KARE 11 reporter AJ Lagoe hit a home run during an interview with a GAO investigator revealing VA fraud of wrongful denial of ER bills puts lives at risk.

Three years ago, the Government Accountability Office found 12 red flags it addressed to VA and Congress concerning the agency’s failures to timely process non-VA emergency room bills. Yesterday, in an interview with Lagoe, investigator Randy Williamson said knowledge of VA’s persistent fraud is putting veterans lives at risk.

WATCH: Great GAO Interview Hitting Back At VA ER Denial Scheme

“Was the expectation that this issue was being fixed?” KARE 11 Investigative Reporter A.J. Lagoe asked Randy Williamson, the GAO’s lead investigator on the project.

“That was the expectation,” Williamson replied.

Recent reports that were first exposed by yours truly, Benjamin Krause, and then investigated by Lagoe, now are unraveling into one of the biggest VA scandals this year.

RELATED: Are VA ER Bill Denials Bad Faith Insurance?

Beginning in June, KARE 11’s continuing investigation – A Pattern of Denial – has documented how veterans are still being saddled with medical debt they should not owe, some of it even turned over to collection agencies after trips to the emergency room.

Lagoe’s findings mirror what Williamson’s GAO investigation discovered years ago.

WATCH: Krause ER Bill Story via KARE 11

Due to fear of being stuck with ER bills, many veterans bypass common sense and their own health. Williamson relayed one example of a veteran who drove 100 miles beyond the nearest emergency room to a VA facility with a gunshot wound for fear of billing.

From the interview:

The GAO also found the wrongful denials were prompting some veterans to take dangerous risks.

Fearing they might be stuck with an emergency bill the VA would not pay, veterans were by-passing the closest emergency room to drive miles to a VA facility.

“One veteran with a gunshot wound had his wife drive him to a Veterans hospital a hundred miles away, rather than go to the nearest facility in the community,” Williamson said.

“Why?” asked Lagoe.

“Because the veteran thought he would be on the hook for the bill and he didn’t want to do that,” Williamson replied.

At the core of that scandal is fraud and manipulation of VA quota systems by senior leadership who push low-level employees to engage in fraud to boost performance numbers that solely rely on the number of claims processed versus quality of decisionmaking for the matter.

The GAO report made 12 recommendations, but Williamson told Congress back in 2014 he was concerned VA was not fully implementing them.

Three years later, KARE’s investigation documented continuing problems – case after case of veterans still falling victim to the VA’s pattern of improper denials.

“Based on what we know now, and based on some things I’ve heard from VA, it’s not completely fixed,” Williamson said.

A nationwide investigation is underway, and veterans affected should reach out to their elected officials to highlight each and every instance where VA failed to pay a justifiable emergency room bill.

Here is a list of information and reports:

Source: http://www.kare11.com/article/news/investigations/kare-11-investigates-veterans-stuck-with-medical-bills-despite-government-investigation/89-501513641

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96 COMMENTS

  1. Another excellent example of VA Health care by a policy. Which works against Veterans by providing less than adequate third world health care to veterans.

    Just add it to the list of other VA Directives and policies which fight against providing Veterans with any quality of Heath Care.

    It show that any physician who is willing to work at the VA will sell out the needs of their patients in pursuit of a paycheck.

    Truly Disgusting!

  2. Follow the $$$. the chief of staff position is the deciding official in these cases of denials, ultimately with the director’s approval. That position fluctuates with “interim” people to escape accountability.
    VA phrase of the day “Fluctuating Flunkies”
    VA consistently executes the same pattern of fraud when the light is not on them.

    I like the idea of getting independent contractors in there to review VA. Lawyers, law enforcement, nurses,doctors and 4 rowdy ass veterans like myself to keep the tribunal focused on fixing that shit and arresting tunadogs on the spot.
    #OperationBustaBeast

    • If the VA were simply serving their duty to assist veterans and following rules in-place, no funny hatter VSO’s would ever be needed, so why respect a single VSO at this point when we have YET to hear any outcry over Shulkin’s outright lying to vets about him not touching TDUI Veteran Compensation, while doing closed-door deals with…VSO’s that only benefit the piggies?
      No matter the flavor of VSO at this point, if the VA is not being bugged to get it’s shit together like a hive of angry bees, then all VSO’s are simply lamprey on the VA’s asshole. (yep, that implies strongly that they suck ass)
      (any question how I may feel about *any* VSO at this point? They epitomize ‘Ebenezer Scrooge’ and the Dick in Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’.)

    • Worthless. I have tried them all, full circle, all. Games, “we don’t deal with such issues,” “hands are tied,” blah blah to the CVoA no replies and difficult to find working contact info. Contacted them after seeing the dude on Fauxnews wanting vets with issues to call in or contact them. All show and BS while they reported doing so much and the one clown getting a job on their morning show. Just more TV facade and propaganda for ratings.

      I have even gone totally public, posting my FB page here and around and sent to CVfA, nothing. Same thing for all others. Mention Indiana, depth of corruption, they all run, Oath Keepers, American Legion, DAV, et al. Can’t find basic human, Constitutional, or civil rights here either.

      • Ben: Another Good job of exposing the crud which is supposedly “serving us vets” B.S.
        The only thing that will turn this garbage wagon around is to file writs of mandamus requiring these flunkies to show up in court and do their job, pay the bills. Then lawsuits must be filed for FRAUD DAMAGES, (PUNITIVE DAMAGES AND YOU MUST GET TO THE HEADQUARTERS AND GET IN THEIR FACES, BIG TIME. FIND OUT WHERE THESE SHITS LIVE, TIME FOR GRUMBLING IS GONE, TIME FOR ACTION IS NOW.
        Unless you make these shitbirds HURT PERSONALLY YOU WILL SEE NO CHANGE. VA bureaucrats are absolutely worthless at solving ANY problems.
        The other solution is to make VA health care private and get rid of the “JOBS” which these boobs hold onto and hide behind.

