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Hi All,

I wanted to send a quick note here to let you know I’ll be back as soon as I kick this flu. Too sick to do my thing right now. The good news is I have some stories I’m working on once I get back.

Wish me luck and swift recovery.

Ben

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66 Comments

  1. The flu you say?
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    That really Sphinx !!!! Get well soon.

  2. I was wondering if you were doing OK Ben. Thanks for checking in and letting us know.

    Get well soon brother.

  3. Ben, Get well soon!

    Also for everyone else. Staffing changes coming Wednesday at the VA.

    “In Battle Over Future of Veterans’ Care, Moderation Wins, for Now”

    By NICHOLAS FANDOS and DAVE PHILIPPS
    New York Times
    MARCH 6, 2018

    “Staff changes could be announced on Wednesday, Dr. Shulkin said, without providing details. Whether he can prevail in actually firing the officials …”

    Full Article At: “https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/06/us/politics/veterans-affairs-shulkin-koch-brothers.html”

    _____________

    Seriously need to point out that it is Shulkin who is saying that there will be staffing changes on Wednesday. We all know his word is nothing more than a fart in a windstorm. There is no way possible for the VA to move forward while Shulkin is still connected to it.

    • YOU’RE FIRED!
      Give VA Secretary David Shulkin the boot
      Michelle Malkin lists ethics breaches of Trump’s Obama holdover
      Published: 5 hours ago


      Trump’s VA secretary, David Shulkin, is an Obama holdover. His main agenda is to block any real reforms for veterans, which includes expanding their ability to obtain care from private doctors and hospitals. His daughter, Jennifer, is a Harvard law student and loudmouth Huffington Post contributor who used her Twitter account recently to defend her dad against “right-winged, pro-privatization Trump appointees.”

      Two weeks ago, Shulkin launched a purge of what he calls “subversive” employees that he accuses of trying to undermine him. It’s the same tactic Obama VA officials used to silence whistleblowers who exposed secret waiting lists to nowhere that cost untold thousands of patients across at least seven states their lives.

      This latest witch hunt for dissenters comes in the wake of a scathing inspector general’s report last month on Shulkin’s 10-day junket to Europe last summer. The VA secretary spent a grand total of three and a half days on supposed business meetings in Copenhagen and London. For the rest of the time, Shulkin directed a VA underling to act as his personal travel agent – on your dime – to plan sightseeing for his wife and him, including:
      •Touring Amalienborg Palace for the changing of the guard and visiting Christiansborg Palace, Rosenborg Castle and Frederiksborg Castle in Denmark.
      •Boating and dining in Copenhagen and dining in Malmo, Sweden.
      •Trekking to the Churchill War Rooms, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Westminster Abbey, Thames River, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe, the London Eye and Windsor Castle.

      The inspector general discovered that Shulkin also improperly accepted Wimbledon tickets from a British socialite. To evade ethics guidelines, Shulkin claimed the socialite was his wife’s “friend,” but the socialite couldn’t even remember Shulkin’s wife’s name when questioned by investigators.

      Nice family vacay if you can get it – and you can get it subsidized, if your underlings lie.

      Shulkin’s chief of staff, Vivieca Wright Simpson, admitted doctoring an email in order to get Shulkin’s wife’s airfare paid for by the public. Wright Simpson misled an ethics officer into believing that Shulkin was receiving an award at a dinner and that his wife therefore qualified as an “invitational traveler.” It was a big fat fabrication. Shulkin received no award. His wife was not eligible for the travel reimbursements for her whopping $4,000 plane tickets.”

      Nevertheless, Wright Simpson – a career bureaucrat who started at the VA in 1998 and ascended during the Obama administration – was allowed to retire with full benefits. No punishment.

      Shulkin remains unrepentant and baselessly blamed a computer “hack” for his top aide’s email shenanigans. The IG found no evidence of his backside-covering claim. The ghost of Anthony Weiner lives.

      And just wait, another shoe of corruption is about to drop. According to The Daily Beast, another IG report involving Shulkin’s “use of his security detail to run personal errands” may be released in the next week. Shulkin’s response? Underlings are reporting that he is in the throes of “paranoia,” ordering an “armed guard” to stand watch outside his office and banning employees he suspects of “disloyalty.”

      The VA’s culture of fear and reprisals against whistleblowers is endemic. Accountability is rarer than a Siamese unicorn. Fiscally responsible vets seeking coverage for emergency room bills are punished for not seeing VA doctors enough. The administrators responsible for blowing a billion-dollar hole in the budget of the Aurora, Colorado, VA boondoggle have escaped any consequences.

      The last thing this corrupted bureaucracy needs is a Captain Queeg-meets-Leona Helmsley at the helm.

      As Colorado GOP Rep. Mike Coffman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee wrote in a letter to the White House last week: “Mr. President, you promised the American people that you would end the culture of corruption and bureaucratic incompetence that for far too long has defined the leadership of the VA. Unfortunately, Secretary Shulkin, by his conduct, lacks the moral authority to achieve your goals of a transparent, accountable VA.”

      President Trump, your corrupt VA secretary is hostile to you, to the truth and to the taxpayers. He needs to hear those famous words from you:

      “You’re fired.””

      Full Article At: “https://www.wnd.com/2018/03/give-va-secretary-shulkin-the-boot/”

      ____

      • Seymore,
        Maybe it IS time for “military tribunals” to begin the purge of almost all of the government agencies and civilian sector of government subsidised corporations/businesses!
        According to the article/video I sent you, President Trump – on Mar 1st – expanded the criminal activities list to include civilians working in the country! At least that’s the way I read it!!!!!!
        According to many sources I have, there’s another large compound being constructed at Gitmo! Both of these compounds are “…getting ready to house special prisoners!”

