The AFGE Union sent a letter to Congress asking lawmakers to investigate massive fraud committed by contractors administering the Veterans Choice Program.

Rampant and documented fraud has been exposed being committed by VA contractors working the system. Meanwhile, VA employees are putting veterans in the middle by not processing Veterans Choice claims in the manner required by law.

Yet again, veterans are the pawns between special interests of our two party fraud of a political system. Democrats controlled by the union are complicit in failing to hold VA employees accountable. Republicans controlled by government contractors are complicit in failing to hold contractors accountable.

RELATED: McCain Pushes VA Privatization, TriWest To Profit Big

Where can we turn?

Excerpts From The AFGE Letter On Veterans Choice Fraud

In the letter, AFGE president J. David Cox said the following. These excerpts are in no particular order:

H.R. 4242 is a terrible piece of legislation that not only chips away at the only health care system tailored to the unique needs of veterans, but it also insulates private, for-profit providers from being accountable to veterans or taxpayers. We keep hearing from Congress and the Administration that there needs to be a greater level of accountability, but when it came down to making sure these private providers would be accountable to the men and women who served this country, party politics won out.

The questionable practices used by third party administrators (TPA) of the VA Choice Program, TriWest, and HealthNet, including double billing and improper payment rates, have directly harmed veterans and undermined the capacity of the VA health care system to provide them with the exemplary care that they have earned with their service. Therefore, AFGE respectfully requests that the House Veterans· Affairs Committee and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations conduct oversight hearings into the contractors billing practices and the VA’s ability to provide effective oversight of these contracts.

While the IG’s memo is written in bureaucratic prose, what it firmly establishes is that in a rush to ensure that Choice program contractors receive favorable treatment and fast reimbursement, the VA has overpaid both TriWest and HealthNet almost $100 million. This amounts to a 5% overpayment error rate just for the contractors’ obvious bookkeeping mistakes. Not included within the scope of the IG’s examination and memo are potentially more substantive and larger overcharging issues relating to the services being provided to veterans. Clearly, the payment error rate, not to mention the potential waste associated with Choice program, is far too high, and we respectfully request that the respective Veterans’ Affairs Committees open an inquiry into the Choice program contracting practices of both VA and its healthcare contractors, and the need for a more robust system of audit and oversight. Choice must not become another government pathway for enriching contractors at the expense of veterans.

Longtime AFGE Critic

I have been a longtime critic of AFGE putting union careers ahead of veterans interests, but we need to understand better how these two groups actually work hand-in-glove.

RELATED: Veterans Choice Overbilled Tens Of Millions

VA employees were allowed to break the system without accountability, the natural backlash of which is naturally going to be a push in the direction of greater outsourcing of more services previously performed by VA employees.

Why do both parties allow corruption to continue? Special interests. And it’s too bad we will never get those interests out of politics.

My dislike of union politics aside, I do finally agree with David Cox on one thing… Congress needs to investigate the documented fraud because veterans are the big losers here.

Who has our back? Apparently not Bill Rausch at Got Your Six.

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/va-union-calls-for-investigation-into-90-million-fraud-300578572.html

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61 COMMENTS

  1. Another great informative breakdown of corruption article by you Mr. Ben Krause.
    It makes me angry. I mean. To think about this.
    Being owed claims down here in Ohio. Waiting a long, long time. Being denied treatment for so many years after I was injured in active service. So much lost. So many people gone I loved. Like so many other veterans down here in Ohio. Waiting, and waiting for earned claims to be approved, and being denied benefits…

    Congressman Tim Ryan’s Ohio Office (Asst Matt Vadas phone#1-800-856-4152) just forwarded FAXd VA Director Tony Milions VA Cleveland Ohio, my fully developed claims, MMPI 5 pages long, Another DBQ form, Nexus Letter, and an “Origins of Disease Report 5 page long based on med lit, med research and the DSMV.
    This is the second time Tony Milions VA Cleveland Director will spefically be sent and FAXd my fully developed claims by and from Congressman Tim Ryan’s Ohio Office. The first time was last summer. Which, I did not get a responds back from Tony Milions VA CLeveland Ohio Director. Nor did Congressman Tim Ryan’s office in Ohio get a response back from Tony Milions, about my fully develope claim he was FAXd.

    SO today or last evening. I did a quick search. I looked up Tony Milions VA Cleveland Ohio Director Wed Jan 10. When he said. well he said so many things..And well he said a lot to the Veterans in a house meeting in Cleveland Ohio 2014 or 2015?
    When I did my search for Tony Milions. This article came up right under his name! Just posted and published, Wed, Jan 10 2017 by the Cleveland Newspaper.
    “90 Million Dollars Gone Veteran’s Choice Fund.”