  3. VA not paying valid ER bills of vets. VA and HealthNet/Cerner not paying bills on authorized referrals. Yet, VA Sec. Shulkin just got an interim cookie jar refill yesterday and it should last them until Jan. 19 and I wonder how much of that $$ requested went to VA nonperformance bonuses while none of the above valid bills were paid?
    Dear Santa: The VA are self-serving assholes and as you can see, each and everyone in upper management require a visit from that sequestered herd of possessed reindeer you own, to bring extra large lumps of coal to crush their dastardly souls. Could you also give them a personal visit with your hoard of zombie elves as well?
    Thanks Santa,
    Concerned Veterans *of* America…(not to be confused with any funny hatters)

    • namnibor have you ever tried to call Concerned Veteran for America in Arlington, Virginia and tell your belief how to improve Veterans Healthcare.

      • Also, I highly doubt the Koch Brothers have lowly Veteran’s best interest at-hand…unless you’re a ring-knocker, considering fact Koch Brothers own most of Big Pig Pharma, which the VA bows down to, so no…CVFA are being used as piggy stage props and do not even realize it like the slowly brought to boil frog in pan of water…(we Vets are the froggies).

  4. The VA also makes everything riddled with regulations that are difficult for a non-attorney to decipher. Non-VA emergency room approval also depends on the veterans income. One out for not paying ER bill. Another is that the emergency condition must meet the requirements of an emergency or the VA doesn’t pay. I always that if I have such an emergency I would have to die in place because I would have difficulty paying the large ER charges. I am about a mile from the nearest non-
    VA hospital, but about 40 miles from the VA hospital. In an emergency, how am I to drive 40 miles???? I am a divorced senior citizen living alone. These limitations, plus VA adversarial position to veterans of the VA ER bill payment are an affront to all veterans.

    • The VA is adverserial in every situation, dealing with a veteran; I just hung up on some stupid arrogant VA mid-level official who tried to give me some routine bullshit in answer to a question posed, and told him that I didn’t need him to solve the problem cuz he wouldn’t and couldn’t but I just needed to know which VA shit to sue.

    • I go to the nearest Hospital and If the VA doesn’t pay, I tell them to stick the Bill up there ASS, Our USG pays Medicaid for lazy baby producing Rejects and they can’t Pay mine, They can all go FUCK Themselves

  5. With ALL the negative evidence of “corruption, waste, fraud and abuse” coming out FIVE DAYS A WEEK, just on this website alone. NEVER mind ALL of the other news outlets reporting negative information!
    I say: “SHUT DOWN THE DAMN VA!”
    It’s nothing more than a “slush fund” for everyone there!
    FUCK THE VA!
    FUCK “Shithead Shulkin!”
    FUCK THE AFGE!

    • Crazy elf, agreed
      Just a VA slush fund! “The VA Cash Hog” The VA Pedophila-Like-Ring” and and “VA KULT-of-Money” for Non Veterans like
      1. VA Ohio, like these three:
      1. Eric Canna Non Veteran Catholic Akron Ohio VA Outpatient Clinic Waterloo Road who said, and stated,
      “ALL VETERANS WAN(Care About) IS MONEY. ALL VETERANS LIE (Are Liars). ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THAT? WELL THIS WILL EFFECT YOUR BENEFITS! A VETERAN CAN ONLY BE INJURED (Hurt) by BOMBS AND BULLETS!”
      Eric Canna Non Veteran Catholic stated these things, Of course his father was never served our country either.
      2. Pamela Sue Sherer Non Veteran Catholic Akron Ohio VA Outpatient Clinic Waterloo Road. Lied to both Ohio Senators Senator Rob Portman Ohio, and Senator Sherrod Brown Ohio.
      3. PETER M. BARACH Ohio NPI#1396773610 Ohio License No.3280 Non Veteran Draft Dodger 1970-1973 (possibly a deferment for mental illness from military) Jewish, Leftist Democrat and military Anti military VA Wade Park Cleveland Ohio C and P Exam Hatchet Man, The VAs “Paid Forensic Whore”, The VA Paid LAP DOG. The VA “Paid Forensic Prostitute” Engaging in 20 page C and P exams where Peter M. Barach lies often and a lot.

      2. PETER M. BARACH “Cherry Picking” and “Checkering” and creating “False Narratives” on a bogus lying “GASLIGHTING” 20 pages C and P exams sabotaging injured vets claims, and disabled former soldiers benefits. In the face of two fully developed claims submitted 2014-2015, and a second fully developed claim submitted April-May of 2017 by three private providers in total. 2 DBQ forms verifying in service injury. May 2017 Origins of Diseased Report 5 pages based on med research, med lit, and a modern DSMV submitted to DRO Judge decison review officer (May 2017 after the C and P exam because we were fearful Peter M. Barach was going to copy, falsify and paste those medical notes on his lying C and P).

      3. Also submitted April-May 2017 MMPI 4 pages of social history injury and how it effected life, 2nd DBQ Form (3rd private provider), and “Nexus Letter”. Along with Senator Rob Portman Ohio and Senator Sherrod Brown Ohio requests to have the PETER M. BARACH C and P thrown out of the record entirely, and out of my VA file. Peter M. Barach NPI#1396773610 Ohio License No.3280 Non Veteran Draft dodger 1970-1973, (possibly deferment for mentle illness from military), Jewish Leftist, Democrat, and possibly Anti-military.

      4. If the VA is helping you as an injured vet, and a disabled former soldier, why is all these private providers needed to honestly tell the truth. And it appears there is a clear bias towards injured vets and disabled former soldiers in Ohio. possibly a psychological bias based on differences in religion, political affiliation, veteran status, and disability status. Clearly this is unlawful by Federal Regulations. And this puts in question, “DUE PROCESS”…

      5. It is true. If the VA is operating truely honestly and ethically. And treating the injured vets fair, and disabled former soldiers justly. Then VSO caseworkers and other representative should not be needed at the VA. In theory. Not should one, two, and three private medical license providers, to clearify inuries.