    • Staffing changes may mean he is trying to reassign some flunky.

      If he were to fire someone, I would damn sure like to know how he can move so fast to fire someone he is paranoid about, but can’t manage to fire someone hurting veterans after months go by.

      Or someone scamming $400,000 in moving expenses.

      Or someone committing bonus fraud.

  4. Do any of your stories have anything to do with the VA here in Texas buying out all the neuro(everything) hospitals and clinics? ‘Making’ them sign contracts that state they wont accept anyone with VA as an insurance even if that person would be paying out of pocket…if they accept then they would be in breach of contract and fined into oblivion. Got anything on that? I do.

    • LP,
      If you’ve got evidence of that, post it on here! It might just help getting VA employees FIRED.

    • LP- Bro post what you have pertaining to VA practicing such illegal activities. You stated that you’ve got details. Don’t let others hang. – Nutter

  5. Take great care Ben. As always you and yours are in the daily prayers and thoughts. Just like the rest out here are. We can’t take care, or help others, when we are down and out of the ‘game.’ Aside from the needed breaks.

    Note: Since leaving the VA I have not been sick with the bad flu, colds, as I was before with seemingly every trip to the VA. Drastic change. Just the normal sinus crap to deal with. I also stopped getting the shots. Went with old time tonics, homeopathy, etc. Others here doing their VA trips have been down with the flu bug or trying to get over it.

    Hint: I also noticed while playing hermit and not out much that I still got the ills back a few years ago. No way I was out to catch a bug. Noticed one day a bugger and slime on some mail after opening a bunch of it. More than once actually. Wet slimy mail is gross. Three days or so later I was down sick as hell. So, since that nastiness and seen a mail-person knocking my fence post down and seeing her, and another, drooling, sniffing, hacking, I woke up and thought. I better stop raw handling of my mail which was the only contact with others I had. Then thought about secretaries and those in public using sanitizer after each person waited on or when handling materials.

    Since I have an alarm on the mailbox beeping inside to let me know it’s delivered I go out and touch fresh stuff. Not good with bugs or virus if they can live up to 24 hours on surfaces, etc. So I use plenty of sanitizer, check each piece of mail for slime/green barnacles, stay mindful not to touch my face areas, use it at stores to gas pumps where sick people are, and keep fresh mail away from food stuffs or the coffee cup. lol
    Knock on wood, something is working so far.

  6. Get well, Benjamin. You may just have:

    “Government Flu”

    We got a drug
    We’re gonna try it out on you
    Won’t make you die
    It’ll getcha just a little bit sick

    [Chorus]
    Got a head cold
    Got a chest cold
    And it’s three days old
    (Goin’ on forever)
    Make you hazy
    Make you lazy
    Drive you crazy
    For days and days and days and days and days
    And years

    Barely got the time now
    To stay on the job
    Double up the dosage in your water supply
    Make you even sicker ’til you’re slippin’ away

    Getting all depressed
    It’s getting all your friends
    You can’t get it up
    For nothing that’ll rock the boat

    The government flu
    The government flu
    The government flu

    Slip it abroad
    Keep a-slowin’ down the USSR
    But meanwhile
    We’ll keep an eye
    On what it’s doin’ to you

    [Chorus]
    Got a head cold
    Got a chest cold
    And it’s three days old
    (Goin’ on forever)
    Make you hazy
    Make you lazy
    Drive you crazy
    For days and days and days and days and days
    And days and days and days and days and days
    And days and days and days and days and days
    And years

    The government flu
    The government flu
    The government flu
    Flew
    Through
    You]”– “Government Flu”, by ‘The Dead Kennedys’

  7. I sure hope it doesn’t turn out to be a malignant brain tumor. I’m sure it probably isn’t. Just get lots of sleep.

      • @namnibor,
        Oh my God. My account has been hacked. I never posted anything about a tumor. Somebody changed my post! Honest. I sense a ploy to get rid of me from the internet. It is coup season too after all – clearly a flu based coup.

    • Could it have been Cashour

      Whom started the tumor rumor?

      Then those VSO mad hatters, the Shulkin backers

      Starting those rumors of Ben having hackers,

      Even rumors of tumors and burn pits-

      No rumor that Benjamin has the fluey hack

      And am betting nobody at his VA knows jack_ _ _ _!

  8. Several questions Ben.

    Did you get a flu shot this year?

    Have you gotten flu shots in the past?

  9. WH Press Conference- March 5, 2018- While listening, scan the comments to the right while Sanders is talking.

    “https://www.facebook.com/HuffPostPolitics/videos/10155907757962911/”

  10. Off the topic of ill lawyers but,

    three days ago I got a certified letter they had tried to deliver but could not. Then it got sent by regular in the same envelope. It was dated 1/26. It was a PRF letter but wih no PRF flag!!! No shit. This is why it took so long for the hotline in D.C. to get them to offer me VA care lolz!

    It was from the Chief of Staff Roseburg. She said in response to my requests for VA care and on advice from the Disruptive Behavior Committee she had determined that the Roseburg facility would not offer VA care and my only option was the Choice progam. The Choice program cannot work unless you are assigned a VA care provider so it eliminates care.

    “In response to your previous requests (for VA care) and with recommendation from the Disruptive Behavior Committee the facility has approved continued non-VA care (Choice) services for you. The Roseburg VA emergency department is still an opion for you in life threatening emergency.”

    Roseburg is forty plus miles away from me.