    I was like. “Wow.” How does that much money just vanish? None of it going to any injured veterans, nor any vulnerable poor working class vets, nor any disabled former soldiers. Where does millions and millions, tens-of-millions, if NOT hundreds-of-millions of dollars just vanish too at the VA???
    And then I thought. This shit happening all the time with the VA and these non veteran employees. Every week it is happening! From reading your articles Mr. Krause. From your website and articles. It is easy to understand and I am well informed…

    • I wonder what kind of kickback they get for loosing tack of all that money. From Forest Gump. Stuipd is as Stupid does! Even a blind man could of found the problem. Dont they have accounting and have to furnish reports. Maybe the oversight people must of been in on tne deal. Well who is the incompetent one now?

    • Just find one of these rats and make an example of him/her, Turn the spotlight on just one creep who stole money, make him in fear for his/her life, put the fear into his/her “heart” . Justice does not exist when it comes to veterans, something has to give. This is the time for some remedy beyond writing a letter to your ineffective congressman/woman, Where is the person who can crack the whip? A retired Marine General who is both sophisticated in the bureaucracy but a no nonsense guy/girl . The FBI has been corrupted beyond repair in time for them to do the job. Where oh where is that stud/studette who can solve these VA problems, someone who says: ‘What,… do you want to live forever? Follow me!!” and “Give me liberty or give me death!” We are blessed with this Steely Warrior, Ben Krause, Esq., but we need to have an uprising in our numbers: The choice program does not provide the best medical care because really good Doctors can’t afford to accept JUST MEDICARE PAYMENTS, so you get Doctors who are just starting out, doctors who are over the hill., or doctors who have given up. Where is the Million$ which are missing?? Don’t tell me that a good FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT CAN’T FIND THIS OUT IN A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME??! WHOEVER STOLE THIS MONEY NEEDS TO HAVE A KNOCK ON THEIR DOOR AT 3:00 A.M. AND BE TAKEN AWAY TO BE GRILLED, AND GRILLED, AND GRILLED. If we had an organization like Judicial Watch full of legal studs/studettes who could over run the corrupion………everytime a vet was not given what he/she has earned, slam with a lawsuit against both the organization AND THE INDIVIDUAL. Time is wasting , my fellow vets. Once when I got rid of a “doctor” via the I.G. he told me that there was no way I could get rid of him because he had so many contacts in the VA bureaucracy. I told him to stand by; He was removed because he had caused the deaths of several TBI vets. Well, he was in a small group of reserve naval officers and after he was dismissed from the VA he went on “active duty” with the navy for four years, and then came back to the VA, reinstated WITH ALL OF THE PROMOTIONS AND PAY RAISES, he would have received had he stayed at the VA. This is the kind of stuff that we need to stop. Can’t get rid of the worms in the VA, despite the Presidents “new policy”. Ben needs a bunch of well paid lawyers who he can sic upon the boob who tries to give the vet the shaft. As well, when a vet’s application for disability is turned down, the Vet needs to be automatically referred to an attorney who can represent him in a HEARING ON THE RECORD WITHIN 30 DAYS TO STOP this phony appellate process which throws the vet like a hamster into the long, long process of appeal, remand, appeal, remand appeal, appeal. If each of us vets donated $20 to give to Ben to establish a fund to hire a bunch of well educated PRICK lawyers, then lawsuits filed and filed and filed then they might get the message. Something has to give; I watched Shitty Shulkin tell the TV audience yesterday that the VA was “working on REDUCING” the rate of VETERANS’ SUICIDE??!!! ….REDUCING THE RATE OF SUICIDES???!!…. BULLSHIT MY FELLOW VETS, IT HAS TO BE STOPPED BY WHATEVER REMEDY will work NOW!!
      Is there ANYONE WHO CAN TAKE THE BULL BY THE HORNS AND THROW IT TO THE GROUND?? What was that statement made by some famous person who stated that extreme conditions require extreme measures??

  2. I can not believe that fraud is just being discovered! The fraud has started a long time ago by the VA not believing the veterans who served this country with their whole heart, body and sole only to be discarded by the people whom they served. All we ever wanted was to be treated fairly and not awarded any medals for our service but just saluted and a thank you. But no we were liec to from almost the minute we pledged alehence to defend this country until we were spit on and called a baby killer after we got off the plane returning from Vietnam after we gave all we had with many tears, fears, and heart and sole left behind of our horrors which will never leave not matter how many years of therapy we get. And now the VA can not manage the programs to help is no suprise. For it takes somone with a brain and cares for what they
    Do. One can not teach stupid! For i have extensive brain damage and even i could manage and see the forest from the trees.
    Wake up and smell the —- you are trying to pass off.
    I cant smell but i know a skunk when i see one.