      6. VA Giving injured veterans and disabled former soldiers the “Benefit of the doubt”, huh??? Really???
      Merry Christmas Disabled Veterans . org. U.S. Army, artillery (88-90, 90-96 and after 9/11 03-05)

  6. Here’s another “law” the VA will more than likely disregard in favor of bonuses!
    From; “military.com” via “Stars and Stripes”
    Dated: 21 Dec 2017
    Titled:

    “Trump Signs Bill Opening VA to More Investigations”

    The “New Law” is titled, “The Enhancing Veterans Care Act!” Once you read it, it puts “…the contracting of nonprofit organizations to investigate wrongdoing at VA’s…” right back into the hands of the directors! (At least that’s what I read in the article!)
    What does this do for veterans? Not a fuckin thing!
    So:
    FUCK THE VA!
    FUCK SHIT FOR BRAINS Shulkin!
    SHUT THE DAMN VA DOWN!
    SHUT IT ALL DOWN!
    “VA IS LYING, VETERANS ARE DYING!”

    • As long as these rat bastards are allowed to continue to police themselves, we will get rat turds as the kibble and result.

    • Even if you get a legitimate finding, you will read how their contract got canceled and VA will go on a media blitz to discredit the contractor. Of course your FOIA relating to the inquiry of the terminated contract will be denied citing privacy.

      • Semper Fi Corpsman Up.
        Privacy doesn’t exist when you waive it in order to sue them, We must be like a pack of crazed junkyard dogs, because we are dealing with CRIMINALS AND INCOMPETENTS. Do NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT WASTE YOUR BREATHS ON REGULAR CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION, AT THE FIRST NOTIFICATION, SUE THEM AND REQUEST A WAIVER OF FILING FEES.

    • I’m still trying to figure this one out Crazy Elf.

      Qui bono. Who benefits?

      Why was this law signed? Does someone have a clear intention of trying to clean up the VA using an outside group? Who inspects the VA now? I suspect whoever inspects or accredited VA hospitals now are just bureaucrats somewhere looking over statistics that the VA chooses to give them.

      What kind of non profit will inspect? Are VSOs goingvti be a part of this? Or will the director pitch this inspection to some favorite group if his?

      In some respects, I see this as good since there will have to be standards followed. On the other hand, I don’t see this helping if the director chooses his local American Legion group, and his Save Our System buddy does the inspection.

      Or if the non profit does their job, and the director submits a complaint against their non profit status.

      • The criteria to get on that reviewing board should be a veteran with 2 or more flags by the DBC , then maybe you might believe the VA is trying to change.

      • FORGEDDABOUTIT! Fuck the Review boards! You gottat make so no one will want to serve on these scurvy “Review Boards” They are full of punks and zeros. Sue, Sue, Sue! Call them at night at home repeatedly.

      • 91Veteran,
        You and me both! You’ve got some good reasoning on what could happen to a VSO, OR any “outside group or agency”, who “goes against VA!”

        I wondered, WHILE reading the article, IF the “nonprofit” chosen, would be willing to “sell out”, [for a LARGE amount of CASH! NO CHECKS], the veterans their “contacted” to help?!
        You know the old sayings:
        “Everyone can be bought. It just depends on the amount offered!”
        Or,
        “Money talks and BULLSHIT walks! And, again, “It just depends on the amount offered!”

        Because, there might be some smaller VSO’s, [upper management], out there wanting to “pad their pockets with a lot of money!” to keep their organization afloat!

        Just thinking out loud!

      • That is why you must bypass these sleazy incompetent boobecrats, do not stop at any intermediate court just like Monopoly go straight to the Federal Courthouse.

  7. I’m a mustard gas veteran, 6 months ago I had my 1st treatment at a specialist for chronic headaches,under the veterans choice program, 10 weeks later I was scheduled to have the 2nd treatment. The day of that treatment, the doctor’s office called and cancelled, due to non payment. After numerous calls, 6 months have passed, the issue is still not resolved. Someone is lying, either the VA or the doctor. What doctor would want to treat any veteran, if it took 6 months to get paid, or they never got paid. All the talk of the new billions going to the VA and what a great job of transforming the VA, that is taking place, seems like a fairy tale to me. After years of trying to ask for care at my local VA, and being shut down, interrupted while trying to ask about treatment, other than pills, I sit and wonder if I’m just one man who has been lost among the change, or if there are thousands, tens of thousands, or even more veterans who are facing this same dilemma? I think the latter is the answer.

    • Bryce,
      One of the commenters on here, a long time ago, referred to each individual VA as its “own little fiefdom!”
      As time went by, and the news got worse about what was transpiring at different VA’s nationwide OR worldwide. I got to thinking that was a pretty good description of VA!
      Think about it. Each little, OR BIG, VA, [no matter whether a healthcare or administrative entity], being run by “little Napolian Bonaparte’s”! Can you imagine the “rules” or “policies” these reprobates could impose against veterans at each place!?

      Maybe this is the “WHY” no one can actually break the VA up!

      Maybe this is “WHY”, when President Trump was wanting NEW BLOOD as a Secretary of VA, NO ONE wanted the job!
      Remember, some did start to want to be the new Secretary. Then, all of a sudden, they backed out! I remember some one on here saying: “They didn’t want it on their resume!” Or, something like that!

      Maybe this is “WHY” the VA needs to be completely SHUT DOWN!