    She goes on to cite the federal CFR that says VA may restrict the time, place, and manner of care but leaves off the tidbit about having to have a flag placed on you to do it lolz! She does not cite any disruptive behavior AT ALL but just notes I used Secure Messaging to complaint and that I am “…bringing reporters to the facility without permission.” as a causitive reason to block all VA care. The reporters are my friends and each one had a release filled out and was authorized under law to accompany me on my visits. Without whose permission??? I do not need permission to assign a medical power of attoreny to anyone I so choose. It was a PRF flag letter without a PRF!

    The problem they faced of course is even if it had been a real PRF they are still banned by law from forbidding VA care. My question of course is why the hell is the DBC committee still calling the shots on my care and furthermore is consistantly recommending illegal federal actions at Roseburg when the PRF flag(s) reported on in the newspaper have all been removed? Recomending the cessation of care because of a newpaper article is to recomend a federal crime by knowingly denying needed medical care to a veteran after illegally abandoning care. Her letter definitively shows this same group is knowingly recommending illegal actions. What is it called again when a group of people get together to plan something illegal on a federal level?

    What a goofy letter. Washington D.C. apparently told them what they could do with this newest letter and this explains why the case got elevated to a retaliation complaint really. The DBC at Roseburg are the same DBC that started all this shit with me and COUNTLESS other vets at Roseburg. The have assigned me a PACT team and enrolled me as a new patient lolz. I will go tommorow for an appointment as scheduled.

    Any guesses which indians are hiding in the box canyon at my appointment waiting in ambush? After all the DBC is made up of senior staff (SS) and the entire SS has tried for years now to boot me out over one silly little Restraining Order against them that REALLY pissed them off hehe. However think about a system that a COS from India is misquoting federal law to a US Marine to justify denial of service and an SS that has apparent control over their decisions.

    What a bizarre government agency.

    • Dizzying, circle-jerk crows obviously sent that to you. Holy CRAP! My brain started hearing scary circus music only halfway through that menagerie of a message to basically re-emphasis…to fuck-off, no care for you.

      And the VA wonders WHY Vets are pissed about this broken promise of our Service…served with a bile smile.

      Dennis, you should take that letter and conserve your own toilet paper and utilize that letter in a proper recycling of paper products fashion, with added pleasure of a mailed-in present of a blast from your intestinal past.
      Almost a poop canon…shot out of another fine AFGE represented service, the snail mail USPS.

    • Geez Dennis. Those people epitomize the incompetent bureaucrat wrapped up in policy and process.

      In this latest letter, do they inform you as to how you can appeal the flag as the VA claims in their policy?

      Are you taking your friend with you tomorrow?

      They are claiming the reporter really is not your friend, but a reporter only that supposedly requires permission from some PR flunky to be on the premises to do their job.

      I look forward to your comments tomorrow after your appointment.

      PS. I know for a fact that every patient that goes directly to the VA ER for any reason directly affects that VAs SAIL rating. If you were ever nearby that place for any reason, drop in and insist on seeing the ER doctor. Their SAIL data would be in the tank quickly.

      There goes the bonus.

      • This was not a PRF letter lolz 91. It was the same template and quoted the same regs but it did not say a PRF was issued. All other PRF letters do and it ismthe same template letter. That is the wild point of this letter. It simply says the DBC recommended the illegal action of denying VA services but stops short of issuing a flag and of course then if a flag is not issued then I have no appelate rights to appeal the flag. No place in the letter did she claim I had threatened or disrupted operations. Their concern is that reporters are involved as stated. They list a concern that I improperly used secure messaging to lodge complaints, and they listed as another reason that I had blocked VA Roseburg from calling me at home. I did do that because they refused to put things in writing because they knew it was illegal. So I blocked their calls at home insisting that anything they needed to say be said by first class mail. This is my right yet she listed that also as a reason to deny VA care per DBC recommendation. It is insane!

        These are all First Ammendment issues yet the ONLY authorized use of DBC is for behaviors while AT a VA facility. DBC for 6 PRF letters AND now a 7th one that does not issue a PRF but banned VA care that cannot be appelaed have ALL been issued for off facility actions – the restraining order placed on them, the complaints by fax, phone, and electronic message, the filings of HIPPA vioaltion complaints, the filing of a VA drug distibution ring crime investigated by VA police who obtained two formal confessions for illegal drug distribution, and my sharing of my medcial care with the media is what they have been accusing me of and flagging me for.

        If my reporter friends violated some procedural policy regarding permission then that is between the reporters and the VA yet they cite this as a reason for banishment for me.

        VA staff asked also VA police twice to investigate me to see if I EVER threatned anyone. I have the report through FOIA; “Disposition: It has been confirmed by VA police that here has been no outstanding threat made against VA personel or property by patient (Dennis). CLosed.” The VA went fishing for any hint of threat and found none so they just started making shit up like this last letter because the DBC folks have drawn a bead on me and
        imno longer even have appelate rights to appeal.

        Fortunately Washington D.C. stepped in, saw what was happening, clasified it as a violation of federal law to deny services irregardless of what the worms on DBC say, and upgraded the complaint to a case of retaliation. Then in less than a week after the COS issued that letter in response to their demands they provide care lolz somebody yanked her chain because suddenly a VERY polite man introducing himself as a representative ofmthe DBC valled me at home to,offer to set up care. I asked him why DBC was so interested in reversing course now.

        He said as I recorded the call, “Put it this way – DBC is complying with Washington D.C. VA hotline instructions.” In my medical entry record he noted I asked him this question yet he entered that he had declined to answer lolz. I have the recording. He put that in because they know I record things and most certainly was told not to answer questions about DBC but shit he was the one who announced he was calling on their behalf so then the question seemed fair to me.