  3. A perfect example of contracting fraud is committed by former employees, who know the ends and outs of VA, including former AFGE members it would be wise to cross reference and have Congress pass legislation for any AFGE member to have any 3rd party affiliation and require full disclosure statements of any contracting ties. Look at the case of Michael Moreland who got a 63,000.00 bonus and a Presidential medal from Obama , while an outbreak of Legionella occurred at a couple of Hospitals in his VISN , including the cover up of the one in Wilmington De. after retiring, and becoming a contractor. Douchebag!
    AFGE = All Fat Gut Employees = Greed
    VA CARE is Medical Warfare against Veterans
    Overweight Healthcare providers defy logic.
    Big VA nurses promote sandwichism. 🤣🤣🤣🤣
    See article :”http://triblive.com/news/editorspicks/8325867-74/moreland-outbreak-pittsburgh”

    • I found the best comment from the link I provided that we all are familiar with, mind you this was 2 years ago and it made my day, but so true…… standby…….😂😂😂😂😂
      Reuben Castro Acosta
      Habana Libre, La Habana, Cuba
      VA DEATHCARE ONE BIG FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET THARS A LEGAL FACT!
      Like · Reply · Mark as spam · May 11, 2015 12:37pm

  4. “[…My dislike of union politics aside, I do finally agree with David Cox on one thing… Congress needs to investigate the documented fraud because veterans are the big losers here…]”

    All they need to do is look in Cox’s belly. Just like ‘Fat Bastard’ in ‘Austin Powers’ first movie, “Veterans, get in my belly…baby, baby-back ribs…”! AFGE Cox rarely leaves a floater that will reveal location of stash so I simply suggest the AFGE demand an INDEPENDENT AUDIT of entire VA, INCLUDING ALL AFGE FINANCIALS…yeah, popping popcorn for this….NOT!!!!!!!!!!

    I actually view AFGE Cox making these demands as a form of plausible denial for the AFGE’s responsibility for facilitating this fucking mess in first place. Back room deals with funny hatters…buyers remorse now that the stench can be fully appreciated? 😀
    Cox….you are STILL a dick. Accountability or dickiness…can’t have both!!

  5. With Shulkin going to Congress, and demanding $2.1 billion from taxpayers every few months to keep Choice working, the bough was bound to break!
    In my opinion, this is exactly what needs investigated. I also believe, this investigation will uncover other corruptions of – fraud, waste and abuse within VA!
    In the link provided by Ben, There’s a picture of a bunch of AFGE slugs carrying signs. One sign caught my attention, it reads: “VA Vacancies Goes Up, Vet Care Goes Down!” This tells me VA IS outsourcing more jobs to outside healthcare contractors! Why?
    There’s also a article about how Congress wanted to slash union wages this year. Only the union stopped it. In that article, it’s reported there are over 750,000 union members in our government! Which includes the 250,000 VA union members!
    WHY are so many in government?
    The union needs to be busted up and kicked out of the government! They’re a drain on taxpayers monies!

    I’m rambling on now. I’ll quit because this is all bullshit! As I’ve said, I gotta sneaky suspicion there’s going to be more about this issue in the future!

    • “When The (AFGE) Levee Breaks”- Repurposed classic Led Zeppelin song:

      “[When The (AFGE) Levee Breaks”

      If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break
      If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break
      When the levee breaks I’ll have no place to stay

      Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan
      Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan
      It’s got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home
      Oh, well, oh, well, oh, well

      Don’t it make you feel bad
      When you’re tryin’ to find your way home
      You don’t know which way to go?
      If you’re goin’ down South
      They got no work to do,
      If you don’t know about Chicago

      Cryin’ won’t help you, prayin’ won’t do you no good
      Now, cryin’ won’t help you, prayin’ won’t do you no good
      When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move

      All last night sat on the levee and moaned
      All last night sat on the levee and moaned
      Thinkin’ about my baby and my happy home

      Going, going to Chicago…
      Going to Chicago…
      Sorry but I can’t take you…
      Going down… going down now… going down….]” (blub, blub…sinking V.A. Titanic…blub, blub…going down)

  6. Mr. Cox said the politically correct things to say and has presented himself and his union in this letter in a way that brings credit to both.
    However the points being made seem reasonable and based on a pretty good understanding of how things work BUT there is a glaring flaw in the underlying logic. There is something HUGE that is being white washed and perhaps is part of the answer of just how the money evaporates.
    These programs are so massive that like any massive government program nearly all of the facts and figures needed to figure out expenses are based almost ALWAYS on assumptions about how the program will work. The figures cannot be based on experience so leadership must use a yardstick to budget. They assume things like cost of fuel needed for the lifetime of a piece of equipment, and parts and labor for the lifetime of the item. This is prone to error if for example fuel prices are highly unstable.

    For example, in my youth a fighter jet was once lambasted in the press for having a cost of something like 40 million dollars per jet when logic suggested the aircraft should cost about a quarter of that. The reason the number was 40 and not 10 was that they factored in the cost of training each pilot for each jet, the cost of fuel for each flight that they predicted the jet would fly, the cost of wages for the maintenance crew, and all other such costs. So they set aside 40 million as the true cost of of the project and this DEPENDED greatly upon the jet being used as sepcified.

    Now think about the Choice Program. Similar to a fighter jet project of billions upon billions of dollars, the true cost has to be estimated based on the mission life and the assumption that the mission will be adhered to substantially as planned. So for example if the average patient was expected to take up the time of three people in order to arrange for a Choice appointment then this is what the computers model. These are the numbers that get spit out and taken to Congress. They factor in the man hours of those three people predicted to be needed along with all other predictable expenses needed for the mission. Here is where it breaks down utterly.