      • I agree with that analogy. Not long ago, a lawyer very well connected inside the VA contacted me. He either heard me on the radio, read an article somewhere on numerous news blogs across the country referring to the VA care, or lack there of and told me this.
        The VA is just as divided, as both legislative branches of the government, factions within the VA, would rather see programs fail, such as Veterans Choice, rather than have them succeed, and have those dollars leave outside the traditional VA care system. They would rather keep the system as is, broken and dysfunctional, than see those dollars leave for care outside the broken system. A system that’s as divided as our government, is not gonna serve the interests of those who most rely on it, those disabled who suffer from chronic injuries, chronic illness, regardless.
        I called the White House VA hotline today, and spoke with another disabled veteran, who works at the call center just outside DC, in Virginia. We spoke for an hour. He basically confirmed to me, veterans are calling and complaining of care being denied of non payment across the country. I was given a docket number and he took everyone of my complaints. He himself has been victimized by the very system he is working for, trying to resolve my issues. What an oxymoron, working inside a broken system, and being a victim of it as well.

      • tHE aNSWER lies in FLOODING THE FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT SYSTEM WITH IN PRO PER LAWSUITS FILED “IN PRO PERSONA”
        There is no VA boobecrat in the country who will solve your problem satisfactorily. Sue, Sue, Sue, Bite, Bite, Bite.

      • Another pattern is the VA creating brand new “crisis lines” or under the premise of “Protecting Whistleblowers”, or even “CHOICE CHAMPIONS”, and create a new office and often these are indeed activist Vets negatively affected by the VA’s incompetence…guess what almost *always happens*? Might have guessed; the ploy of the VA is to have their perceived enemies and advocates for Vets close the VA…very close…you know, to keep an eye on them…then next thing you know, just as many VSO’s have lost their way and mission, this is what eventually happens, the corruption is SO steep and thick at the VA it absolutely corrupts even once great-intentions then next thing, we are reading about the scandal here.

        It’s kind of like tossing a fresh cat turd into some milk dudds and not expect any of the turd to get on the milk dudds.

      • Bryce: Did the lawyer give you an explanation as to why they want to see various programs fail in order to “keep the system broken”? What is the rationale for that? What is the point? Who is benefiting? Certainly not veterans.

      • They don’t want any money going outside of the VA it’s self. One side wants more care provided outside, the other side sees outside care as a threat to the VA its self. There is already talk of shutting down some clinics in areas where veterans have to travel. You would think they could agree on certain areas, but if it is as divided as congress, then failing certain aspects would make sense to protect the bureaucracy its self.

    • File a motion in the Federal District Court and subpoena everyone and get them on the witness stand;

      • Flotmorton,
        What good would that do? All they’ll do is “PLEAD the 5th!”
        My opinion is: Since VA IS a “civilian entity”, and only government subsidized, let local law enforcement and court systems handle civil and criminal complaints!
        That would be a change!

  8. 3 years later, yet this fraud continues by the VA as if no investigation was ever completed.

    Why is that?

    Well, the answer to that again is a lack of oversight and follow-up by Congress.

    A GAO report or investigation is requested by a member of congress, or several members depending on the issue. A congressman sends the request to them, and the GAO, in my opinion, is very thorough and gathers huge amounts of information, then writes a report that is sent back to the original requesters of the investigation. The report often contains far less information than what they have uncovered.

    GAO investigations are typically non partisan and contain facts, although some previous members of Congress have tried using them as a political weapon, I believe they continue to be worthwhile.

    Once the requesters get the report back, they then look at it, and often have hearings on the report, depending on the interest in it. The hearings might be the lead investigator highlighting what they found, then some agency hacks making excuses for why they fucked up.

    Depending on the questions raised and the interest in the subject by the requesters, the GAO may follow up with more investigating, or they may follow up with another report on how well the agency is fixing their screw-ups.

    Why is this still happening? Well, there are 22 requesters listed at the end of the report. What hearings did they hold? What follow-up investigations were completed? What reports back to Congress were made? Did they request the GAO follow up and report on what VA is doing to fix this?

    Given at least 2 requesters are no longer in Congress, with Henry Waxman having been gone since 2011, this continues because congress doesn’t give a shit.

    Rep. Jeff Miller requested this, likely as then chairman of the House VA Committee. That committee should have continued to follow up to make damn sure the VA stopped their fraud.

    • charleskochfoundation………..,. Address. 1320 N. Courthouse Road, Suite 500 Arlington, VA 22201. Phone. 703.875.1770. Fax. 703.875.1766. Key Contacts. Careers. Learn more about career opportunities.

      • OLDMARINE,
        Did you read where a few weeks ago, one of the Koch brothers and his friend, were at “Mar-a-Lago” here in Florida. When President Trump found out, both “…were physically removed and banned for life!”
        Thought you might like this information!

      • Kicked-out like a couple stray gators on a golf course! 😀 I think the phonetics are correct but the spelling is off on the Koch Brothers. 😀

      • Are you Hollywood Marine lol OLDMARINE BACK I DIDN’T CARE ABOUT THE OUR LEADERS WAS NOT SCREW UP AS THEY ARE NOW A DAYS.

  9. Criminals and veterans mean nothing to them, Talk, Talk, Talk, nothing more.

    I we promise to fix it ! while all the time they are saying this they have their hands behind their back, with their fingers crossed.

  10. Ben, I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you do for Veterans and exposing the wrongdoings to get someone to take action. The major problem I see is that no one is providing oversight once its exposed and to keep the VA honest. The government need an oversight committee not employed by VA to oversee their operations. The other major problem is that the key leaders don’t know their own governing documents thus how can they home employees accountable, to counsel to provide guidance or remedy training etc. To me, this is the major problem.

    I know of another program that is preventing Veterans from using their PCT and these VA employees are making licensed medical providers decisions and using threats bullying and intimidation to prevent Veterans from using their PCT. I’ve tried reaching out but can’t get help and this is a nationwide problem effecting thousands of Veterans.

    Again, thanks for all that you do for us.