        It took Washington D.C. and five calls to them and then multiple DBC people illegally involved, two certified letters and countless others just to get a simple medication review. Any wonder they were called out by name as hotspot number one of poorest performing VAMC in the nation? One of the teminated medicines that I cannot even nope to treat with marijuanna is nitro glycerin for heart pains and this was one of the meds they stopped when the newpaper article reported this whole DBC thing.

        This can be deadly and this is how they repsonded to criticism in the newpaper The price I paid for going to the press is losing nitro glycerin tabs for my heart. Those turn out to be fairly important pills to have a frah supply of and VA knows this. These are animals hoping my death would rid them of me.

  11. “Watchdog: VA Secretary Shulkin took no action as a top Obama official to fix problems at major veterans hospital”

    By Associated Press
    March 7 at 10:03 AM

    “WASHINGTON — Watchdog: VA Secretary Shulkin took no action as a top Obama official to fix problems at major veterans hospital.”

    That is the full Article but here is the link: “https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/watchdog-va-secretary-shulkin-took-no-action-as-a-top-obama-official-to-fix-problems-at-major-veterans-hospital/2018/03/07/a55e1540-2218-11e8-946c-9420060cb7bd_story.html?utm_term=.64ab69be677f”

    Also follow on twitter at: “https://twitter.com/AP/status/971400433414692864”

    • Seymore,
      “ANutterVet” posted Sarah Sanders press conference, March 5, 2018, on here. She was praising Shulkin’s work at VA.
      You need to watch her lying to the press!
      WTF OVER!

      • Sanders/Huckaboo. That’s is why I called her and others connected in DC by nepotism or in the old deep state connections/family… all the same. They all have forked tongues, speak out both sides of their mouths, are two faced, ambiguous, etc. Now Trump calls in the old deep state freaks like Bolton too, and had discussions with Kissinger…of all people. I think a bunch of all that so-called in-fighting are nothing more but activist/corporate/union/urban-warfare styled tactics. And Hillary and company are still NOT in jail along with lying Obummer or what ever it’s real name is.

  12. This from U.S. News

    Watchdog Report: Failed VA Leadership Put Patients at Risk
    Veterans Affairs chief David Shulkin took no action to fix longstanding problems of dirty syringes and equipment shortages that put patients at risk at a major veterans hospital.

    March 7, 2018, at 10:02 a.m.

    By HOPE YEN, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — As a top Veterans Administration official in the Obama administration, current Secretary David Shulkin took no action to fix longstanding problems of dirty syringes and equipment shortages that put patients at risk at a major veterans’ hospital. That’s according to an investigation that finds “failed leadership” and “climate of complacency” at the VA.

    The report by the VA internal watchdog offers new details to its finding last April of patient safety issues at the Washington, D.C., medical center.

    It paints a grim picture of communications breakdowns and spending waste, and it finds that at least three VA program offices directly under Shulkin’s watch knew of “serious, persistent deficiencies” from 2015 to 2016. Shulkin told government investigators that he did “not recall” ever being notified of problems.”

    Full Article At: “https://www.usnews.com/news/news/articles/2018-03-07/watchdog-report-failed-va-leadership-put-patients-at-risk”

    ___________

    Also worth noting is that the preceeding post

    ““Watchdog: VA Secretary Shulkin took no action as a top Obama official to fix problems at major veterans hospital”

    By Associated Press
    March 7 at 10:03 AM

    “WASHINGTON — Watchdog: VA Secretary Shulkin took no action as a top Obama official to fix problems at major veterans hospital.””

    Is currently being report through numerous main stream publications.

    The whole article is only the one sentence at each of those publications.

    ““WASHINGTON — Watchdog: VA Secretary Shulkin took no action as a top Obama official to fix problems at major veterans hospital.””

    Guess Shulkin is being hacked in a big way!!!

    How that to get the Paranoia going Shulkin?

    • For anyone who wants to read a very damming report on Shulkin Care that is breaking news.

      VAOIG
      VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
      Critical Deficiencies at the Washington DC VA Medical Center
      REPORT #17-02644-130
      MARCH 7, 2018

      “https://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-17-02644-130.pdf”

      • Shulkin’s deficient response–

        “D.C. VA Medical Center Demonstrates Significant Improvement: VA Makes System-Wide Enhancements to Prevent Future Issues”
        March 7, 2018, 10:33:00 AM
        VA Press Release

        At: “https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=4019”

  13. Veterans Affairs IG Report Reveals Administrators Knew About Awful Conditions at DC Center

    Cortney O’Brien
    posted: Mar 07, 2018 10:32 AM

    “Veterans Affairs Administrator David Shulkin is still reeling from reports that he and his wife took advantage of taxpayer money during a business trip in Europe last year. That work trip included some sightseeing and a trip to the Wimbledon tennis tournament. Shulkin insists it was all on the level and that the tickets were handed to him by a family friend.

    He now has bigger problems. A new Inspector General report that came out Wednesday suggests that he has done little to address the widespread problems at the agency.

    The report reveals, in part, how 500,000 items were not properly inventoried at the DC VA Medical Center and patients endured long waits for prosthetics. One veteran had to wait a whole year for a limb, according to NBC 4 News.

    Worse yet, administrators knew about it.

    Shulkin addressed the management issues at the DC Medical Center and indicated a new nationwide restructuring plan is in the works, but it is too late for some critics who are demanding his resignation.”

    • Why did he wait for this report to hit to announce any management restructuring plan?

      Restructuring. As in restructuring one incompetent bureaucrat at some location other than where they are screwing up now?