    Yesterday I posted a VA reply to me informing me that against my will I have been enrolled in Choice and denied VA clinic care. So that took at least three people to both write me the denial, to involve leadership who cooked this idea up outside of mission parameters, and one person took time utterly wasted filling out the forms and submitting them for a vet who had refused the program as this mission expected a percentage of us to do. VA again altered the mission parameters and a computer cannot model outside of the data structures programmed into it – so numbers start showing up in wierd places.

    After those three people took that time to enroll me against my will, I called the Choice number and explained I had been enrolled against my will and had no intention of attmepting to use it because it cannot work without an assigned VA provider. She escalated it to her supervisor. Thats two more people and her supervisor without any doubt must have involved at least two more given the illegal nature of issue at hand….and we are now up to at least seven people serving a vet who has refused this service.

    Then I called the VA hotline who informed me that the actions of my “care team” (I am on Team Notwanted) were highly illegal and that the process could not continue further until this by itself was resolved. She excalated the matter to a full investigation. Counting her that is at least six more people. We are now up to at least 11 people. I filed a criminal complaint with the OIG hotline based on the fact VA Washington told me my clinic was violating law. A bare minimum of three people from OIG will spend time delaing with this complaint. The count is now 14 people.

    When the investigation launches interviews will be conducted and most certainly the local senior staff will be involved and likely junior staff 4 more people at least. We are up to 18 people now that all have to be paid wages to deal with a VA that signed me up for this program with no hope at all of a positive outcome – I refused it before they even did it.

    You get my point. Now factor in that those who do business with VA ALSO have their numbers wildly skewed because they themselves have to deddicate people to unfuck a case like mine that left unfixed would put them in a position of dedicating even more people to defend their justified reasons they cannot pay. I have even been given an SSDI paid counsellor to obtain needed care from VA. That number doesn’t show up on VA budget but again VA malfeasance spent even more money than shown because we have to pay all the police they send out, we pay SSDI social workers to work with VA and the suddenly there is an entire village of folks all involved in what?

    One broken old Marine that simply wanted a medication review. Now there are a bare minimum of 18 people involved and still no medication review in sight yet each person be paid for their time.

    Cox did the right thing by speaking out but how on Earth could ANY program succeed when our government needs to allocate 18 people just so one single broken down Marine can get a simple prescription refill? You can pin it on the contractors Mr. Cox and I fault you not, but sir it is the corrupt insanity of my case multiplied by a few hundred thousand that IS the answer about where the money evaporates to. Nobody would EVER have factord in 18 people for one vet wishing to walk to the clinic and obtain a refill. If attorneys get involved just imagine the true cost of each pill I ultimately get dispensed.

    • Factor in all the meals that those fatties had to consume in the making of this debacle as well. #AFGE All Food Gets Eaten.

    • Dennis I have had the opposite problem in Roseburg. from 6/4/17 to 7/20/17 tri-west considered me a “choice 40” veteran that qualified to use veterans choice.
      tri-west informed me that the Roseburg VA cancelled my choice 40 status even though I meet the criteria under the law for the veterans choice program. I have used the veterans choice program since it went into effect prior to 6/4/17.

      our local VA clinic has been short-staffed on doctors for years. veterans wishing to establish care with a PCP are being turned away. I and other veterans must make a 300 mile round trip to roseburg for our appointments.

      some veterans are requesting that they be provided with primary care through local physicians using veterans choice but these requests are being denied because we have a local VA clinic. a clinic which is turning away veterans because they are short staffed on doctors.

      right now there are no permanently assigned doctors at the local clinic. traveling/temporary fill in doctors are being used. veterans must sometimes wait weeks to see one of these doctors when they go to the clinic as a walk in.

      some veterans unable to make the 300 mile roundtrip to Roseburg with serious medical conditions like diabetes have just given up on the system. in a recent conversation with one veteran who was denied a medication refill for metformin, I instructed him to call Defazio’s office. he was reluctant at first because he has called his office before about other things and did not receive any results.

      he did make the call and the result was that his medication would be refilled by the VA and metformin was ordered by the VA at Fred Meyer’s pharmacy in town and he picked it up the same day.

      sometimes calling your congressman does work. sometimes.

      • Defazios staff is exemplary in solving what they can. I fear hough that he has spent all of his political favors when he called out current Roseburg leadership as “totally dysfunctional” from the floor of Congress back in October. It is on his youtube channel and he pulls no punches.

        I fear now that VA leadership will go out of their way to impede those that that he his helping. Their history of retaliation is well documented.

      • dennis I saw that video of DeFazio speaking about the totally dysfunctional management at the Roseburg VA. DeFazio sent it to me. this speech was in support of legislation to protect federal employees from whistleblower retaliation. the only thing this law does give the impression that our congressmen are doing something. the law itself has no teeth. there are already laws on the books which are supposed to prevent federal agencies from engaging in prohibited personnel practices and wrongfully terminating federal employees for any reason.