  11. The Best remedy is for a group of lawyers to devise a “fill in the blanks” lawsuit which is available to all vets to file in the U.S. District Courts all over the country which requests the Court to order the VA to pay the bill, sues the VA and the VA person individually for damages, including PUNITIVE damages for fraud, as well as providing a format for each veteran who has been screwed and to post PUBLICLY THE NAME OF THE VA OFFICIAL WHO MADE THE DECISION at their offices and at their homes and at their bowling alley hangouts and at their “churches” on Sunday.
    If you have 5,000 law suits filed “In Pro Persona” by 5,000 vets and the accompanying publicity, this will solve the problem. When the first case gets an award in the favor of the vet, then other vets will benefit by filing in Pro Persona with accompanying affidavit to waive the filing fees, the VA MULE will get the message, (especially if VA officials are sued PERSONALLY).
    SQUEAKY WHEELS, MY FELLOW VETS, take a lesson from the Viet Cong and the other fighters, like them, hit them again, and again, and again, and again. (Many Body Blows prior to the Knockout punch)

  12. Today’s blog entry is really about finding food…Can you deny folks at VA clearly have an expertise at finding food? Let me digress…

    Our country is driven, changed, corrected, and controlled by individual and selfish market choices and decisions. This is a key concept within capitalism and historic attempts at changing this through regulation have been a disaster. A decision by an insurance provider that is adverse to their client will likely be challenged if the client feels they got screwed. This is routine in insurance. However if the challenge reveals a betrayal of the fiduciary obligations that the insurance company accepted by becoming the insurer of their client then the market will ultimately “punish” the company out of existance through word of mouth and litigation. The money stops being sent to them and without it they have no food. They go look for food elsewhere.

    We had no choice as a nation but to elect a government. The fleas go with the dog, right? So we all figured the best thing to do was to provide a way to “punish” bad government out of existance – called elections. When an official screws Rover we send them home and stop sending money. Without money OR power then they have no food. They go back to their home hunting grounds to find food.

    Now witness the decades of corruption that has festered inside the most corrupt government agency America has ever known; the VA. How has this happened? Answer: It has to do with just who it is that makes the rules.

    With the free market performance drives customer choice. Customer choice determines which provider survives and which does not. Customers know when they get screwed or not and they do react. Don’t you? The market makes the rules.

    With government officials they are placed directly into office by those who make the choices – The People. It is the job of the government to pass laws but it is the election that puts them there and that can remove them. The People make the rules.

    With VA not even The President can make a rule about those folks that seems to stick, Congress has made rules since before my gray ass was born that they ignore, and with gruesome regularity kill, maim, deny, lie, cheat, steal, cavort, and generally just fuck the dog any old time that they feel the pooch needs to be screwed and America sends them bonus checks later on for it…why? Because at VA they make their own rules and we let them. This alone is why VA will forever fail America – because we keep sending them money. They don’t need to go ANYWHERE to find food.

    Have you ever seen a VA employee photo showing folks needing a good meal?

    • “[Have you ever seen a VA employee photo showing folks needing a good meal?]” (great analogy, Dennis)

      Reminds me of an older ‘South Park’ episode where Sally Struthers was eating ALL THE FOOD that she was begging donors to give to “Feed The Children”…and when Cartman cannot find any Cheesy Poofs to eat they travel to Ethiopia to find that Sally is SO BIG she cannot even get out of the Cheesy Poof Warehouse that was built around her, while starving to death Ethiopians lay all around warehouse containing Sally…so goes the damn engorged asswipes at the VA.
      So we need to starve these vampires out…

    • Semper Fi, Dennis, you are a gifted orator and you are right. All of the money to the VA goes to fund the stupid bureaucrats, not to help us vets. We need to do something which has not been tried heretofore

  13. “VA promotes official tied to Aurora hospital boondoggle, drawing criticism from Mike Coffman”
    By Mark K. Matthews, The Denver Post; December 20, 2017

    “WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman is demanding answers from the Veterans Administration after the agency quietly promoted a manager in charge of its yet-unfinished Aurora hospital project — a boondoggle that’s about $1 billion over budget and years behind schedule.

    In a letter to VA Secretary David Shulkin, Coffman — whose Aurora-area district includes the hospital — castigates the agency for picking Stella Fiotes to serve as its acting head of its division of acquisition, logistics and construction.

    That’s a step above her longheld role as chief of the VA’s office of Construction and Facilities Management — the same position she occupied when the VA hospital in Aurora spun out of control.”

    ““As you know, since 2013, Ms. Fiotes was responsible for overseeing the egregiously mismanaged construction project of the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, which is finally nearing completion after ballooning in cost by over a billion dollars and being delayed by over four years,” he wrote.

    The VA issued a one-sentence response to a media inquiry about the letter.

    “We appreciate the congressman’s concerns and will respond to him directly,” wrote VA spokesman Curt Cashour.”

    Full article at: “https://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/20/va-aurora-hospital-official-promoted/”

    Oh and get ready for the festive Holiday Poo Flinging from the VAOIG and VA press office.

    • Festive Holiday Poo VA Style

      Audit of VHA’s Timeliness and Accuracy of Choice Payments Processed Through the Fee Basis Claims System
      Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
      Office of Audits and Evaluations
      12/21/2017

      Summary:

      “Congress required that the OIG report on the accuracy and timeliness of VA payments for medical care provided under Choice. This report addresses payments processed through VA’s Fee Basis Claims System from November 2014 through September 2016. The Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA’s) Office of Community Care (OCC) contracted with Third Party Administrators (TPAs) to process claims and pay Choice medical providers. During the 23-month audit period, OIG sampled from a population of 2 million Choice claims. Of those claims, an estimated 224,000 were paid in error, and 1 million were processed in excess of the 30-day Prompt Payment Standard. The OIG determined weak internal controls over the payment process contributed to these errors. Also, the OCC did not establish clear written policies for Choice claim payments, ensure quality information was available to payment staff, use an information system that could adequately address overpayment of medical claims, establish monitoring activities to determine if payment controls worked, or accurately estimate staffing needs for claims processing. The OIG estimated OCC made $39 million in overpayments to TPAs. The OIG recommended that VHA management ensure systems used for processing medical claims from TPAs have the ability to adjudicate reimbursement rates accurately and issue written payment policies to claims-processing staff. The OIG also recommended that OCC establish expectations and obligations for TPAs that submit invoices for payment, develop sufficient claims-processing capacity to meet expected TPA claim volume, and ensure future TPA contracts contain timeliness standards for processing payments. The Executive in Charge, VHA, concurred and agreed that a full review of Choice payments and recovery of all identified overpayments is essential.”