  14. Management failures led to ‘unacceptable’ patient risks at VA’s flagship D.C. hospital, watchdog finds

    by Lisa Rein
    Washington Post
    03/07/2018

    “Management failures at multiple levels led to critical equipment shortages, overspending and “pervasive staffing issues” that put patients at Veterans Affairs’ flagship medical center in the District at risk for years, a searing investigation released Wednesday by the agency’s watchdog found.

    Despite repeated warnings of systemic failures going back to 2013, leaders at the medical center and its oversight divisions up to senior managers at the Veterans Health Administration largely ignored the problems, Inspector General Michael J. Missal found.

    “The dysfunctions … were prevalent and deeply intertwined,” Missal wrote in a 142-page report. “The [inspector general] encountered a culture of complacency among VA and Veterans Health Administration leaders at multiple levels who failed to address previously identified serious issues with a sense of urgency or purpose.”

    “At the core,” Missal wrote, investigators found “an unwillingness or inability of leaders to take responsibility for the effectiveness of their programs and operations.”

    He called the “repeated exposure of patients to risk of an adverse clinical outcome,” wasted money and management failures at the medical center “unacceptable.”

    *VA Secretary David Shulkin on Wednesday called the findings “a failure of every level. It’s unacceptable to me. Fortunately this has not led to any known patient harm.”*

  15. 1. ‘Culture Of Complacency’
    26 minutes ago

    VA Officials Turned Blind Eye to Problems Plaguing DC Hospital, IG Says
    Reuters/ Jonathan Ernst

    “According to a report from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs inspector general, the agency knew about “widespread and formidable inadequacies in many essential functions” at the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C.—but didn’t take steps to address the problems. Alarming missteps outlined in the report include doctors having to cancel a surgery post-anesthesia because they lacked the proper equipment, and staff having to run to nearby hospitals to “borrow supplies.” Investigators also found that thousands of boxes full of medical records had been left unsecured in storage facilities, the basement, and a dumpster—and that the hospital spent taxpayer dollars on exorbitantly overpriced medical equipment. The IG found that officials at multiple levels knew about the problems at the D.C. hospital, but did nothing as part of “a culture of complacency.”

    Full Article at: “https://www.thedailybeast.com/va-officials-turned-blind-eye-to-problems-plaguing-dc-hospital-ig-says”

  16. Watchdog report: Failed Veterans Administration leadership put patients at risk
    Associated Press
    Published: 21 minutes ago
    Updated: 8 minutes ago

    “WASHINGTON — As a top Veterans Administration official in the Obama administration, current Secretary David Shulkin took no action to fix longstanding problems of dirty syringes and equipment shortages that put patients at risk at a major veterans hospital, according to an investigation released Wednesday that finds “failed leadership” and “climate of complacency” at the agency.

    The 150-page report by the VA internal watchdog offers new details to its preliminary finding last April of patient safety issues at the Washington, D.C., medical center. Painting a grim picture of communications breakdowns, chaos and spending waste at the government’s second largest department, the report found at least three VA program offices directly under Shulkin’s watch knew of “serious, persistent deficiencies” when he was VA undersecretary of health under former President Barack Obama from 2015 to 2016.

    Shulkin, who was elevated to VA secretary last year by President Donald Trump, told government investigators that he did “not recall” ever being notified of problems.

    The findings are the latest in a series of problems coming to the light at the VA under Shulkin, who has been struggling to keep a grip on his job since a blistering report by the inspector general last month concluded that he violated ethics rules by improperly accepting Wimbledon tennis tickets and his then chief of staff doctored emails to justify his wife traveling to Europe with him at taxpayer expense.”

    Full Article at: “https://www.10tv.com/article/watchdog-report-failed-veterans-administration-leadership-put-patients-risk”

  17. 5 Investigates: Head of New England VA healthcare system retiring amid scandals

    By Kathy Curran
    5 Investigates Reporter

    “BOSTON —
    The top Veterans Affairs health official in New England is retiring after a string of scandals involving medical facilities under his watch, 5 Investigates has learned.

    The retirement of Dr. Michael Mayo-Smith, network director for the VA New England Healthcare System, was announced by VA Secretary David Shulkin, who himself is facing withering criticism over his stewardship of the VA system. Mayo-Smith has been head of the region since 2008.

    The announcement comes a week after 5 Investigates revealed a deathbed whistleblower complaint made by one of the top Massachusetts doctors in the VA system. Dr. Sarah Kemble, once the chief of medicine for the VA’s Central and Western Massachusetts region, testified about substandard care in the region to the VA’s Office of Accountability and Whisteblower Protection just five days before she died of cancer last December.”

    Full Article At: “https://www.wcvb.com/article/5-investigates-head-of-new-england-va-healthcare-system-retiring-amid-scandals/19156427”

  18. ~~~~~Contact the Media to Expose the VA~~~~~

    I realize that we’re in different situations pertaining to our healthcare from the VA. Below is one example of a letter that I send out to assertive/aggressive Investigative Reporters (a dying breed). Adjust yours as you see fit.

    ***** Boiler Plate Example Letter to Media Contacts *****

    (contact person’s name), there’s a segment of people that are affected/effected by the Opiate/Opioid Epidemic that I belief the News Outlets aren’t reporting. And many Veterans are needlessly suffering because of it.

    I want to expose the Veterans Administration, and willing to be a Whistle Blower. My health is negatively effected by my current VA PCP’s medical directives of care, and has violated the VA’s Mission Statement, Pain Management Policy, Patient Engagement Practices, and the VA’s Patient Aligned Care Guidelines. Plus, my current VA PCP has trampled upon and violated many agreed upon Treatment Plans, has made major changes in my patient care without; ANY notice, ANY input from me about my patient care, ANY agreed upon medication protocol changes, or ANY time frame changes related to ANY change in treatment.