        I was at the Roseburg VA’s town hall on December 12th. Some of the whistle blowers who were wrongfully terminated by director Paxton were there speaking out. A lot of these former employees are veterans. the reasons they were blowing the whistle is because the administrative decisions being made were placing veterans at risk.

        these employees all filed with the MSPB to appeal their wrongful termination. All opted to settle for a lump sum to settle their cases and walk away from the VA.

        in DeFazio’s newsletter he described this “Toxic Culture” that director Paxton has created at the Roseburg VA and that it was driving good doctors away. you can read some of these stories that were published in the Roseburg local newspaper “The News Review” on their website. just click on their veterans link under “news”.

        That being said, Whitney Couture, the Congressman’s veterans rep in his Eugene office has not acted exemplary in dealing with veterans problems brought to her attention. I glad you feel she has been helpful to you. I have noticed she may be showing sign’s of improvement as she has admitted she has dropped the ball on several things in the past.

        When i was at the Eugene office last month I gave her a sign for her office to help her keep her focus on veterans.

        the sign reads: “A VETERAN IS SOMEONE WHO AT ONE POINT IN THEIR LIFE, WROTE A CHECK TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, FOR ANY AMOUNT, UP TO AND INCLUDING THEIR LIFE”

      • My first call to Whitney she did hang up on me but she had been told by VA that I threatened to murder their entire staff. She didn’t take one second to try to listen. On the other hand, I am not going to do very much on this site that is certainly monitored by that office that will alienate me in any way. I know what a young female highly attractive politico represents and I have no illusions about Whitney, but the fact that she even pretended to care is exemplary in contrast to the VA scum who has taken control of Roseburg.

        Plus she is nice eye candy, right?

      • @mb
        I grew up around the farms of Christmas Valley and went to grade school in Fort Rock. By age thirteen I was buckng the hay bales up on the flatbed – the harrowbed machine was too expensive lolz. You sound about far away enough to be somewhere over there in that area. My father ran The Trail Tavern out there.

        It was called the Trail Tavern because somebody bought that god foresaken piece of sand and it happened to be right where several range cattle trails converged. Presumably the ancient echo of the bullshit that had piled at the convergence of trails lingered in spirit because I cannot recall as a kid any of our beer guzzling patrons speaking any other language lolz…..

        Please don’t tell me your one of those guys! I take it all back! Lolz, my fathers health has deteriorated and he moved to Salem to be close to VA. He is terminal cancer and a vet. Want to know a Roseburg fun fact? After they flagged me for being violent on a bogus charge they made it illegal for me to enter the VA property at a ytime except for a scheduld visit (not even suicide prevention groups) and then I had ten minutes before and ten minutes later to clear out or face arrest.

        When my father the vet entered into Roseburg for terminal prostate cancer and one more surgery to save his life (the first one was botched by VA and they had to close up and try again. The surgeon had not noticed my fathers spinal column was fused so they could not bend him to get the prostrate out.)

        I called the Roseburg VA and asked if I could be by the bed of my dieing father. They approved but only under police escort as a condition and for thirty minutes. Keep in mind there has been no record of any violence by me EVER and my own VA shrink even noted in my record, “…this patient has never threatened anyone that I know of and the Cat One PRF should be considered for removal.”

        Yet VA wanted me to be escorted like a federal prisoner to visit my dieing father while he waited for another surgery in Roseburg hoping this time they would not cut him open for nothing again. I could not bring myself to be brought in front of my father eyes by an armed federal agent. I could not stand the thought of his last sight of me being escorted like a criminal so I did not accept the VA’s gracious offer of thirty minutes under armed guard with my dieing father.

        Do I hate everything about what Roseburg VA has visited upon me out of petty revenge? Yep.

      • Sorry Dennis for what and how these pukes have done to you and your father. Stories like this make me to stand even stronger against these people. Stay strong my Brother, and know that there are others that get fired up as well when we hear and read what the incompetent VA does to us Veterans, love ones, service animals.

        You know Vets, we may have differences on things, but “WE SHOULD ALL STAY IN AGREEMENT THAT THE VA ISN’T FOR US, THEIR AGAINST US.”

        So lets not let other issues take away any power from what we believe about the VA. Lets not give the VA anymore slack, or benefit of the doubt, or praises of any sort.

        And about praises or good jobs done well, big deal, they should be doing this *ALL* the time. I don’t trust them, believe them (oh yes, I do believe that their actions will and can kill both you and me), and the only thing that I believed out of the mouth of Shithead “Shitty” Shulkin is this,

        paraphrasing; “that the VA has been and still is adversarial against Veterans.”

        Adversarial is a powerful word, its just the opposite of anything that is good, beneficial, trusting, truth, excellent, awesome, and a about time good bowel movement to get the bacteria, and wasteful shit out.

        Do your best to stay strong, use some humor, and if you have too, beat the shit out of a tree (retract, no don’t do this, you’ll get locked up for hurting a life). This charge falls under the Tree Hugger Code.