      Full Report Available PDF at:

      “http://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-15-03036-47.pdf”

    • More Festive Holiday Poo from the VAoig
      Common VA Solution- Throw some mo-money, mo-money, mo-money, … at it:

      Review of Alleged Mismanagement of VA’s Real Time Location System Project
      Salt Lake City, UT
      Minneapolis, MN
      Palo Alto, CA
      Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
      Office of Acquisitions, Logistics, and Construction (OALC)
      Office of Information and Technology (OIT)
      Office of Audits and Evaluations
      12/19/2017

      Summary:

      “In September 2015, OIG received an allegation claiming VA management failed to comply with VA policy and guidance when it deployed Real Time Location System (RTLS) assets without appropriate project oversight. The complainant also stated that VA deployed RTLS assets without meeting VA information security requirements.

      OIG found that the RTLS Project Management Office did not follow guidance from VA’s Technology Acquisition Center to use an incremental project management approach and did not follow VA’s project implementation policy requiring the use of the Project Management Accountability System for all acquisitions and delivery of RTLS assets. VA awarded the first RTLS task order in June 2012. As of December 2016, $431 million had been obligated for RTLS assets and services without Government acceptance of a functional RTLS solution.

      Additionally, OIG found that RTLS assets were connected to the VA network without proper testing and approval of system security controls in accordance with VA’s risk management framework. As a result, VA’s internal network faced unnecessary risks from these untested RTLS system security controls. In October 2016, RTLS was granted an initial authorization to operate on the VA network.

      OIG recommended the Acting Under Secretary for Health, in conjunction with the Acting Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology, apply additional resources and implement improved integrated project management controls for the remainder of the project to restrict further cost increases and enforce the use of incremental project management controls, such as those used within the Veteran-focused Integration Process, on all remaining RTLS task orders to ensure such efforts will provide an adequate return on investment. In addition, OIG recommended the Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Information and Technology ensure risk assessments are conducted on future RTLS deployments to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities that may adversely affect other VA systems.”

      Full Report PDF at: “http://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-15-05447-383.pdf”

    • “Complaint: Veterans Affairs doctor broke federal law in 2014 U.S. Senate run in Tennessee”
      November 24th, 2017 by Associated Press

      “NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Federal authorities say a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs doctor who ran for U.S. Senate in 2014 broke a law limiting the political activities of federal workers.

      According to The Tennessean, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel’s complaint with the Merit Systems Protection Board accuses Choudhury Salekin of violating the federal Hatch Act 15 times during his failed independent bid to unseat Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander.

      Officials say Salekin used VA’s logo in campaign materials, including a YouTube video with testimonial from a VA patient that he asked co-workers and at least one patient to watch.

      The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from running in partisan elections or engaging in political activity while working.

      A message seeking Salekin’s response wasn’t returned Wednesday.

      Salekin received less than 1 percent of the vote in 2014.”

      Full article At:

      “http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2017/nov/24/regidigest/457749/”

    • “VA doctor, barred from seeing patients, paid $1M despite ‘no job responsibilities’”
      Anna Wolfe, Clarion Ledger Published 6:30 p.m. CT Nov. 25, 2017

      “G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Veterans Affairs Medical Center barred one of its doctors from seeing patients years ago but continues to pay him a $339,177 annual salary.

      The Jackson VA fired neurosurgeon Dr. Mohamed Eleraky in August 2016 following questions about his treatment of five anonymous patients, but he’s back on staff today.

      Eleraky and the VA are in ongoing litigation, in which Eleraky’s attorney subpoenaed the medical records of a patient we’ll call John, who agreed to be interviewed but not identified by name.”

      Full Article at: “http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/26/va-doctor-barred-seeing-patients-paid-1-m-despite-no-job-responsibilities/817184001/”

    • “VA employee alleges decade of whistle-blowing, retaliation”
      CARISA CEGAVSKE Senior Staff Writer The News-Review
      Nov 30, 2017

      “Onikka Driscoll said she saw some bad behavior during the 10 years she worked at the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

      There were the administrators who improperly used their VA travel credit cards, or tried to make their own travel arrangements without the use of those cards and the tracking they provide — tracking designed to assure the public that it’s only paying for authorized travel expenses.

      According to Driscoll, there were the supervisors who ordered Driscoll and other employees to manipulate wait lists to make it look like veterans were being seen when they wanted to be seen, when the truth was the VA had arbitrarily rescheduled their appointments.

      And then there were the two employees she caught having sex in a VA clinic bathroom, Driscoll said.

      Most of the people who did those things still have their VA jobs, Driscoll said. But she doesn’t. Driscoll was fired in April of this year, after being accused of sleeping on the job.

      Driscoll said she never fell asleep at work. She maintains the real reason she lost her job is that she’s the kind of person who, when she sees something being done wrong, especially if it’s something that impacts the patients, she reports it on up her chain of command. That’s a habit that was frowned on at the VA, she said, despite it being exactly what employees are trained to do.

      VA investigators were scheduled to be in Roseburg and Eugene this week for a third round of interviews with VA employees. The investigators are here in response to allegations that whistle-blowers like Driscoll frequently face retaliation from supervisors. According to Rep. Peter DeFazio’s office, the investigators are expected to have interviewed more than 100 employees in all once the interviews are complete, and will provide a report about their findings. Though she’s an ex-employee, Driscoll said she made contact with an investigator and hopes to be interviewed, at least by phone, about her experiences.”