    If you’d like to know more, I’ll assist you as much as possible to expose this type of wanton incompetence, unprofessional, and life-threatening medical directives, that my VA Primary Care Physician (PCP) is forcing me to abide by, without any professional multi diagnostic team members, or any type of monitoring directly initiated by the VA. You’d not believe the issues entered in my personal VA medical notes.

    Plus, I’m receiving in-Home Physical Therapy (PT), by a Certified and Registered Doctor of Physical Therapy, and she is totally disgusted with the VA’s unprofessional actions and behaviors. And due to the VA’s unethical behavior of retaliating against those that speak out against them, she is concerned about speaking out about the VA because she needs to protect her employment, but at the same time she wants to protect her Client/Patient (me).

    (media contact person) are you aware of the next Drug Epidemic Crisis that’s right around the corner? I say this because I’m home bound 24/7, watch a lot of news, and I’m not hearing a peep about this next epidemic. And, its been reported by other smaller networks, and our Country has been shaken up due to the evil and wicked crimes committed that have recently been reported.

    If you’re interested please contact me, and you’ll have my full cooperation, and I’m a man of my word. Let’s do this (media contact person’s name), and I promise you, that you won’t be disappointed.

    (your name) – then list below any thing that will give credibility to your name
    Disabled
    US Navy Veteran- Honorable Discharge- Enlisted- Vietnam Era
    Investigative Research Biologist
    K9 PTSD-Alert Service Dog Trainer
    (your direct phone number)

  19. I don’t know why I didn’t get a notice to subscribe to new comments…I haven’t read all yet so maybe somebody posted this.

    CBS News and other outlets are reporting on the VA IG report just released on Shulkin taking no action on various issues in 2015 and 2016.

    The report is 150 pages.

    “https://www.cbsnews.com/news/watchdog-report-vas-shulkin-took-no-action-in-obama-admin-to-fix-problems-at-veterans-hospital/”

    • Hey 91Veteran,

      Worth reading

      VAOIG
      VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
      Critical Deficiencies at the Washington DC VA Medical Center
      REPORT #17-02644-130
      MARCH 7, 2018

      “https://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-17-02644-130.pdf”

      _______________

      I figure Shulkin will be making an announcement tomorrow after the Congressional Hearings about his future, or lack there of, at the VA.

      • Yeah, I dunno about that Seymore. I used to think the congressional committees would be asking hard questions of agency heads who screwed up, but after seeing Roe and Walz tongue bathing Shulkin over his travel fraud, I am not expecting much.

  20. @LP

    Re-Postings

    *****Crazy elf March 7, 2018 at 5:53 am
    LP,
    If you’ve got evidence of that, post it on here! It might just help getting VA employees FIRED.

    *****ANutterVet March 7, 2018 at 10:08 am
    LP- Bro post what you have pertaining to VA practicing such illegal activities. You stated that you’ve got details. Don’t let others hang. – Nutter

  21. Off Topic- I just posted a tip to the FBI, and asked them to investigate VA, and gave them reasons why too.

    “https://www.fbi.gov/tips” And then click onto “Online Tips and Public Leads”

    • Not showing up for some reason. Been thinking about doing the same. Bombarding every agency out there FBI over threats, HIPPA, AMA, ABA, etc. Just to see what happens. If I can sit and focus long enough to get it all done. Difficult enough to get home chores and critters taken care of plus everything else layering up or put on hold. No-one in the state cares to step in but rather support the corruption to being ignored here. But they sure as hell are pushing the lefty Agenda 21, ‘tolerance’ agendas, PC-ness, open borders, and bringing in the old guard deep state filth, with their tightly controlled media, to ensure their agendas are a daily thing and taught to the activist and college kiddies here as a good thing.

      Ooops. After thinking about that bombarding move, it won’t work either. Been there tried that before. Shown the deep state is really deep and has deep roots in my locale and with the wealthy connected corrupt freaks and country clubbers in the state. Could turn out to be more pain and effort for the same results as before, and what I am getting now for my efforts.

  22. Trump’s VA Consumed By Infighting, Backstabbing, And Talk of a Leadership Overhaul
    Secretary David Shulkin’s days appear numbered. His allies fear what comes next.

    By Lachlan Markay, Asawin Suebsaeng, Sam Stein
    Daily Beast
    03.07.18 4:06 PM ET

    “Sources close to Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and those in the broader veterans affairs community believe that his days are coming to an end atop the agency.

    There is no clear date of departure and, in recent days, Shulkin has shown signs he’s intent on fighting for his job—a bit of vigor that wasn’t readily apparent as recently as late last week. But a series of cascading controversies has weakened his standing. And in recent weeks, Shulkin’s allies have grown convinced that a group of adversaries inside the VA bureaucracy have effectively laid the predicate for his removal, and that it will come soon.

    “Trump liked him,” is how one source familiar with the situation described it, “and the rest of them hated him.”

    Full Article At: “https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumps-va-consumed-by-infighting-backstabbing-and-talk-of-a-leadership-overhaul”

    _______________

    He will be leaving tomorrow, watch it will happen.

    • Damn, Seymore, I hope your correct!
      Shulkin actually needs arrested, tried and convicted for his multiple crimes against taxpayers and veterans!
      I sure hope the powers that be are reading our comments on here!

  23. Seems everyone in Washington DC are “claiming” emails were hacked.
    The DNC “claims” this, yet will not allow anyone to scan their computers.
    Shulkin’s now “claiming” his employee, who illegally allowed his European Vacation, was hacked.
    Just now, on ABC’s evening news on channel 9, Hope Hicks is “claiming” her emails were hacked!