        Oh, a while back when I resided in Hawaii, I had this older lady from somewhere in Africa, tell me, “oh yes, trees have veins and arteries just like us. They have feelings too.” I busted out laughing right in front of her, and she got mad, then tried to show me her arteries, but her skin was really dark, and I couldn’t see any of her arteries.

        I kept telling her that I couldn’t see them, and she would point, and point, but still I couldn’t see any. The she really got pissed, and told me, in her broken English, young man (I was 25 at the time), then she went and stripped a branch of a large woody shrub, and then proceeded to whoop my butt with it.

        I told her, you hurt the shrub, you hurt the shrub. She stopped, and hurried to attend to the shrub after realizing what she had done. Didn’t think about me though. Damn tree hugger.

      • @Dennis- What the VA has done to you is egregious enough on it’s own, but what you just disclosed about your dying father and the VA’s DBC insisting you be escorted by police, and for ONLY 30 fucking minutes…just made me grunt a little harder and yep, I made another one…yet another reason to loathe the VA a little bit more than I thought possible.

        The VA and the AFGE are sociopathic dysfunctional bedfellows.

    • Doncha just love bureaucrats Dennis?

      You could easily apply your experience to any veteran enrolled at the VA. A minor problem becomes a massive expensive problem because of 1 or 2 fools, and escalates to include 30 fools in short order.

  7. Just another example of “government” and its tit feeders knowing what’s best for veterans. Choice was doomed when it was rolled out years ago. Just the money wasted in “choice cards” that were mailed out could’ve put a dent in the current cluster fuck the VA is crying about.
    Hey VA and AFGE, you can only cry “wolf” so many times before we Veterans get tired of hearing it and GLADLY put you out of your misery.
    FUCK VA, FUCK AFGE and FUCK “LIL” COX.

  8. How about this;
    The Choice Program is nothing more than a “slush fund.” It’s main reason for existing is to allow the two contractors to enrich themselves by ripping off taxpayers! And, of course, fucking veterans out of nessasary healthcare and having the veterans end up paying in the process!

    • …and thereby also further enriching major investors in those 2 providers, Sen. Insane McCain being one of them and many other congress critters in D.C., anyone wading in the swamp with mutual funds or 401K’s with those Choice Providers’ companies or parent/subsidiaries…are culpable of stuffing their wallets while pretending to watch their figure by riding stairmasters, simply oblivious to the corruption they propagate, as long as they keep those blinders on while riding their gravy train stairmaster battalion, not a *thing* will change. (staring right at YOU, Isaacson).
      This also begs an answer to: How many congressional critter veteran committee members of both House/Senate, are invested financially somehow to these -2- Choice Providers?

  9. With amount of $ involved , veterans could mobilize in every state and get back in relatively good shape, forming brigades that would look after each other similiar to the big brother and mentorship programs.
    The VSO s do not incorporate this doctrine.
    They shouldn’t be relying on the VA to promulgate the bullshit .
    There should be a way legislatively for veterans to be granted personal jurisdiction over how they form groups; choice of healthcare in equity that align with Constitutional statues. It is We the People, not We the VA or We the AFGE.
    Makes you wonder what federal contracts these VSO have in a business capacity vs what are grants, because memberships alone with certain corporate sponsorships do not add up.

    • CorpsmanUp,
      I read an article this morning where the AFGE has over 750,000 government employees. Of which there’s appropriately 250,000 employees at VA alone! In the attached link by Ben, it says 100,000 are calling on the investigation of the (two) choice contractors!

      Did you notice the picture in the attached link, where one employee is carrying a sign saying the VA is losing employees, while vets are losing healthcare – [paraphrasing]!

      With that many AFGE “dues paying members”, I can see where Cox gets his power from! The old saying of; “Money talks and BULLSHIT walks!” Is definitely the way the AFGE gets around, and breaks, the laws!
      Has it ever been reported on how much Cox, and the few cronies below him, is paid to run the AFGE? I’ll bet it’s more than the President! And, I’ll bet it’s more likely than NOT as much as some of the VSO’s are paying their top bosses, like the DAV, VFW and orhers!

      • You are absolutely correct sir! To top it off, he use to work as a nurse at the VA and wrangled his way through the system by means of ” insider trading”.
        The VA OIG should have been smart enough to investigate these unions for this type of corruption.
        If you can go to jail as a publicly traded company for selling stock secrets, you should go to jail for misrepresentations of union bargaining secrets that he had prior knowledge of as a treasurer. There is no difference. Money is made by allocation of money from Congress and union misrepresentations of Full time positions needed at VA.
        Just like Securities Fraud!
        I full warned people of these fat ass nurses that do not put their time in on the medical floors.
        This is where the real nurses at VA are misrepresented. I do understand where some nurses do not speak up, because you do have some that are dedicated to the leave no one behind doctrine!

  10. Benjamin- Almost forgot to give you kudos for the excellent “Bad VA Art” today…merging a classic “Get It Done” war poster with AFGE “little” Cox….priceless!