      Full Article at: “https://www.nrtoday.com/news/veterans/va-employee-alleges-decade-of-whistle-blowing-retaliation/article_a21cf107-cde5-5602-a13e-fa24ab7bbad6.html”

  14. Merry★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
    •。★Christmas★ 。* 。
    ° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
    ˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
    ˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門| ˚And a happy new year:’)

  15. “The Grinch”, repurposed with “VA Grinch”-allow your imagination to place your favorite VAMC Director or Hack in place of the green Grinch, (still green w/Greed):

    “[“You’re a mean one, Mr. VA Grinch
    You really are a heel,
    You’re as cuddly as a cactus, you’re as charming as an eel, Mr. VA Grinch,
    You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel!

    You’re a monster, Mr. VA Grinch,
    Your heart’s an empty hole,
    Your brain is full of spiders, you have garlic in your soul, Mr. VA Grinch,
    I wouldn’t touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!

    You’re a foul one, Mr. VA Grinch,
    You have termites in your smile,
    You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile, Mr. VA Grinch,
    Given a choice between the two of you’d take the seasick crocodile!

    You’re a rotter, Mr. VA Grinch,
    You’re the king of sinful sots,
    Your heart’s a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots, Mr. VA Grinch,
    You’re a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce!

    You nauseate me, Mr. VA Grinch,
    With a nauseous super “naus”!,
    You’re a crooked dirty jockey and you drive a crooked hoss, Mr. VA Grinch,
    Your soul is an appalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful
    assortment of rubbish imaginable mangled up in tangled up knots!

    You’re a foul one, Mr. VA Grinch,
    You’re a nasty wasty skunk,
    Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk, Mr. VA Grinch,
    The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote,
    “Stink, stank, stunk”!]”

    • Great poem nam, The only thing I don’t agree with is “you have garlic in your soul”
      They have no souls …except evil spirits….LOL

      • **possessed souls**?? Also, to be clear, Dr. Seuss wrote original, I only inserted an initial of a noun to Grinch in form of ‘VA’.

  16. nothing has changed in all that time. My daughters ER procedure cost was denied even after a verbal OK by a Baltimore medical employee

    • Merry Christmas Elf! and all others, except snowflakes.

      A few Christmas Carols for all.

      The 12 Days of,
      from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

      “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2Lv7OVI6eM”

      CHRISTMAS SONG – MOST WONDERFUL TIME
      by Derek Berchtold

      “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvuytJNzP-E”

      • Also Elf,

        Did you catch the articles:

        “Trey Gowdy hints Andrew McCabe may not be FBI deputy director for long”
        by Eddie Scarry | Dec 16, 2017

        “Facing Republican attacks, FBI’s deputy director plans to retire early next year”
        By Devlin Barrett and Karoun Demirjian, December 23 at 4:14 PM

        “Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s deputy director who has been the target of Republican critics for more than a year, plans to retire in a few months when he becomes fully eligible for pension benefits, according to people familiar with the matter.

        McCabe spent hours in Congress this past week, facing questions behind closed doors from members of three committees. Republicans said they were dissatisfied with his answers; Democrats called it a partisan hounding.

        McCabe, 49, holds a unique position in the political firestorm surrounding the FBI . He was former director James B. Comey’s right-hand man, a position that involved him in most of the FBI’s actions that vex President Trump and in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state, a matter that still riles Democrats.

        McCabe won’t become eligible for his full pension until early March. People close to him say he plans to retire as soon as he hits that mark. “He’s got about 90 days, and some of that will be holiday time. He can make it,’’ one said.”

        Full article at: “https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/facing-republican-attacks-fbis-deputy-director-plans-to-retire-early-next-year/2017/12/23/b4802b8c-e67a-11e7-a65d-1ac0fd7f097e_story.html?utm_term=.1b1906009054

      • Given McCabe’s accomplishments against the United States with his positions as the Director in charge of the failed Hillary Investigation, his participation in the Comey Mueller Scam, his preventing furtherance of investigations involving Project Cassandra, his taking a $700,000 bribe from Hillary and his role in illegal steps to see Hillary elected.

        The only retirement plan involving tax payer money that he should be considered for is one at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary for the remainder of his life.

      • What would be more fitting is, IF they could be arrested, then sent to “Gitmo!”
        Then be tried by military tribunal!
        This bullshit of government employees, whether they are hired, elected or appointed, getting caught committing crimes, then allowed to retire with full benefits, has got to cease!
        Our “Founding Fathers” are definitely turning over in their graves! I believe President George Washington would have hung these reprobates!

      • If they want to finally uphold the law and send a clear message to the rest of the embedded swamp rats, they will prosecute.

        Or do like the VA likes to do, fire him just before his last day.

      • Given the article I read last night about how pissed off some are over his actions, he will be damn lucky he doesn’t end up there.

        I think it was a WaPo article, which likes to run leaks about the swamp, which made me think his retirement offer was a peace offering.

      • Seymore,
        Merry Christmas!

        Yea, I saw where McCabe will be retiring on Mar 1st.(?)
        So far, he, and a few others, have been LYING their asses off in those “closed door settings”!
        Maybe, Wray will fire him after the new year! Only don’t hold your breath!

      • According to an article I read last night, McCabe will be gone by March on the first day he qualifies for a full pension.

        I read the article as if that were a peace offering by McCabe. As if he was saying, OK, I will go, just let me ride until I get a full pension, please don’t prosecute me.

        It seems to be accepted that when Strozk and Page were texting about an insurance policy against Trump, it was in McCabes office, and McCabe doesn’t want to be prosecuted for it.

      • Depending how McCabe’s Firing is handle will say a lot about weather it is just the S.O.S. in Washington. He should be fired right now or at least suspended pending termination.

        No doubt if Hillary had been elected McCabe would be appointed to a position such as Secretary of Homeland Security. Also if Hillary had gotten in we would have went all out in Syria, the Ukraine and most likely be at war with Russia.

        Also if Hillary had been elected Pakistan, the most Heroin addicted country in the world, would be in total control of Afghanistan.

        Our service people would be coming home in body bags at unprecedented numbers. The U.N. would have U.N. peace Keepers in Chicago, Baltimore and several other major cities.