    Does it sound like this is the new excuse by those in Washington DC’s government agencies?
    ___________________

    Two days for the Florida legislation to pass “gun control laws!”
    Only, why aren’t they talking about “psychotropic drugs”, with “dangerous side effects”, being taken by a majority of people who’ve committed mass shootings?
    If you can find it on utube; “Josh Bernstein” gives a detailed analysis of the drugs, side effects and the people who committed these horrific incidents!

    Oh, maybe, the reasons behind the silence on the psychotropic drugs by Big Pharma is due to the lobbyists who are paying off many of our Legislative (law makers) bodies!

  24. You all remember the water main break at Manchester the day before investigators got there last year.

    Well,

    _____________

    V.A. and CDC office closed, but FBI et al just truck in emergency ‘port-o-potties’
    By Michael E. Kanell
    AJC Atlanta
    1:34 p.m Wednesday, March 7, 2018

    “The benefits office of the Veterans Administration is closed Wednesday, one more casualty of the huge water main break in DeKalb County.

    The VA announcement did not say when the office would reopen.”

    Full Article at: “https://www.ajc.com/business/and-cdc-office-closed-but-fbi-just-truck-emergency-port-potties/YC41WUSuJOXmd0HpbjmbiO/

  25. VA secretary is on political life support after devastating inspector general report says he did NOTHING to fix danger hospital in D.C. when he was Obama appointee

    David Shulkin, the VA secretary, was top Obama appointee when its Washington D.C. medical center suffered dirty syringes and equipment shortages

    Inspector general report says there was ‘failed leadership’ and ‘climate of complacency’ at the VA
    At least three VA program offices directly under Shulkin’s watch knew of ‘serious, persistent deficiencies’ from 2015 to 2016

    Shulkin claimed he was not told of problems but is already in political crisis over using taxpayer money to fund European vacation for his wife

    White House is said to have been ready to dump him if another blow landed and he is ‘paranoid’ that separate inquiry will say he used security detail for errands

    _____

    By Associated Press and Ariel Zilber For Dailymail.com

    Published: 10:24 EST, 7 March 2018 | Updated: 12:27 EST, 7 March 2018

    Read more: “https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5473433/VA-secretary-did-fix-danger-hospital-D-C-report-finds.html”

  26. Oh those drug addict employees at the VA, they really know when to shine, hey Shulkin!
    _____

    Hazle Twp. man among 4 arrested in Veterans Affairs drug investigation

    James Halpin / Published: March 7, 2018

    “PLAINS TWP. — Four Department of Veterans Affairs employees, including a Hazle Twp. man, have been hit with drug charges following what police say was a “large-scale investigation” into drug possession and dealing at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

    Brian Harris, 47, of 1202 Four Seasons Court, Hazle Twp.; Michael Patrick Appel, 37, of 78 Zerby Ave., Edwardsville; Robert Taffaro, 41, of 164 Hillside St., Trucksville; and David James Koechel Jr., 56, of 205 Hill St., Noxen, were charged after police say they found them in possession of drugs during searches at the hospital last month.

    According to the complaints, Veterans Affairs police began investigating in October after workers began finding discarded drugs and paraphernalia in an employee parking lot. Among the refuse were heroin bags, insulin needles, Suboxone strip packets and more than eight grams of cocaine, the charges say.

    Confidential informants told police that Appel and Harris were partners in a drug ring, and that Harris had been delivering marijuana to Taffaro and Koechel at the VA campus. An informant also told investigators that Appel had been dealing, Xanax and marijuana, and that he had a marijuana growing operation in his basement, police said.

    A hospital employee told investigators that he had bought amphetamines from Appel on several occasions, including at the hospital’s maintenance shop, and that he had overdosed on the drugs in September, the charges say.

    During a search of Appel’s locker, police found a bottle of urine that could be used to pass a drug test, as well as about two grams of marijuana, according to the complaint. Police also found Appel in possession of the anti-psychotic drug quetiapine and money orders totaling $1,200, the complaint says.

    Police seized Appel’s cellphone, and then noticed he was secretly swiping the face of a smart watch he was wearing at a “frantic tempo,” the complaint says. Investigators then discovered all the text messages, emails and communications on the cellphone that was paired to the watch had been deleted, the charges say.

    During a search of Harris’ property, police found a package of “cannabis oil” for vaping and a box of UPass synthetic urine, according to the charges. Harris was also in possession of vape pipes, rolling papers and an airsoft pistol, police said.

    When questioned, Harris admitted delivering marijuana and cannabis oil that he had gotten from his roommate, according to police.

    Police say Taffaro and Koechel each admitted to buying marijuana from Harris, and that they each had a small amount of the drug in their vehicles during a search.

    Veterans Affairs police charged Appel with drug trafficking, tampering with evidence and furnishing drug-free urine, while Harris was charged with drug possession, possession of marijuana, possessing drug paraphernalia and furnishing drug-free urine.”

    Full Article at: “https://standardspeaker.com/news/hazle-twp-man-among-4-arrested-in-veterans-affairs-drug-investigation-1.2310799”

  27. A new food shelf for Veterans set up at the Northern Indiana Veterans Administration Health System currently only used by staff at the hospital. But soon they will let Veterans use it once a month.
    _____

    Komets Kare Package helping VA start food pantry

    Sentinel News
    March 8, 2018

    “The Northern Indiana Veterans Administration Health System has opened a new food pantry stocked primarily with donations from Komets Kare Package. The pantry, located at 2121 Lake Ave. in the VA Hospital, is open to serve veterans.