  11. Here is David Cox wiki bio
    Figure this A Fat Ass Nurse by Profession
    Cox began his career in healthcare in 1970. In 1983, Cox became a registered nurse and started a public-sector career with the Department of Veterans Affairs that lasted until September 2006 when he became AFGE secretary-treasurer[3] Cox served two consecutive terms as AFGE’s National Secretary-Treasurer (elected first in August 2006 and reelected by acclamation in August 2009). [4]

    Cox was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the Federal Salary Council and the Federal Prevailing Wage Council. He is a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council and Vice President of the North Carolina State AFL-CIO, serving in the latter position since 1993. Cox was unanimously elected chairman of the Executive Committee of the Department for Professional Employees (DPE), AFL-CIO. He also chairs the AFL-CIO’s Union Veterans Council, which seeks to help veterans with employment opportunities through the VA and in the building trades. Cox is best known for threatening then Seceratary of VA in 2016 Bob McDonald with personal violence after McDonald outlined measures to stem corruption at VA. In a public speech, Cox claimed, “I’m prepared to work with (Secretary) Bob McDonald. But I am also prepared to whoop (Secretary) Bob McDonald’s ass.” No charges were brought.

    • Yet another still steaming turd Obama left on America. Thanks Obama, for placing the fattest fox in charge of guarding the second fattest henhouse in Fed Gov’t.

    • @Corpsmanup

      Want to take a guess about which veteran who posts every day on this blog caused those last four sentences in Wikipedia to appear under Mr. Cox’s bio?

      bwahahaahahahahaaaa!

      If you think I am a prolific writer on this blog, my friend let me tell you the world wide net is now chalk full of accurate descripters of AFGE, Cox, and VA in nearly every single public information format spread across nations and even translated into spanish in one case.

      I did a test once after I had added similar documentation in another area of the net about AFGE and posted the deed here on this blog. Within minutes it had been taken down from that alternate site. (Hi AFGE and VA! Nothing but hugs here!).

      I then began posting all over the place in the world wide web accurate information like the last four sentences about Cox and AFGE and VA corruption.

      Some here have been accused of taking no action. My actions are ripples. Ripples multiply over time and become waves. Let us now take up a wagering pool about how long it takes AFGE to edit wikipedia to leave off the fact that our friend Cox acted like a common thug. My dollar is on the four minute mark.

  12. Not surprising. Choice sources are “Medicare/Medicaid” sources which accept the mandated charge limitations. These sources overbill Medicare/Medicaid billions. In one month in 2014 I totaled over $3 Billion in settlements for Medicare fraud noted by the DOJ news letter: “[email protected]
    The latest is: $32 Million on 12/22/2017:
    “https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/kmart-corporation-pay-us-323-million-resolve-false-claims-act-allegations-overbilling-federal”
    During the Obama Administration there were more than 30 per month of the notices of Medicare/Medicaid overbilling settlements. Since Trump took over with the Senate GOP Doctor heads of Medical Corporations in greater control, there has been only 86 settlements since 3/1/2016. Notice, this last one was Kmart not one of the big Medical Corporations. Most of the Trump DOJ settlements similarly don’t touch Medical Corporations such as Tri Care and Health Net.
    Don’t expect this DOJ to go hunting. Choice was engineered to give out $26 Billion dollars in privatized contracts instead of bringing good doctors to VA facilities and bringing good clinics to the veterans.
    Personally, I’ve been blessed with having a new updated (after my complaint about a nurse sending me away with chest pain in 2014) Scottsbluff, NE VA clinic 30 miles from my home. Have heard no complaints from users though I haven’t used it yet. Still using my choice referrals which receive grossly delayed payments for services.

  13. “AFGE has been described as the most corrupt union in America. Eleven AFGE officials pled guilty to or were convicted of corruption charges in the first eight months of 2017 alone. According to federal data provided by the Center for Union Facts, AFGE officials have been charged with criminal conduct 115 times between June 2001 and October 2016, while 96 were sentenced over a similar period. The AFGE was at the heart of the 2014 Department of Veterans Affairs scandal, wherein it was discovered that VA employees had covered up the deaths of thousands of veterans caught in multi-month service wait times in part because they were working full-time for the union, a practice called “official time.” Five AFGE officials later pled guilty or were indicted after the scandal broke.”

    “Big Labor’s New Republican Lobbyist”
    by Hayden Ludwig Capital Research Center January 5, 2018

    “https://capitalresearch.org/article/big-labors-new-republican-lobbyist/”

    According to federal disclosure filings, McCarthy’s new client list includes a number of huge labor unions, some of whom are also listed as lobbying clients with his former employer, the Keegen Group. The most prominent of these are the: “American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)

    The newest avenue of transferring the Veterans Administrations budget to the swamp creatures in Washington. The McCarthy Group.

    • The AFGE calling foul and fraud should be the Wikipedia post example for saying, “Calling the kettle black”. I still think this is only a cover for their collective AFGE Union Asses by making it *appear* the piggy’s are *alarmed* that fraud and waste could take place right under their collective snouts…when all along the piggy’s snout has been diving deep in that Veteran Choice Cookie Jar.

