this for one minute.
-IF- these bills are made into law, ‘conservative sites’ (reporting the truth) would be banned or “Censored”! This is in complete violation of the “First Amendment”! This would/could also include such sites as this one.
Can y’all imagine not being able to learn the truth about what’s occurring in VA, or any other government agency? Can you imagine not having access to know what’s really going on around you? (Remember, Obama gave the internet to the United Nations a few months ago.)
The ‘false diatribe’ handed out by McDuck, Shulkin, Gibson and others would be the only “reports” you would have access to.
Can you imagine that?!
Can you imagine that?!
Wow. He wants us to be uninformed about the poor rating or it might affect our attitude. I’m pretty sure that being one who is assigned to the Tomah VA system, I’m well aware of the one star rating there and I didn’t need to go somewhere online to figure that out. I mean really, he’s a West Point grad turning his nose on those of us who many have degrees and are not as ignorant as he contends.
AMEN to that. Veterans are the most underrated/underutilized, intelligent population that’s always striving to improve ourselves….even when the VA cannot nor will provide assistance to do so. McDonald effectively marginalized and minimalized Veterans in his wasted West Point education.
No wonder Proctor & Gamble turned him loose to the Disney Compound and only by proxy, the VA.
This is the same man that likened wait times at the VA like waiting in line for a ride at Disneyland. Only true if the ride is one Veterans want to ride and enjoy hurrying-up to wait for and potentially dying in process of waiting. Rat Bastards.
@Just another vet- It must mean that VA Secretary McDonald and the VA lives by the motto that ignorance in bliss. Blissfully Ignorant.
Certainly a “socialized medicine” mentality at its best. He’s convinced we’re bound to take whatever is dished out. What a poor head of the VA system!!!
RE: Nonetheless, the outstanding and historic progress VA has made in transformation over the past two years is consistently ignored by USA Today.
Might that be because the “outstanding and historic progress ” exists only in the minds of Secretary McDonald and his VA spinmasters?
It certainly does exist only in his little mind.
If there were actual measureable improvements that have been made and people would believe them, you can bet McDonald would be pointing them out every chance he got, along with his buddies in the VSOs helping.
That he sticks to his vague wording tells me he has nothing concrete to point to.
He can polish that turd all he wants, it still stinks.
“Great Caesar’s Ghost” as Perry White would exclaim. Especially when he hears bull crap coming from anyone.
I wonder who actually wrote that diatribe for McDuck?! I believe he’s not the most brilliant light bulb in the package.
There’s sooooo many things in his rebuttal that don’t pass the sniff test, it’s ridiculous. It’s not only ridiculous, he flat assed lied AGAIN to the American public and veterans!
As Ben, and many others have pointed out in the past two + years, the quality of VHA healthcare has become more abhorrent. When VHA employees are caught in wrongdoings, they get to quit. Then receive a ‘severance pay’! WTF OVER! Try that in the civilian sector!
There is one thing I’m glad McDuck cleared up. That is, the VA is “…the nation’s largest CIVILIAN agency…”!
Would this not lead viewers, veterans and civilians, of the USA TODAY article, to believe the VA could be held accountable within the court systems of each state?
Something is going on. For McDuck to spread lies so conveniently, and easily, shows me he has absolutely no compassion or empathy for the veterans he’s been “appointed to serve”!
I do like the idea of Ben holding an office in the VA. If for nothing else, but to “blow the lid off the VA”!!!!!
I also would like to see all VSO’s audited. They’ve become as corrupt as VA! The worst one, in my opinion, is the “Disabled American Veterans”, (DAV)! With the “American Legion” coming in at a close second. Then the “Veterans of Foreign Wars” coming in third!
There’s a lot of “Swamp Water” to be drained, my brothers and sisters!
@Crazy elf and all- you wrote: “There is one thing I’m glad McDuck cleared up. That is, the VA is “…the nation’s largest CIVILIAN agency…”!
Would this not lead viewers, veterans and civilians, of the USA TODAY article, to believe the VA could be held accountable within the court systems of each state?”
That would be an inconvenient Christmas Gift for the VA to open the floodgates of VA Kryptonite to the States. I like it, but am afraid the VA SES types are manning the Grinch Controls.
SES- Sociopathic Executive Snowflakes.
I wonder if Secretary McDonald even has a a connectedness to his wife. Reason why I question this is his decisions as VA secretary reflect a total disconnection with the veterans. Veterans should be well informed and have the right to have easy access to all care and their care records. Afterall, the care involves the veterans themselves not Secretary McDonald. The VA secretary does not own the veterans. The VA believes they do though. The veterans lives should be treated as such.
Benjamin- Great ‘Bad VA Art’ today, it gives McDonald that “MAX HEADROOM” look. Intentional or he’s just not all that photogenic? 🙂
So……..where was VA Secretary McDonald’s public snowflake pout-rage when Veterans have set themselves on fire or last week’s media coverage of that 73 yr old Vets infected with maggots and sepsis left to die at a VA Facility where the VA employees up and quit?
Oh, those must be that thing called an “inconvenient truths” right? Inconvenient in that the VA public affairs could not contain and sanitize the meatgrinder’s swath of destruction? Yep.
Sociopaths R’ Us, that’s VA upper SES types. Eyes wide shut at the helm of the V.A. Titanic.
(yes, I made-up a new word and I am calling McDonald’s outrage a POUT-RAGE)
I suspect that VA Sec. McDonald is feeling the heat from AFGE President David “little” Cox, as his minions are all butthurt that the disinfecting qualities of sunlight are causing rats to get restless.
GOOD. This is only taking the containment lid off the VA Kryptonite called Accountability. Much, much more to follow you sociopathic wretches.
A befitting repurposed partial quote from Dr. Seuss’ “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”:
“[The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his [rat] heart was two sizes too small.]”
“[You’re a vile one, Mr. Grinch. You have termites in your smile.
You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile.
Mr. Grinch! Given the choice between the two of you I’d take the seasick crocodile!
You’re a rotter, Mr. Grinch. You’re the king of sinful sots.
Your heart’s a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots.
Mr. Grinch! You’re a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce!]”
Drain The Swamp.
Pout-rage is exactly the right made up word for this. Max Headroom was an accidental look but suiting!
I think McDonald is pouting simply because he sees his Career Dissipation light dwindling.
He saw lined up some suck-ass VSOs to push for him in exchange for ??? and that USA Today article is raining on his parade.
FYI This is NOT a career for McDonald. He does not NEED this or any job. He had offered his time, finances, family, connections, expertise to try to help the group he loves- fellow veterans. Many veteran groups actually want McDonald to stay since they see the wide-ranging changes he is implementing. Our military family only hopes that the next Secretary will carry those major innovations to improve the VA- our heroes.
I really wish those that keep talking about the changes, innovations or improvements that McDonald is doing would let the rest of us know about them.
Why doesn’t he specify them?
Yes, please give specifics i would like to know too..
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