    “Right now, it’s being shared with our staff, and if a veteran comes in and has a special circumstance or a need we are able to provide them a box of items,” said VA Voluntary Services Manager Erica Jones. “Our goal is they can come in once a month and get items as needed.”

    Full Article at: “https://www.news-sentinel.com/sports/2018/03/01/komets-kare-package-helping-va-start-food-pantry/”

    ___

    Sounds like Veterans are getting the unwanted leftovers the staff don’t want.

  28. There go all our medical records again.

    ____________

    Department of Veterans Affairs looks to private developers for innovation

    By Laura Lovett
    March 07, 2018

    “The Department of Veterans Affairs has joined the bandwagon of government agencies looking for outside innovators to help update its health technology systems.

    In February, it became easier for private citizens to become involved when the department launched Lighthouse, an API that allows developers to create digital technology to build mobile and web apps that serve veterans.

    With the latest technology on display at HIMSS18, the new API outlines four components for developers: standards-based, data-drive, future-proof and veteran-centric technology.

    The merging of private and public has also been a driving force behind the Digital Services at Veterans Affairs initiative, which lets people from outside industries do a short stint working for the government.

    “Our model is to bring in experts from the private sector [in] to do a tour of duty in the government to work on impactful [applications],” Alex Loehr, deputy chief technology officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs, said at HIMSS18. “The tour of duty model [does] not [mean] coming in to spend career in government.”

    Some of the VA system’s online forms were antiquated and difficult to use, according to Loehr. That meant few were using the online system to sign up for benefits like VA healthcare, and even fewer were using the online system to schedule a visit to the doctor’s office. In some instances, veterans would need to know what particular law gave them access to certain services creating confusion.

    “Users shouldn’t have to know the VA language in order to interact with the VA,” Loehr said.

    But it isn’t just the patient interface that the department is looking to revamp — it’s also for providers and healthcare workers. Patients are allowed to get their data whenever they ask.

    However, VA healthcare workers used to have to upload each document individually — which could be upwards of 100 documents. Then, the digital service team built an automatic uploader.

    None of the new technology is earth-shattering, said Loehr. The harder part is looking at what unique problems the VA already has and giving innovators the freedom to solve them in different ways.

    Providing healthcare to veterans has been a hot topic of discussion for the Trump administration. Jared Kushner, director of the Office of American Innovation, made a point of discussing the difficulties in veterans health services during his own time on the HIMSS18 stage.”

    Full Article at: “https://www.mobihealthnews.com/content/department-veterans-affairs-looks-private-developers-innovation”

  29. Doctors still practicing illegally at the VA, and another broken promise to Senators by Shulkin!!!!!!!!!!!

    _______

    Grassley, Ernst rip VA’s slow response to illegal doctor hiring case

    Tony Leys,
    Des Moines Register
    March 2, 2018

    “Iowa’s U.S. senators blasted the Department of Veterans Affairs on Friday for failing to promptly determine how many of its doctors were illegally hired after having their state medical licenses revoked.

    The complaint from Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst comes in the wake of a USA TODAY investigation in December that found the Iowa City VA hospital hired a neurosurgeon whose Wyoming medical license was revoked over allegations of deadly malpractice. The surgeon, John Henry Schneider, resigned after USA TODAY began asking questions. VA leaders acknowledged to Grassley and Ernst in December that Schneider’s hiring was improper, and they vowed to review the records of all VA doctors by the end of February.

    The senators expressed frustration Friday that the VA failed to live up to its promise. “Our veterans have sacrificed so much for our nation and it is unacceptable that the VA has failed to ensure that the doctors treating our veterans are certified to do so,” Ernst wrote. “…These findings are critical to ensure an unqualified and improperly licensed doctor is never allowed to practice at the VA again.”

    Ernst and Grassley said the results of the investigation should be made public. VA leaders responded in a January letter to the senators: “At this time, VA has not made a determination on whether or not to publicize the results of the national licensure review.”

    Full Article at: “https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/health/2018/03/02/grassley-ernst-rip-department-veterans-affairs-slow-response-illegal-doctor-hiring-case/389031002/”

  30. If you watch the sky and see a 19,000-pound projectile heading toward earth. It is not a bird, plane, Shulkin’s ego, or a meteorite. It is a Chinese space station. Hopefully not coming soon to a neighborhood near you. Ain’t those thing powered by Plutonium?

    Uncontrolled’ Space Station To Crash Into Earth In Early April, Experts Say

    March 6, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    • Seymore. Let er hit on my position. I will sign a Quit Claim Deed and pay a buck so they can target and use my property. Or on DC. I’ll sell a bridge there I don’t own. Something has to give even if it takes polar shifts, meteorites the size of Texas, several volcanoes blowing their tops, or gulp, space station nukes.

      Let’s try it the VA way. They have to either make us ‘suffer or suicide, or kill us off to protect us from ‘ourselves’ they must do it. Okay then. Destroy the state of Indiana, or other picks, to be destroyed to protect them also from themselves. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I am prepared to give up the ghost, no problems.

      Hopefully it would stop the propaganda and lies too. The below is total BS.
      “https://miami.cbslocal.com/2018/03/07/opioids-painkillers-study/”

      The VA did studies? We are all alike too I gather. I was told by several MDs to never take over the counter drugs again and that they, and other dope I was told to take, caused my NAFLD (non alcoholic fatty liver disease). The first thing the civilian quack wanted me to take was Gabapentin again, and over the counter meds and a few others I have been told to stay away from totally. Or play games for lower level Hydro. And why I was put on narcs to begin with when dealing with multiple pain issues. If anyone says aspirin or over the counter dope helps migraines, IMHO they don’t have real migraines or severe head ache issues on top of the rest.

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