      • They are the biggest piggies in the pig pen and just don’t want to share the trough with the other littler piggies.

      • Seymore,
        I think I have to agree with you and namnibor over this issue of the AFGE using this $90 million dollars contractors’ scandal as a cover-up over what the union(s) are doing!
        The sooner the unions are forced out of the government, the better!

  14. i find it difficult to understand how nothing changes in light of all the information on wrongdoing exists out there

    • Could be because of hands in cookie jarz, kick backs, testicle-less from being castrated due to being a member of the PIGz, so the area is too sore for them to stand up against the VA’s corruption.

      Can anyone else add in any other reasons why, so that Peter can understand better. No offense my Brother, but there are a lot of seasoned Vets on Ben’s blog that no more.

  15. First off, Little Cox whining about private provider accountability is red herring BS. Every private provider is licensed in the state they are practicing, and accountable to state officials. I highly doubt Little Cox can point to a single credible instance showing accountability for wrong doing at the VA.

    Speaking of accountability, Little Cox should be holding his members accountable for not processing Choice payments to providers in a timely manner. Otherwise, he should STFU.

    The second excerpt is also BS. Choice funding is a separate appropriation from Congress. Any money spent on a Choice appointment does not affect the VA gravy train in any manner. Little Cox uses a common union tactic of pointing fingers without acknowledging facts, or providing specific examples. Little Cox would have readily used an example of how veterans are harmed by double billing or overbilling if he had one. Yes, the program could run out of money faster from double billing or overpayment, but that has no bearing on the VA budget. Little Cox should explain how hiring 127 Interior Designers helps a veteran avoid direct harm.

    The third excerpt is also bullshit in that it completely ignores VA actions regarding Choice. Perhaps if VA union members did not actively sabotage the program by refusing to carry out their duties such as prompt and accurate referrals and prompt and accurate payment processing, there would not be a 5 % overpayment rate. Little Cox has no problem with any Choice funding being grabbed to fund VA hires like Choice Champions who know nothing, coordinators or billing specialists fixing billing problems because his other members refused to pay the bill in a timely manner.

    None of this is to say Congress should not be investigating how lousy the Choice program continues to operate. They should. Little Cox is a pretty piss poor messenger for this though given his union fights to protect his members after killing a veteran, or ignores millions pissed away on dues paying Interior Designers. Or allows doctors paid at a doctors special pay rate whose 8 hour work day is to conduct union business.

    I do notice Little Cox doesn’t have much concern over veterans having their credit ruined or being referred to collections. That also is direct harm to veterans.

  16. I’m curious about why Little Cox feels the need to send this letter now. He seems to focus on cost or billing problems regarding Choice, but those problems were found by the VAIG last September…3 months ago.

    What changed or is happening for Little Cox to finally notice?

    • 91Veteran,
      In my opinion, “Little Cox” is only trying to cover-up what his dues paying members are fucking up!

      • In some respects, I have no doubt Little Cox would use Choice program problems as an excuse for why his own members are failing veterans.

        Mr. Congressman: “…and can you explain why Veteran Vito did not get that surgery before the wound became gangrenous”?

        Little Cox: “Well, we really care for veterans, especially Veteran Vito. He was unfortunately, actually referred to the Choice program. My members did insure billing was carried out expeditiously”. “Our standard of care was met.”

        What Little Cox does not admit to is that Veteran Vito had been passed around the VA like a hot potato for 3 months prior to being referred to Choice, then his member forgot to send the referral for 4 months, and the billing his members made sure was sent promptly was a bill for the ambulance ride Vito took to his local ER after he collapsed from blood poisoning brought on by his leg falling off. The bill was sent to his widow.

      • Foaming at the mouth mad as hell now! You eloquently drew a very concise mental picture of this cluster-fuck we find ourselves in.

        May, just maybe we need as many exorcists as the VA has interior designers to excommunicate the AFGE from the VA? What could an exorcism hurt? It may drive a herd of 3rd world medicine back to their mud and grass huts. 😀 (except the Haitian hacks, exorcism vs. voodoo…might be a stand-off)

      • Nam, while what I said above might be somewhat tongue in cheek, I would bet my right arm that Little Cox has blamed Choice often.

        It may not be directly to Congressmen, but I could see him doing it to many congressional aides and some funny hat wearing VSOs.

        They would be the ones whispering in a congressman’s ear.

      • A Congress Critter’s ear used to be their erogenous zone but they evolved and now it’s all about the pleasure center of the brain…greasy greed grey matter.

  17. Yes, the VA in Spokane has continuously refused to process prescriptions for
    needed and prescribe DME (by many different medical prescribers). Needed
    for health and life and to replace medicines that the VA dropped..

  18. The only reason AFGE wants to investigate CHOICE is to return control of all VA medicare to the corrupt VA employees

    • Yes, that sounds like it’s “Little Cox’s” plan. Only, until VA hires competent healthcare providers, the massively corrupt [NO]Choice Program will continue unabated!
      What needs to happen is, the union should be disbanded and thrown away with the dirty water!

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