  17. Off-Topic: Army Veteran killed amongst others killed Saturday by a disgruntled postal worker. The killer did this while butt- naked across 4 mile space of killings…say a prayer for the family’s and that the killer, ‘DeShaune Stewart”, will not only fry in the court system but that Satan will be preparing a very special place for this asshole:
    “[Relatives and friends of two Ohio postal workers slain by a disgruntled co-worker were at a loss to explain the violence that occurred Saturday morning.

    Police said DeShaune Stewart, 24, of Columbus, was charged with killing his supervisor at a post office in Dublin, Ohio, and then killing the Dublin postmaster outside the Columbus apartment complex where she lived.

    Both killings were regarded as acts of “workplace violence,” police said, adding that they believed Stewart regarded the victims as being to blame for his impending dismissal from his job.

    Stewart was naked and carrying a weapon at the time of both killings, which occurred about three hours and four miles apart, authorities said.

    “He should have never died the way he died,” Lisa Gonzales said about her brother, Lance Herrera-Dempsey, 52, the supervisor and U.S. Army veteran who was one of the victims…Police said Stewart arrived at the Dublin post office around 4:30 a.m. — three hours early — approached Herrera-Dempsey, and shot him. When the supervisor fell to the floor, Stewart shot him again, killing him, police said.

    About three hours later, Stewart – again naked and armed – was seen chasing postmaster Ginger Ballard, 53, around a parking lot, the Dispatch reported.]”
    “http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/ohio-postal-workers-slayings-stun-friends-family-members/ar-BBHeuIY?ocid=ientp”

    • I wonder what the AFL-CIO/American Postal Workers Union, brothers to AFGE, will say about their cuddly-wuddly naked psycho shooter employee? Will they, like the AFGE and the VA protect this killer of an Army Veteran AND Post Master?
      Inquiring minds want to know. Satan wants his lump of defective coal back.

      • VA Orders Staff Not To Respond To Subpoena Requests By Federal Investigators In Hospital Plagued By Wrongdoing | Daily Wire

        “https://www.dailywire.com/news/24565/va-orders-staff-not-respond-subpoena-requests-tori-richards”

      • They truly believe to be way above any laws on earth. Dear Santa: Please feel free to fill the homes of all AFGE ilk with toxic black mold and candy canes made from depleted uranium and soak their mattresses with reindeer piss.
        Thanks,
        A more than concerned veteran…

      • Only the very best 24kt gold leaf foil wraps each and every turd, also known as golden parachutes in the American Swamp Turd Floater Pool. 😀 😀 “Life is like a box of chocolates…” (sometimes it’s a shit sandwich)

      • What a friggin disaster there, and another huge payout by the VA to a Whistle blower when he wins his case.
        They send an email claiming to warn about HIPAA, but mention subpoenas when responding to “any” agency.
        And then the employees health record, whistle blower reports and evidence just happen to get uploaded to a server accessible to many employees, including a doctors report containing a false diagnosis.

        Imagine if whistle blowers evidence were treated the same as evidence the MSPB uses to keep some corrupt hack employed.

  18. In my true Goth way, I wish all a Festive Saturnalia and/or Christmas and I apologize if I’ve been excessively frosty, as this year has been an incredibly hard year with loss of my father and making things worse, my family is even more of a train wreck so another Christmas of me and the cat…my music…and a very good vaporizer we shall share…right, cat? Give me dat!! ~~mUCH Bett-er now~~

    • Festive Saturnalia….LMFAO Most people Don’t even know, And Don’t forget about the HOLLY , Toss a piece into the fire, and make SATURN Happy

      • “The Gods Must Be Crazy” movie epitomizes some of that with lovely satire. Also, another great movie for this time of year is a Monty Python’s ‘Life Of Brian’ and ‘The Meaning Of Life’. 😀 😀

      • My mind went to some other dark place when I read…”VA jug…band”. May have to rename it “EVA”- ‘Engorged VA’ Jug Band’.

    • Let me tell you a story about the VA (’bout the VA)

      They’ll do anything to make you go away (go away)

      They’ll let a surgeon who’s really drunk

      operate upon your junk

      Let me tell you a story about the VA (’bout the VA)

      They’ll do anything to make you go away (go away)

      They’ll take a nurse who’s just a putz

      who writes down that your fucking nuts

      Let me tell you a story about the VA (’bout the VA)

      They’ll do anything to make you go away (go away)

      You tell them that your gonna die

      They just scream DENY DENY

      Let me tell you a story about the VA (’bout the VA)

      needs some Banjo picking and some jug blowing 😀 😀 😀

  19. So what does anybody think of empanelling a Citizens Grand Jury? Setup specifically to investigate the VA and present true bills to the DOJ for prosecution.

    It’s an interesting concept in my mind. And might prove useful. Hell it would definitely be entertaining.

    I also tend to think that with todays group chat technology it could be implemented on a national level. Something to think about. I recall mentioning a few articles back about a Citizens oversight Committee. Looks like this might be what I was thinking about.

    • Never overlook simplistic, effective and environmentally sane methods the French and Italians utilized. I think of how they hung Mussolini and his people upside down in public all over for all to see…for a while.
      Then there’s the French with those wonderful guillotines, a tad messy, but that’s what the non-unionized bucket-boy is for.
      Both however, along with other cultures, have used stockades for public humiliation…before heading to beheading or a neck stretching from a tree…in D.C. Swamp Talk, a cherry tree along the mall? Imagine being able to take trips to D.C. and wait in line to take a piss on a congress critter or even more creative fun while they are locked in a stockade and maybe even pay-per-view pissings? 😀
      Revolution is required for our evolution from Constitutional Dissolution.
      Freedom. Freedom.

      • Bury them all in Yellow Cake Urnal-aim-eium neck deep to help control the stench that is coming out of Washington already. That is before the yellow rivers start flowing.

Comments are closed.